The Book of Mormon is a second witness that Jesus is the Christ—a companion book of scripture to the Bible. There are few messages as exciting to me as that Jesus is the Son of God and that He loves all of God’s children. The Book of Mormon records Christ’s dealings with some of the inhabitants of the ancient Americas. It makes me realize that God and Jesus Christ love me as an individual and are there for me in my life when I read the history of a people God rescued from myriad destruction because of their faith in Him and His Son.
As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often misnamed as a “Mormon” after the Book of Mormon), I have a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. I know that it was by God’s hand that it was kept and then preserved from destruction to be brought forth in our day. Through many sacrifices, Joseph Smith translated the book through the power which God had granted him.
Personal Scripture Study
I believe that all books of scripture are sacred and important. The Latter-day Saint canon includes the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. While I make an effort to read all of these books of scripture and to be familiar with each of them, I feel a unique spirit when reading the Book of Mormon.
It is kind of difficult to explain, but my mind begins to be enlightened whenever I read from its pages. I feel spiritually fed and nourished, though when I fail to read it regularly, I also miss this strength. I believe that the Holy Spirit teaches pure truth. All eternal truths are related to each other. Thus, when we work to bring ourselves to be in tune with the Holy Spirit, we can learn truths that we may not immediately identify as spiritual.
When I read and ponder the scriptures, especially in the Book of Mormon, I find my mind making connections and understanding deeper spiritual truths than I had previously comprehended. This renewing of the mind is also a renewal of my spirit. I think those things are intertwined.
Meaningful Passages of the Book of Mormon
One of my favorite chapters of scripture in the Book of Mormon is the fifth chapter in the book of Alma. Alma is speaking here to some of the people in a city he is visiting. He is a prophet and reminds the people of their ancestors’ history and dealings with Jesus Christ. He points out how many times their ancestors (and they themselves) have been delivered from destruction or persecution by the hand of God. He then says to the people:
Have you sufficiently retained in remembrance the captivity of your fathers? Yea, and have you sufficiently retained in remembrance his mercy and long-suffering towards them? And moreover, have ye sufficiently retained in remembrance that he has delivered their souls from hell? Behold, he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word; yea, they were encircled about by the bands of death, and the chains of hell, and an everlasting destruction did await them (Alma 5:6-7).
Alma goes on to ask the people if they have been spiritually born of God as their fathers were, if they have received His image in their countenances and if they have had a mighty change in their heart because of the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. This is always a good point for me to personally reflect on how God has blessed my ancestors’ lives and then to look at how He has blessed my life personally. To remember all He has done for me in this life alone, let alone paying the price to redeem my soul from hell, is humbling.
My Mighty Change of Heart Through the Book of Mormon
I do feel that I have experienced a mighty change of heart by learning of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The more I learn, the more determined I am to continue this mighty change and to have His image in my countenance. What a wonderful description.
Then Alma asks this question: “And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?” (Alma 5:26). This is the truly important question. If we have allowed the miracle of Christ’s Atonement to work in our lives, are we still allowing that miracle to take place in our lives right now? Because if we are not, then our efforts are in vain.
This is one reason why it is important to read the Book of Mormon continually. The renewal of the mind it brings me each time I read it helps me to evaluate how I am doing now—not how I was doing a week ago or a year ago. The Book of Mormon helps me to remember that I need Jesus Christ in my life every day, not just once a week or when I am going through a particular trial. I need Him all the time. The Book of Mormon is a reminder that He is there for me all the time.
Find Your Personal Renewal Through the Book of Mormon
It says in 1 John 3:2 that “when he [Christ] shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” To me, this means that we will recognize Him because we have grown to be like Him by following His example. We have literally received His image in our countenances, and we radiate His light to the world. When I read the Book of Mormon, I am renewed by the light of Christ that is in the book.
I invite you to read the Book of Mormon for yourself and to test it. See if it does contain the Word of Jesus Christ. If you feel renewed by its words, you will know for yourself that it contains the true Word of God. Ask God in sincere faith if its words are true, and the Holy Ghost will testify to you that it is true.