August 7, 2017
This week was fantastic.
We worked hard, and had lots to do this week. We found a new investigator, and learned about many people who seem really ready. But most importantly, this week one of our investigators was baptized!!!
Her name is Anna. She has been investigating our church for nearly three years, and has had a testimony for the longest time; but she was afraid to be baptized. But as we taught her she just spontaneously set a baptism date, and she didn’t waver from that. Her baptism was amazing! It was amazing to see her already rock solid testimony grow after she was baptized. And after she was confirmed it grew even more. I am so glad that she was able to make this sacred covenant. I know it has already blessed her life.
One thing she said during her testimony was that when she set her baptismal date, she felt like she was stepping out into darkness (because she had a lot of fears), trusting that Heavenly Father would help her. But after she was baptized she said that Heavenly Father showed her that she wasn’t stepping into darkness at all; instead she was stepping out of it.
I have been studying the role the Book of Mormon plays in conversion. Anna had many experiences with the Book of Mormon leading up to her baptism, and I have thinking about how amazing the Book of Mormon is lately, so I’m feeling like this is what I need to talk about today.
One thing I have been focusing on lately is on gaining a stronger testimony of the Book of Mormon. And I’m not just doing this for fun, or because everyone tells me I need to. I’m doing this because I realize how much hinges on the Book of Mormon.
What exactly hinges on the Book of Mormon? Well, if the Book of Mormon is true, then there is a God and Jesus Christ is the savior and redeemer of the world. Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God, and through him God restored his Gospel and his church once more to the earth. And through that gospel we learn the correct way to live life, the way back to God, to happiness in this life and eternal life in the life to come. So basically, everything hinges on the Book of Mormon. Which is why I’m putting such an emphasis on it my life.
I love that the way we come to know the Book of Mormon is true is by receiving a witness from the Holy Ghost. As I was reading and praying about the Book of Mormon an experience I had came to my mind. I would like to share that experience today.
When I was eight and I had just been baptized, my parents had a party afterwards to celebrate. That night my parents told me that I needed to receive for myself a witness that the Book of Mormon is true. That night knelt down in my closet and asked God if the Book of Mormon was true and if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days Saints was God’s church. At that time, I didn’t really understand how the Holy Ghost witnesses to us, so I just decided it was true and I went on with my life. Clearly, I didn’t get a witness at that time, but I was eight so I didn’t care.
Sometime later I was walking to church from the car and I had a thought, “the Book of Mormon is true because we have it”. That because we had the Book it has to be true. I mean books don’t just come from nowhere. But alongside the thought that came into my mind, came this overwhelming feeling of confidence, that the Book of Mormon was absolutely true. I felt like I nobody could ever convince me otherwise. I had my witness—my “proof.” That was my first testimony of the Book of Mormon. It was less of the thought, looking back at it now, that logic is not sufficient to “prove” the Book of Mormon true; it was more of that feeling I got.
Now on my mission, reading the Book of Mormon really in depth, really trying to understand it, I’ve gotten that same feeling. But this time that feeling came with a feeling of love for that little book. I read the pages and I find so much in those thin little pages that I can’t help but believe that the Book of Mormon is true.
I know I don’t know everything, but I know what I feel. I have never felt bad reading the Book of Mormon. I have never felt dread, or worry, or depression as I have read the Book of Mormon; in fact as I really read the Book of Mormon those negative feelings wash away, and I am left with feelings of awe, peace, love, and a desire to change and become better.
I would bet my life on the Book of Mormon. And I know that everyone needs to read the Book of Mormon daily. This book contains the fullness of the gospel, a strong witness of Jesus Christ, and a grand promise that can lead us to the firmest foundation we could ever have. I believe just like the Angel Moroni, that the Book of Mormon is worth more than its weight in gold. And I am glad to have it. In the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen
Regards from Elder Brown.