Tag Archives: Challenge

#BOMSummer DAY 10, 2 Nephi 2: “Read It”

#BOMSummer Day 10, Thomas S. Monson, “Priesthood Power,” Ensign, May 2011

2 Nephi 2

President Thomas S. Monson:

What will protect you from the sin and evil around you? I maintain that a strong testimony of our Savior and of His gospel will help see you through to safety. If you have not read the Book of Mormon, read it. I will not ask for a show of hands. If you do so prayerfully and with a sincere desire to know the truth, the Holy Ghost will manifest its truth to you. If it is true—and it is—then Joseph Smith was a prophet who saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. The Church is true. If you do not already have a testimony of these things, do that which is necessary to obtain one. It is essential for you to have your own testimony, for the testimonies of others will carry you only so far. Once obtained, a testimony needs to be kept vital and alive through obedience to the commandments of God and through regular prayer and scripture study. Attend church. You young men, attend seminary or institute if such is available to you. (“Priesthood Power,” Ensign, May 2011)

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#BOMSummer DAY 9, 1 Nephi 22-2 Nephi 1: “A Confirming, Clarifying, Unifying Witness”

#BOMSummer Day 9, Elder Tad R. Callister, “The Book of Mormon—a Book from God,” Liahona and Ensign,Nov. 2011

1 Nephi 22-2 Nephi 1

Elder Tad R. Callister:

An honest, unbiased reading of the Book of Mormon will bring someone to the same conclusion as my great-great-grandfather, namely: “The devil could not have written it—it must be from God.”

But why is the Book of Mormon so essential if we already have the Bible to teach us about Jesus Christ? Have you ever wondered why there are so many Christian churches in the world today when they obtain their doctrines from essentially the same Bible? It is because they interpret the Bible differently. If they interpreted it the same, they would be the same church. This is not a condition the Lord desires, for the Apostle Paul declared that there is “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5). To help bring this oneness about, the Lord established a divine law of witnesses. Paul taught, “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established” (2 Corinthians 13:1).

The Bible is one witness of Jesus Christ; the Book of Mormon is another. Why is this second witness so crucial? The following illustration may help: How many straight lines can you draw through a single point on a piece of paper? The answer is infinite. For a moment, suppose that single point represents the Bible and that hundreds of those straight lines drawn through that point represent different interpretations of the Bible and that each of those interpretations represents a different church.

What happens, however, if on that piece of paper there is a second point representing the Book of Mormon? How many straight lines could you draw between these two reference points: the Bible and the Book of Mormon? Only one. Only one interpretation of Christ’s doctrines survives the testimony of these two witnesses.

Again and again the Book of Mormon acts as a confirming, clarifying, unifying witness of the doctrines taught in the Bible so that there is only “one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” For example, some people are confused as to whether baptism is essential for salvation even though the Savior declared to Nicodemus, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). The Book of Mormon, however, eliminates all doubt on that subject: “And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, … or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God” (2 Nephi 9:23).

There exist various modes of baptisms in the world today even though the Bible tells us the manner in which the Savior, our great Exemplar, was baptized: “[He] went up straightway out of the water” (Matthew 3:16). Could He have come up out of the water unless He first went down into the water? Lest there be any discord on this subject, the Book of Mormon dispels it with this straightforward statement of doctrine as to the proper manner of baptism: “And then shall ye immerse them in the water” (3 Nephi 11:26).

Many believe that revelation ended with the Bible even though the Bible itself is a testimony of God’s revelatory pattern over 4,000 years of man’s existence. But one incorrect doctrine such as this is like a domino set in motion that causes the fall of other dominoes or, in this case, the fall of correct doctrines. A belief in the cessation of revelation causes the doctrine that “God is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Mormon 9:9) to fall; it causes the doctrine taught by Amos that “surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7) to fall; and it causes the doctrine that “God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34) and thus speaks to all men of all ages to fall. But fortunately the Book of Mormon reenthrones the biblical truth of continuous revelation:

“And again, I speak unto you who deny the revelations of God, and say that they are done away, that there are no revelations. …

“Do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever … ?” (Mormon 9:7, 9).

In other words, if God, who is unchangeable, spoke in ancient times, He will likewise speak in modern times.

The list of doctrinal confirmations and clarifications goes on and on, but none is more powerful nor poignant than the Book of Mormon’s discourses on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Would you like to have emblazoned on your soul an undeniable witness that the Savior descended beneath your sins and that there is no sin, no mortal plight outside the merciful reach of His Atonement—that for each of your struggles He has a remedy of superior healing power? Then read the Book of Mormon. It will teach you and testify to you that Christ’s Atonement is infinite because it circumscribes and encompasses and transcends every finite frailty known to man. That is why the prophet Mormon declared, “Ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ” (Moroni 7:41).

