In our ward and Stake, a challenge was given out to read the Book of Mormon. For the ward, we did it for our Latter Day Pioneer Challenge and the Stake challenged us to read the entire book by Stake Conference in August. I finished reading the Book of Mormon for these challenges yesterday and went back and forth on whether or not I would say anything about it. On the Con side, I am exposing myself for criticism, mockery and/or a few people rolling their eyes on my spiritual posts. On the Pro side, I always post my review for any of the books that I read. This was a HUGE goal of mine that I wanted to do it specifically with the Young Women. I am a huge believer in leading by example. I also know that a few YW read my blog and I am trying to teach them to never let anyone or anything hold you back on bearing your testimony and feelings of the church. I also remember reading in the July Ensign that Russell M Ballard encouraged us to talk about the church, the Book of Mormon and our testimonies on our blogs so the world can see the positive and as "accurate" as I can recall principles of the church. So, now that I have layed everything out on that, here we go on my review:
I love reading the Book of Mormon. I love the stories and the principles of this book that all center around the Savior, Jesus Christ. I love that there are very simplistic concepts and also very complex concepts that I have to study out and think about. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I believe in it and I want to live my life according to my beliefs. I found this quote that was attributed to Joan of Arc is as follows: ” Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing, nevertheless they give up their lives to that little or nothing. One life is all we have, and we live it as we believe in living it, and then it’s gone. But to surrender what you are, and live without belief–that’s more terrible than dying–more terrible than dying young.” [Maxwell Anderson, Joan of Lorraine, act 2]
My belief and understanding of the Creation, the fall and the Atonement of the Savior has given me a very clear knowledge as to why I am here, where I am going and what I am here to do with this life. I want a life full of love, humility, service, forgiveness, charity, prayer and most importantly, my family.
I have been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints my entire life. I can honestly say that my "change of heart" happened about 18 months ago. I have often shared that my conversion was like the story of the blind man in the New Testament. In John 9, it talks about Jesus made clay and annointed a blind man's eyes and told him to wash his eyes in the pool of Siloam and he received sight. He had been blind his entire life! The Phariseees become very upset because the miracle was performed on a Sunday and by a man that they wanted to prove as a sinner. They interviewed his parents and people that knew the blind man and asked them how this possibly could have happened? Finally they ask the blind man himself.
They started asking him where Jesus is and he answers him "I know not; one thing I know, that, whereas, I was blind, now I see." I don't know why this one line hits me so hard but I know that it hits me at a core level. I think for myself, when people ask me how I know the church is true, or how do I know that the Book of Mormon is true, or why do I live me life in my church bubble, I always think back to the blind man. I know because before for my most of my life, I was spiritually blind, and now I see. I see the hand in God in every creation, moment and action. I can feel the difference in when the spirit is with me and when the spirit withdraws. I do not have literal proof of the Savior other than my own personal eyes have been opened and that was all I needed to remember Him and who I am.
Reading the Book of Mormon is life changing. I have found answers to my prayers, comfort and peace when I read it. If you have not read the Book of Mormon recently, I highly suggest it. I know that reading the Book of Mormon was part of my personal miracle of being able to see. It is interesting that after the blind man could not provide proof of where the Savior was and after he bore his testimony on Jesus being "If this man were not of God, he could do nothing" and then was cast out, he had a visitation from the Savior. He then tells the Lord "I believe" and he worshippled him. How awesome would it be to have a strong testimony to never deny the things that we have "seen" and read in the Book of Mormon and then one day be able to see the Savior himself and fall at his feet to worship him and rejoice "I belive!"