Book of Mormon challenge

We’ve finished the Book of Mormon. Now, what?

I’m not sure the exact number of times I’ve read this book. I only started keeping track since 2005 when the prophet at that time, Gordon B. Hinckley, issued a challenge for us to read the entire book by the end of the year.

I loved his testimony of the book back then. They reveal his love for the Book of Mormon and echo my same thoughts.

The Book of Mormon narrative is a chronicle of nations long since gone. But in its descriptions of the problems of today’s society, it is as current as the morning newspaper and much more definitive, inspired, and inspiring concerning the solutions of those problems.

“I know of no other writing which sets forth with such clarity the tragic consequences to societies that follow courses contrary to the commandments of God. Its pages trace the stories of two distinct civilizations that flourished on the Western Hemisphere. Each began as a small nation, its people walking in the fear of the Lord. But with prosperity came growing evils. The people succumbed to the wiles of ambitious and scheming leaders who oppressed them with burdensome taxes, who lulled them with hollow promises, who countenanced and even encouraged loose and lascivious living. These evil schemers led the people into terrible wars that resulted in the death of millions and the final and total extinction of two great civilizations in two different eras.

“No other written testament so clearly illustrates the fact that when men and nations walk in the fear of God and in obedience to His commandments, they prosper and grow, but when they disregard Him and His word, there comes a decay that, unless arrested by righteousness, leads to impotence and death. The Book of Mormon is an affirmation of the Old Testament proverb: “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov. 14:34).

“The God of heaven spoke to these people of the Americas through prophets, telling them where true security could be found: “Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ” (Ether 2:12).

“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).

“As I indicated earlier, at this season exactly 176 years ago the first edition of the Book of Mormon, which had been translated “by the gift and power of God” (Book of Mormon title page) was being set in type and run on a small press in Palmyra, New York. Its publication preceded and was a forerunner to the organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which took place on April 6, 1830.

“We studied the Book of Mormon in Sunday School this past year. Nonetheless I offer a challenge to members of the Church throughout the world and to our friends everywhere to read or reread the Book of Mormon…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.”

Hinckley (see link below)

          I can testify that the Book of Mormon definitely has brought an added measure of the Spirit into my life. That Spirit strengthens me to come unto Christ and follow Him with all my heart. I have loved making it a part of my daily study routine. I’m excited every day to open its pages and learn more, to become more, as I study its inspired words.

          I challenge you to do as Pres. Hinckley urged in 2005, and what every other prophet has urged us to do since then, to make the Book of Mormon part of your life. If you’ve just finished, start over. I enjoy choosing a new way to study it each time I begin again. I’ve read it quickly as a story. I’ve read it slowly, focusing deeply on verses to learn the doctrine). I’ve read and underlined every word that testifies of Christ (and my copy I did that in ended up being very RED). I’ve studied it by subject matter, reading out of order as I learn about faith, mercy, repentance, etc.  

          There are so many ways to study this book, to make each time special and meaningful. Pray about how to study it, and maybe God will nudge you to do it in a way that I haven’t covered, a way that will help you become the best YOU possible.

          Read, ponder, study, and repent. The Book of Mormon was written for us. Make it a part of your life today and always.

 ~~~

Resources:

Learn more and a get your own Free copy of the Book of Mormon here.

Gordon B. Hinckley, A Testimony Vibrant and True, Aug 2005

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