No wonder the Book of Mormon proclaims with boldness, “And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ” (2 Nephi 33:10). Together with the Bible, the Book of Mormon is an indispensable witness of the doctrines of Christ and His divinity. Together with the Bible, it “teach[es] all men that they should do good” (2 Nephi 33:10). And together with the Bible, it brings us to “one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” That is why the Book of Mormon is so crucial in our lives.  (“The Book of Mormon—a Book from God,” Liahona and Ensign,Nov. 2011).

#BOMSummer DAY 8, 1 Nephi 19-21: “The Effect of the Book of Mormon”

#BOMSummer Day 8, Henry B. Eyring, “A Witness,” Ensign, Nov. 2011

1 Nephi 19-21

President Henry B. Eyring:

The effect of the Book of Mormon on your character, power, and courage to be a witness for God is certain. The doctrine and the valiant examples in that book will lift, guide, and embolden you. . . .

Prayerful study of the Book of Mormon will build faith in God the Father, in His Beloved Son, and in His gospel. It will build your faith in God’s prophets, ancient and modern.

It can draw you closer to God than any other book. It can change a life for the better. I urge you to do what a missionary companion of mine did. He had run away from home as a teenager, and someone had placed a Book of Mormon in a box he carried with him in his search for more happiness.

Years passed. He moved from place to place across the world. He was alone and unhappy one day when he saw the box. The box was filled with things he had carried with him. At the bottom of the box, he found the Book of Mormon. He read the promise in it, and he tested it. He knew it was true. That witness changed his life. He found happiness beyond his fondest dreams.

Your copy of the Book of Mormon may be hidden from your view by cares and attention to all you have accumulated in your journey. I plead with you to drink deeply and often from its pages. It has in it the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the only way home to God.  (“A Witness,” Ensign, Nov. 2011)

#BOMSummer DAY 7, 1 Nephi 17-18: “There Is a Power in the Book”

#BOMSummer Day 7, Ezra Taft Benson, “The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion,” Ensign, Nov. 1986

1 Nephi 17-18

President Ezra Taft Benson:

It is not just that the Book of Mormon teaches us truth, though it indeed does that. It is not just that the Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ, though it indeed does that, too. But there is something more. There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called “the words of life” (D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance.

Our beloved brother, President Marion G. Romney, who celebrated his eighty-ninth birthday last month and who knows of himself of the power that resides in this book, testified of the blessings that can come into the lives of those who will read and study the Book of Mormon. He said:

“I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity—the pure love of Christ—will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness” (Ensign, May 1980, p. 67).

These promises—increased love and harmony in the home, greater respect between parent and child, increased spirituality and righteousness—are not idle promises, but exactly what the Prophet Joseph Smith meant when he said the Book of Mormon will help us draw nearer to God.

Brethren and sisters, I implore you with all my heart that you consider with great solemnity the importance of the Book of Mormon to you personally and to the Church collectively. (“The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion,” Ensign, Nov. 1986).

#BOMSummer Day 7, Ezra Taft Benson, “The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion,” Ensign, Nov. 1986 Power

#BOMSummer DAY 6, 1 Nephi 16: “The Primary Source”

#BOMSummer Day 6, David A. Bednar, That We May Always Have His Spirit to Be with Us

Read 1 Nephi 16

Elder David A. Bednar:

In our day the Book of Mormon is the primary source to which we should turn for help in learning how to invite the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. The description in the Book of Mormon of the Liahona, the director or compass used by Lehi and his family in their journey in the wilderness, specifically was included in the record as a type and a shadow for our day and as an essential lesson about what we should do to enjoy the blessings of the Holy Ghost.

As we strive to align our attitudes and actions with righteousness, then the Holy Ghost becomes for us today what the Liahona was for Lehi and his family in their day. The very factors that caused the Liahona to work for Lehi will likewise invite the Holy Ghost into our lives. And the very factors that caused the Liahona not to work anciently will likewise cause us to withdraw ourselves from the Holy Ghost today. (“That We May Always Have His Spirit to Be with Us,” Ensign, May 2006)

#BOMSummer DAY 5, 1 Nephi 14-15: “His Message to You”

#BOMSummer Day 5, Henry B. Eyring, “THE BOOK OF MORMON WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE,” Ensign, Feb. 2004 (2)

Read 1 Nephi 14-15

President Henry B. Eyring:

I will make you this promise about reading the Book of Mormon: You will be drawn to it as you understand that the Lord has embedded in it His message to you. Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni knew that, and those who put it together put in messages for you. I hope you have confidence that the book was written for your students. There are simple, direct messages for them that will tell them how to change. That is what the book is about. It is a testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Atonement and how it may work in their lives. You will have an experience this year feeling the change that comes by the power of the Atonement because of studying this book. (“The Book of Mormon Will Change Your Life,” Ensign, Feb. 2004)

#BOMSummer DAY 4, 1 Nephi 11-13: “Written for Us Today”

#BOMSummer Day 4, Ezra Taft Benson, “THE BOOK OF MORMON IS THE WORD OF GOD,” Ensign, May 1975 (2).jpg

 Read 1 Nephi 11-13

President Ezra Taft Benson:

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “we believe … the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.” (A of F 1:8.) God has so declared it, so have its writers, so have its witnesses, and so do all those who have read it and received a personal revelation from God as to its truthfulness.

