Tag Archives: Spirit

#BOMSummer DAY 67, 3 Nephi 8-10: “Receive the Promise of Moroni Often”

3 Nephi 8-10,

:

Testimony will come to you in pieces as parts of the whole truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ are confirmed. For instance, as you read and ponder the Book of Mormon, verses you have read before will appear new to you and bring new ideas. Your testimony will grow in breadth and in depth as the Holy Ghost confirms that they are true. Your living testimony will expand as you study, pray, and ponder in the scriptures.

The best description for me of how to gain and keep this living testimony has already been referred to. It is in the 32nd chapter of Alma in the Book of Mormon. You may have read it many times. I find new light in it every time I read it. Let’s review the lesson it teaches once again tonight.

We are taught in those inspired passages to begin our quest for testimony with “a particle of faith” and with desire for it to grow. Tonight you have felt faith and that desire as you listened to stirring talks of the Savior’s kindness, His honesty, and of the purity His commandments and Atonement made possible for us.

So a seed of faith is already planted in your heart. You may even have felt some of the expansion of your heart promised in Alma. I did.

But, like a growing plant, it must be nurtured or it will wither. Frequent and heartfelt prayers of faith are crucial and needed nutrients. Obedience to the truth you have received will keep the testimony alive and strengthen it. Obedience to the commandments is part of the nourishment you must provide for your testimony.

You remember the promise of the Savior: “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”

That has worked for me, as it will for you. One of the doctrines of the gospel I was taught when I was young is that the greatest of all the gifts of God is eternal life.6 I learned that part of eternal life is to live together in love in families forever.

From the first time that I heard those truths and they were confirmed to my heart, I felt obligated to make every choice I could to avoid contention and seek peace in my family and in my home.

Now, only after this life can I enjoy the fulness of that greatest of all blessings, eternal life. But amidst the challenges of this life, I have been given at least glimpses of what my family in heaven can be like. From those experiences my testimony of the reality of the sealing power exercised in temples has grown and been strengthened.

Watching my two daughters be baptized in the temple for their ancestors has drawn my heart to them and to those ancestors whose names we found. The promise of Elijah that hearts would be turned to each other in families has been granted to us. So faith for me has become certain knowledge, as we are promised in the book of Alma.

I have experienced at least some of the joy which my ancestors felt when the Savior came into the spirit world after His mortal ministry. Here is the description in the Doctrine and Covenants:

“And the saints rejoiced in their redemption, and bowed the knee and acknowledged the Son of God as their Redeemer and Deliverer from death and the chains of hell.

“Their countenances shone, and the radiance from the presence of the Lord rested upon them, and they sang praises unto his holy name.”

My feeling of their joy came from acting on my testimony that the Lord’s promise of eternal life is real. That testimony was strengthened by my choosing to act upon it, as the Savior promised that it would be.

He has also taught us that, in addition to choosing to be obedient, we must ask in prayer for testimony of truth. The Lord taught that to us in His command to pray about the Book of Mormon. He said through His prophet Moroni:

“Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

“And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

“And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”

I hope that you all have proved that promise for yourself or that you will do it soon. The answer may not come in a single and powerful spiritual experience. For me it came quietly at first. But it comes ever more forcefully each time I have read and prayed over the Book of Mormon.

I do not depend on what has happened in the past. To keep my living testimony of the Book of Mormon secure, I receive the promise of Moroni often. I don’t take that blessing of a testimony for granted as a perpetual entitlement. (“A Living Testimony,” Ensign, May 2011)

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#BOMSummer DAY 63, Helaman 14-15: “Abundant Peace”

Helaman 14-15,

Elder Neil L. Andersen:

From the beginning to the end of the Book of Mormon, “we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, … that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins” (2 Nephi 25:26). More than half of the verses in the Book of Mormon refer to or speak of the Savior.

Each year, often at Easter and Christmastime, news magazines across the world ask the questions: Who was Jesus Christ? Did He live? Are the writings in the Bible authentic? 2 Yet we know that the Bible is correct. Mormon declared, “This [the Book of Mormon] is written for the intent that ye may believe that [the Bible]” (Mormon 7:9).

When I was a missionary in Europe in the early 1970s, we began much of our teaching with the Apostasy because the divinity of Christ was widely accepted. When I returned as a mission president 20 years later, the emphasis of our teaching changed because belief in Jesus as the Son of God, who gave His life for our sins and rose the third day, had faded significantly. The importance of our testimony of Jesus Christ as the Son of God will continue to grow not only in Europe but also throughout the world.

One of the blessings of our day and the coming days is that we are able to take our message to so many who know little about Jesus Christ and His mission. The assurance of Christ fills the Book of Mormon, bringing in its wake abundant peace to all who embrace it.

In the chapters that anticipate the Messiah, we learn of His purposes, His promises, and His healing power. We learn of the prophecies concerning His life and the miracles in the Americas at the time of His birth.

In His resurrected state He declared, “Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world” (3 Nephi 11:10). We feel His love for us: “I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy” (3 Nephi 17:7). “Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full” (3 Nephi 17:20). We see Him in His majesty as our Redeemer, the King of kings.

