I. An invitation from President Thomas S. Monson
Recently, President Thomas S. Monson spoke about the power of the Book of Mormon and “The critical need we have as members of this Church to study, ponder, and apply its teachings in our lives.”1 For me, it was significant to note that he directed his words directly at us, the members of the Church. It reminded me of Paul in his epistles to the Saints of the churches established in his missionary travels. Paul identified the members of the Church in Rome as “called of Jesus Christ . . .called to be saints.”2 Through President Monson, the Lord Jesus Christ today invites us to continue receiving His word, to apply it to ourselves, and to teach it to others. The presidency of the Caribbean Area joins with the Prophet inviting every person to read The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, daily and continually.
II. Study the Book of Mormon
President Ezra Taft Benson explained that there are three great reasons that the members should study The Book of Mormon during our life:
a. It is the keystone of our religion. The truth of the Church and of the work of Jesus Christ in this dispensation rests on its authenticity as the Word of God. President Benson says, “A keystone is the central stone in an arch. It holds all the other stones in place, and if removed, the arch crumbles.”3 He adds, it “is the keystone of our witness of Christ. It is the keystone of our doctrine. It is the keystone of testimony.”4
b. It was written for our day. Moroni declares, “Behold, the Lord hath shown unto me great and marvelous things concerning that which must shortly come, at that day when these things shall come forth among you. 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.”5
c. It helps us become closer to God. President Benson included the following quote: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”6
As we study The Book of Mormon, we can receive a sure witness of the truthfulness of this Church, we can know that Jesus Christ is watching over us and our families, and we can better understand the teachings of the Bible and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
III. Pondering the teachings of the Book of Mormon
One of Nephi’s experiences illustrates the principle of reflecting upon the scriptures. Saddened by iniquity and the siege of temptation, he wrote: “. . . my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them, and writeth them for the learning and profit of my children. Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard . . . notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works . . . my heart sorroweth because of my flesh . . . nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted. My God has been my support . . . he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the night-time . . . yea, my soul will rejoice in Thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation.”7
The result is that through reading the Book of Mormon, pondering, and praying, our perspective changes, and we progress spiritually. When we do this daily, for our whole lives, we will be able to see the blessings promised by President Monson: “. . . We will
be in a position to hear the voice of the Spirit, to resist temptation, to overcome doubt and fear, and to receive heaven’s help in our lives.”8
IV. Applying the teachings of the Book of Mormon in our lives
The Lord paid for our sins without having been a sinner Himself. He completed His atoning sacrifice for the love of Heavenly Father and of all His children. Yes, we sin from the age of accountability on,9 but when we come to know Jesus Christ and follow Him, we can receive forgiveness through our faith in Him and through true repentance. As Nephi said, “. . . Redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth. Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered . . . Wherefore, he is the firstfruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved.”10
1 General Conference, April, 2017, “The Power of the Book of Mormon,” President Thomas S. Monson.
2 Romans 1:6-7.
3 General Conference, October, 2011, “The Book of Mormon: The Keystone of Our Religion,” President Ezra Taft Benson.
5 Mormon 8:34-35.
6 Introduction to the Book of Mormon.
7 2 Nephi 4:15-23, 30.
8 General Conference, April, 2017, “The Power of the Book of Mormon,” President Thomas S. Monson.
9 See Moroni 8:22; D&C 68:27.
10 2 Nephi 2:6-7, 9.