In section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord says that He gave Joseph Smith “power from on high … to translate the Book of Mormon; which contains … the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ … which was given by inspiration.” (D&C 20:8–10.)

Nephi, one of the prophet-writers of the Book of Mormon, testifies that the book contains “the words of Christ” (2 Ne. 33:10), and Moroni, the last writer in the book, testifies that “these things are true” (Moro. 7:35).

This same Moroni, as an angelic being sent from God, showed these ancient records to three witnesses in our day. Their testimony of the records is contained in the front of the Book of Mormon. They state: “We also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true.”

And Joseph Smith, the Prophet, the instrument whom God used to translate this record, testified that “the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” (History of the Church, 4:461.)

The Book of Mormon was written for us today. God is the author of the book. It is a record of a fallen people, compiled by inspired men for our blessing. Those people never had the book—it was meant for us. Mormon, the ancient prophet after whom the book is named, abridged centuries of records. God, who knows the end from the beginning, told him what to include in his abridgment that we would need for our day. Mormon turned the records over to his son Moroni, the last recorder; and Moroni, writing over 1,500 years ago but speaking to us today, states: “Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.” (Morm. 8:35.)

The purpose of the Book of Mormon is stated on the title page. It is “to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God.”

Nephi, the first prophet-writer in the Book of Mormon, states:

“For the fulness of mine intent is that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved.

“Wherefore, the things which are pleasing unto the world I do not write, but the things which are pleasing unto God and unto those who are not of the world.

“Wherefore, I shall give commandment unto my seed, that they shall not occupy these plates with things which are not of worth unto the children of men.” (1 Ne. 6:4–6.) (“The Book of Mormon Is the Word of God,” Ensign, May 1975)

A light blue background with a white border and white text quoting President Ezra Taft Benson: “The Book of Mormon was written for us today.”

#BOMSummer DAY 2, 1 Nephi 4-6: “Regardless of How Many Times”

#BOMSummer Day 2, Gordon B. Hinckley, “A Testimony Vibrant and True,” Ensign, Aug 2005 (2)

Read 1 Nephi 4-6

President Gordon B. Hinckley:

While the Book of Mormon speaks with power to the issues that affect our modern society, the great and stirring burden of its message is a testimony, vibrant and true, that Jesus is the Christ, the promised Messiah, He who walked the dusty roads of Palestine healing the sick and teaching the doctrines of salvation; who died upon the cross of Calvary; who on the third day came forth from the tomb, appearing to many. Prior to His final Ascension, He visited the people of this Western Hemisphere, concerning whom He earlier had said, “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd” (John 10:16).

For centuries the Bible stood alone as a written testimony of the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth. Now, at its side, stands a second and powerful witness which has come forth “to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD, manifesting himself unto all nations” (Book of Mormon title page)….

Very near the end of its 239 chapters, you will find a challenge issued by the prophet Moroni as he completed his record nearly 16 centuries ago. Said he:

“And I exhort you to remember these things; for the time speedily cometh that ye shall know that I lie not, for ye shall see me at the bar of God; and the Lord God will say unto you: Did I not declare my words unto you, which were written by this man, like as one crying from the dead, yea, even as one speaking out of the dust? …

“And God shall show unto you, that that which I have written is true” (Moro. 10:27, 29).

Without reservation I promise you that if each of you will observe this simple program, regardless of how many times you previously may have read the Book of Mormon, there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God. (“A TESTIMONY VIBRANT AND TRUE”, Ensign, Aug. 2005)

Image result for “Regardless of how many times you previously may have read the Book of Mormon, there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God.”—President Gordon B. Hinckley, “A Testimony Vibrant and True”

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#BOMSummer DAY 1, 1 Nephi 1-3: “Start Early and Be Steady”

#BOMSummer Day 1, Henry B. Eyring, “A Discussion on Scripture Study,” Ensign, Jul 2005 (2)

Read 1 Nephi 1-3

President Henry B. Eyring:

However much faith to obey God we now have, we will need to strengthen it continually and keep it refreshed constantly. We can do that by deciding now to be more quick to obey and more determined to endure. Learning to start early and to be steady are the keys to spiritual preparation. Procrastination and inconsistency are its mortal enemies….