From this witness of the Book of Mormon, confirmed by the Spirit, flows an indescribable spiritual peace, assuring us that He is truly “the resurrection, and the life” (John 11:25) and that our eternal peace will be with Him. (“The Book of Mormon: The Great Purveyor of the Savior’s Peace,” Ensign, Jan. 2008)

#BOMSummer DAY 62, Helaman 11-13: “Eternal Consequences Rest Upon Our Response”

Helaman 11-13,

President Ezra Taft Benson:

Now, we have not been using the Book of Mormon as we should. Our homes are not as strong unless we are using it to bring our children to Christ. Our families may be corrupted by worldly trends and teachings unless we know how to use the book to expose and combat the falsehoods in socialism, organic evolution, rationalism, humanism, etc. Our missionaries are not as effective unless they are “hissing forth” with it. Social, ethical, cultural, or educational converts will not survive under the heat of the day unless their taproots go down to the fulness of the gospel which the Book of Mormon contains. Our Church classes are not as spirit-filled unless we hold it up as a standard. And our nation will continue to degenerate unless we read and heed the words of the God of this land, Jesus Christ, and quit building up and upholding the secret combinations which the Book of Mormon tells us proved the downfall of both previous American civilizations.

Some of the early missionaries, on returning home, were reproved by the Lord in section 84 of the Doctrine and Covenants because they had treated lightly the Book of Mormon. As a result, their minds had been darkened. The Lord said that this kind of treatment of the Book of Mormon brought the whole Church under condemnation, even all of the children of Zion. And then the Lord said, “And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon.” (See D&C 84:54–57.) Are we still under that condemnation?

Reading the Book of Mormon is one of the greatest persuaders to get men on missions. We need more missionaries. But we also need better-prepared missionaries coming out of the wards and branches and homes where they know and love the Book of Mormon. A great challenge and day of preparation is at hand for missionaries to meet and teach with the Book of Mormon. We need missionaries to match our message.

And now grave consequences hang on our response to the Book of Mormon. “Those who receive it,” said the Lord, “in faith, and work righteousness, shall receive a crown of eternal life;

“But those who harden their hearts in unbelief, and reject it, it shall turn to their own condemnation—

“For the Lord God has spoken it.” (D&C 20:14–16.)

Is the Book of Mormon true? Yes.

Who is it for? Us.

What is its purpose? To bring men to Christ.

How does it do this? By testifying of Christ and revealing his enemies.

How are we to use it? We are to get a testimony of it, we are to teach from it, we are to hold it up as a standard and “hiss it forth.”

Have we been doing this? Not as we should, nor as we must.

Do eternal consequences rest upon our response to this book? Yes, either to our blessing or our condemnation. (“The Book of Mormon Is the Word of God,” Ensign, May 1975)

#BOMSummer DAY 54, Alma 53-55: “As Timeless As Truth”

Alma 53-55,

President Gordon B. Hinckley:

Permit me to tell you how Parley Pratt came to know of the book about which he wrote these words. In August of 1830, as a lay preacher, he was traveling from Ohio to eastern New York. At Newark, along the Erie Canal, he left the boat and walked ten miles into the country where he met a Baptist deacon by the name of Hamlin, who told him “of a book, a STRANGE BOOK, a VERY STRANGE BOOK! … This book, he said, purported to have been originally written on plates either of gold or brass, by a branch of the tribes of Israel; and to have been discovered and translated by a young man near Palmyra, in the State of New York, by the aid of visions, or the ministry of angels. I inquired of him how or where the book was to be obtained. He promised me the perusal of it, at his house the next day. … Next morning I called at his house, where, for the first time, my eyes beheld the ‘BOOK OF MORMON’—that book of books … which was the principal means, in the hands of God, of directing the entire course of my future life.

“I opened it with eagerness, and read its title page. I then read the testimony of several witnesses in relation to the manner of its being found and translated. After this I commenced its contents by course. I read all day; eating was a burden, I had no desire for food; sleep was a burden when the night came, for I preferred reading to sleep.

“As I read, the spirit of the Lord was upon me, and I knew and comprehended that the book was true, as plainly and manifestly as a man comprehends and knows that he exists” (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, 3d ed., Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1938, pp. 36–37).

Parley Pratt was then twenty-three years of age. The reading of the Book of Mormon affected him so profoundly that he was soon baptized into the Church and became one of its most effective and powerful advocates. In the course of his ministry he traveled from coast to coast across what is now the United States, into Canada, and to England; he opened the work in the isles of the Pacific and was the first Mormon elder to set foot on the soil of South America. In 1857, while serving a mission in Arkansas, he was shot in the back and killed by an assailant. He was buried in a rural area near the community of Alma, and today in that quiet place a large block of polished granite marks the site of his grave. Incised in its surface are the words of another of his great and prophetic hymns, setting forth his vision of the work in which he was engaged:

The morning breaks; the shadows flee;
Lo, Zion’s standard is unfurled! …
The dawning of a brighter day
Majestic rises on the world.
The clouds of error disappear
Before the rays of truth divine; …
The glory bursting from afar
Wide o’er the nations soon will shine.

Parley Pratt’s experience with the Book of Mormon was not unique. As the volumes of the first edition were circulated and read, strong men and women by the hundreds were so deeply touched that they gave up everything they owned, and in the years that followed not a few even gave their lives for the witness they carried in their hearts of the truth of this remarkable volume.

Today, a century and a half after its first publication, it is more widely read than at any time in its history. Whereas there were 5,000 copies in that first edition, today’s editions are ordered in lots of as many as a million, and the book currently is printed in more than a score of languages.

Its appeal is as timeless as truth, as universal as mankind. It is the only book that contains within its covers a promise that by divine power the reader may know with certainty of its truth. (“An Angel from on High, the Long, Long Silence Broke,” Ensisn, Nov. 1979.)

#BOMSummer DAY 42, Alma 20-22: “The Book Was True”

Alma 20-22

Parley P. Pratt

“As I read, the spirit of the Lord was upon me, and I knew and comprehended that the book was true, as plainly and manifestly as a man comprehends and knows that he exists.” (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, ed. Parley P. Pratt Jr. (1938), 36–37.)

The Story of Parley P. Pratt Part 1

The Story of Parley P. Pratt Part 2

#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)