The Book of Mormon Changed my Life!!!!
(I Know the Book of Mormon is the Word of God)
|Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission Newsletter March 1997 "The Finishers" Strength in Unity President's Message The Book of Mormon Changed my Life!!!! (I Know the Book of Mormon is the Word of God)|
My Mother gave me my first copy of the Book of Mormon when I was about eight years old. She told me it was a very important book and invited me to read it. So, I first read the Book of Mormon while I was fairly young. I didn't learn very much, but I did feel good.
I next read it in 1965 as a young missionary. My trainer was Elder Fletcher from Lethbridge, Alberta. We lived in a very small, humble cabin on the outskirts of Albuquerque, New Mexica. We rode bicycles searching for elect Spanish speakers.
Every free minute of those first few weeks in Albuquerque were spent reading the Book of Mormon. I couldn't read it fast enough!
The part that touched me most was the account of the Savior blessing the little children. He loved them so much! Angels came and blessed them. Tears streamed down my face. I grew spiritually and still remember that special feeling as Jesus tenderly blessed the little children. My heart was softening. Good feeling.
Because of this and other experiences, I knew the Book of Mormon was a true book of God. I read the Book of Mormon another three or four times during my mission. Much was learned and felt.
From 1967, when the mission was finished, until 1987, I read the Book of Mormon another twenty times or so. I learned much about the gospel and my Savior. But, I didn't get the whole message. I understood the words and knew all the stories, but much of the light eluded me for years. I didn't even know it. Thought I knew it all. Knew little.
As I read the glorious spiritual experiences of prophets and others, I realized there was more to the gospel than I then had. For several years before 1987, I prayed sincerely for righteous desires.
I had been a stake missionary, a Seventy's quorum president, a stake mission president, a seminary teacher, a bishop, a stake high councilor, and was then in a stake presidency. I felt there was more, but where, how? My day of penticost, future yet.
I've listed callings to show that church position and a strong testimony do not indicate you know the Lord. There is more, much more when you know how to find Him. The precepts of this Book will get you closer to God than any other book. There is hope for all. You can get closer to him!
In May of 1987, a general authority came to stake conference. During the Saturday evening session, he told me how to find what I had been searching for. Probably no one else heard what I heard. Precious answers to countless prayers!
He talked of Nephi's desire to see and hear and know for himself of the Tree of Life (1 Nephi 10:16) [this must be wrong... he must have meant 1 Nephi 10-16, or 1 Nephi 10:17]. He spoke of D&C 76:116-119, the Lord grants to some the privilege of seeing and knowing for themselves while in the flesh. Knowledge growing!
He talked of spiritual plateaus. To get to the top, pray to have sent into our lives whatever it takes to be sanctified. Be prepared for whatever comes, from any source. He told us to keep all commandments, immediately act on every righteous impulse, and study consecration, purification, and sanctification in the topical guide. Desire intense!
I started immediately to study the scriptures and pray. That night my prayer was aloud. The spirit was overwhelming. After years of searching, I had found the way to peace and rest. Joy growing!
I pondered the scriptures like never before, especially the Book of Mormon. One night I studied 2 Nephi 31-33. I saw that I was in the dark. As I studied and prayed more intently, I came to know how revelation works. Every gospel truth was reconfirmed in a marvelous way. Light and truth replaced darkness. The pure love of Christ filled me with unspeakable joy. I came to know Jesus Christ. You can do it too! That book is true!
Our testimony and experiences with the Book of Mormon are extremely powerful to cause our brothers and sisters to feel its spirit and power. They will know it is true and accept the saving ordinances as we testify and share personal experiences with it more and more and more.
President G. Craig Potter
Stages of Spiritual Progression, (based on President Potter's Message)
1) THE INVITATION: "didn't learn very much but I did feel good."
- Read, through the invitation of another
- Experiment on the word [Alma 32]
2) TESTIMONY: Softening Heart, "good feeling", "tears streamed down my face" Because of these feelings the person knows that the Church is true.
- Read and pray with an open heart
3) KNOWLEDGE: "much was learned and felt", "Thought I knew it all, knew little"
- Aditional readings
- Learned meanings of the words and the stories
- Begin to gain knowledge of gospel principles
4) AWAKENING: Realization that there is more. "Solid testimony of ALL gospel principles" "my day of penatcost future yet"
- Pray for righteous desires [see DESIRE]
- Live every commandment to the best of my ability
5) DESIRE TO KNOW FOR HIMSELF: Wants to know as the prophets knew.... like Nephi he wants to have those special experiences for himself. "knowledge growing"
- 1 Nephi 10-16
- D&C 76:116-119
6) REACHING TOWARD THE TOP: "Desire intense!" "peace rest" "joy growing" "spirit overwhelming"
- Pray for whatever it takes to be sanctified
- Keep ALL the commandments
- Immediately act on EVERY righteous impulse
- Study Consecration, Purification, and Sanctification in the Topical Guide
- Pray aloud
7) KNOWING JESUS CHRIST:
- Pondered the scriptures
- 2 Nephi 31-33
- Realize that you are in the dark, [comp. Joseph Smith experience]
- Prayed studied intently
- Came to know how revelation works
- Reconfirmation of Gospel truth [through this new medium of revelation I would assume]
- Light replaced darkness
- Filled with the pure love of Christ [See Moroni 7]