You already have had the Lord’s help to get started. In August [2005], you received this promise from President Gordon B. Hinckley if you would read the Book of Mormon through by the end of the year: “Without reservation I promise you that if each of you will observe this simple program, regardless of how many times you previously may have read the Book of Mormon, there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God.” (“A Testimony Vibrant and True,” Ensign, Aug. 2005)

That is the very promise of increased faith we need to be spiritually prepared. But if we delayed the start of our obedience to that inspired invitation, the number of pages we had to read each day grew larger. If we then missed reading for even a few days, the chance of failure grew. That’s why I chose to read ahead of my daily plan to be sure I will qualify for the promised blessings of the spirit of resolution and testimony of Jesus Christ. When December ends, I will have learned about starting at the moment a command from God comes and being steady in obedience.

More than that, as I read in the Book of Mormon, I will pray that the Holy Ghost will help me know what God would have me do. There is a promise of that plea being answered in the book itself: “Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.” (2 Ne. 32:3)

I will act quickly on what the Holy Ghost tells me I should do as I read and ponder the Book of Mormon. When I complete the project in December, I will have had many experiences of stretching my faith to be obedient. And so my faith will be strengthened. And I will know from my own experience what comes from going to the scriptures early and consistently to know what God wants me to do and then doing it. If we do that, we will be better prepared for the greater storms when they come.

We will then have a choice of what to do after January 1. We can choose to sigh with relief and say to ourselves: “I have built a great reservoir of faith by starting early and being steady in obedience. I will store it away against the times when I will be tested in storms.” There is a better way to prepare, because great faith has a short shelf life. We could decide to persist in studying the words of Christ in the scriptures and the teachings of living prophets. This is what I will do. I will go back to the Book of Mormon and drink deeply and often. And then I will be grateful for what the prophet’s challenge and promise did to teach me how to gain greater faith and maintain it. (“Spiritual Preparedness: Start Early and Be Steady“, Ensign, Nov. 2005)

President Nelson’s “Every Day” Promise

In the October 2017 General Conference, President Russell M. Nelson promised:

My dear brothers and sisters, I promise that as you prayerfully study the Book of Mormon every day, you will make better decisions—every day. I promise that as you ponder what you study, the windows of heaven will open, and you will receive answers to your own questions and direction for your own life. I promise that as you daily immerse yourself in the Book of Mormon, you can be immunized against the evils of the day, even the gripping plague of pornography and other mind-numbing addictions. (Emphasis added.)

#BOMSummer PROMISE, Russell M. Nelson, “The Book of Mormon-What Would Your Life Be Like Without It,” Ensign, Nov. 2017

Did you know that the Book of Mormon was translated in JUST 85 DAYS (from April 7 to June 30, 1829)?! Well, most students have about 85 days of summer before school starts up again. Do you have what it takes to read it in that amount of time? Make this Summer the B.O.M. by doing it and read the entire Book of Mormon from June 7 to August 30!

When you join the “Book of Mormon Summer” by subscribing to this blog, you will receive an email “every day” with the daily reading and a new meme/quote that teaches something insightful and inspirational about the Book of Mormon. If you are a Facebook fan, you can receive daily updates via Facebook by liking our page at Book Of Mormon Summer.

Book_of_Mormon_Summer_Study_Schedule_Bookmark

You can also import the “Book of Mormon Summer” GOOGLE CALENDAR into your digital calendar by clicking on the +Google Calendar button at the bottom-right corner of the calendar below. It looks like this:

#BOMTC +Google Calendar Button

Book of Mormon Summer Calendar

It wasn’t easy for Joseph to translate on such a strict schedule, and you will probably find it difficult to read on that schedule, but I want to invite you to accept the challenge and study “every day” so that you can received the promised blessings from a Prophet of God.

I have been blessed each time that I have read the Book of Mormon. There is something to be learned by both a slow study of the Book of Mormon as well as a quick reading. Each serves a purpose, and each will bring blessings. I invite you to claim these blessings in your life by reading the Book of Mormon this Summer.

President Russell M. Nelson, referring to the time that it took to translate the Book of Mormon, said, Many of us feel good if we can read the book in that time. I know you will indeed “feel good”, especially if this is your first experience reading the entire Book of Mormon. Challenge yourself and bless your life!

In the April 2011 General Conference, President Thomas S. Monson said, “If you have not read the Book of Mormon, read it. If you do so prayerfully and with a sincere desire to know the truth, the Holy Ghost will manifest its truth to you. If it is true—and it is—then Joseph Smith was a prophet who saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. The Church is true. If you do not already have a testimony of these things, do that which is necessary to obtain one. It is essential for you to have your own testimony, for the testimonies of others will carry you only so far.”

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