Well this week I received a nickname, I am the Latinga, because I’m the only white girl who speaks in Spanish and hangs out with the Latinas. It’s because I don’t have a lot of time left here in Peru, and I don’t really want to waste my time knowing people that I can get to know after the mission when we assist the same school, I would rather get to know people from all over the world.
And on that note I would like to talk about the book of Mormon. Why? Well first off because Joseph Smith said it was the keystone to our religion when he explained “Si quitamos el Libro de Mormón y las revelaciones, ¿dónde queda nuestra religión? No tenemos nada” (Take away the Book of Mormon and the revelations, and where is our religion? We have nothing) so that is pretty important and it is so true.
Everyone is probably wondering why missionaries gain so much gospel knowledge on their mission and I can promise that it is because they read the book of Mormon. Something I have been able to see is that there is a lot of contention about the Book of Mormon, and as shared by one of my best friends the last week, in the 2nd book of Nephi, the 2nd chapter, and 11th verse says, "porque es preciso que haya una oposición en todas las cosas. ,..no se podría llevar a efecto la rectitud ni la iniquidad, ni tampoco la santidad ni la miseria, ni el bien ni el mal. De modo que todas las cosas necesariamente serían un solo conjunto;.." (For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, … righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad.)
As we have explained many times, there is much contention towards the church because there always needs to be opposition against something good, something from God. And as said by Jeffrey R Holland in the General Conference of October 2009 "In light of that, it has always been significant to me that the Book of Mormon, one of the Lord’s powerful keystones in this counteroffensive against latter-day ills, begins with a great parable of life, an extended allegory of hope versus fear, of light versus darkness, of salvation versus destruction—"
In this time I have received something more than a testimony of the book of Mormon, I have gained a love for this book, I know that it is truly from God and is here to help us and we can, every person in the world, can know that too if they just choose to read it with a real desire to know.
And I know that I’m not the only one who knows, many prophets and apostles have said and shared their testimonies of this book, two of the greatest shared by Jeffrey R Holland when he said,
"Love. Healing. Help. Hope. The power of Christ to counter all troubles in all times—including the end of times. That is the safe harbor God wants for us in personal or public days of despair. That is the message with which the Book of Mormon begins, and that is the message with which it ends, calling all to “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him.” That phrase—taken from Moroni’s final lines of testimony, written 1,000 years after Lehi’s vision—is a dying man’s testimony of the only true way.
May I refer to a modern “last days” testimony? When Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum started for Carthage to face what they knew would be an imminent martyrdom, Hyrum read these words to comfort the heart of his brother:
“Thou hast been faithful; wherefore … thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father.
“And now I, Moroni, bid farewell … until we shall meet before the judgment-seat of Christ.”
A few short verses from the 12th chapter of Ether in the Book of Mormon. Before closing the book, Hyrum turned down the corner of the page from which he had read, marking it as part of the everlasting testimony for which these two brothers were about to die. I hold in my hand that book, the very copy from which Hyrum read, the same corner of the page turned down, still visible. Later, when actually incarcerated in the jail, Joseph the Prophet turned to the guards who held him captive and bore a powerful testimony of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon. Shortly thereafter pistol and ball would take the lives of these two testators... In this their greatest—and last—hour of need, I ask you: would these men blaspheme before God by continuing to fix their lives, their honor, and their own search for eternal salvation on a book (and by implication a church and a ministry) they had fictitiously created out of whole cloth?
Never mind that their wives are about to be widows and their children fatherless. Never mind that their little band of followers will yet be “houseless, friendless and homeless” and that their children will leave footprints of blood across frozen rivers and an untamed prairie floor. Never mind that legions will die and other legions live declaring in the four quarters of this earth that they know the Book of Mormon and the Church which espouses it to be true. Disregard all of that, and tell me whether in this hour of death these two men would enter the presence of their Eternal Judge quoting from and finding solace in a book which, if not the very word of God, would brand them as imposters and charlatans until the end of time? They would not do that! They were willing to die rather than deny the divine origin and the eternal truthfulness of the Book of Mormon."
We all have this wonderful opportunity to know the truthfulness of this Book, we all can get closer to God through its divine power,
"For 179 years this book has been examined and attacked, denied and deconstructed, targeted and torn apart like perhaps no other book in modern religious history—perhaps like no other book in any religious history. And still it stands. Failed theories about its origins have been born and parroted and have died—from Ethan Smith to Solomon Spaulding to deranged paranoid to cunning genius. None of these frankly pathetic answers for this book has ever withstood examination because there is no other answer than the one Joseph gave as its young unlearned translator. In this I stand with my own great-grandfather, who said simply enough, “No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so"
I testify that this book can bring the Salvation of man, that it was written by a prophet of God and that by the hand of God it was protected for more than 2000 years from the time it was beginning to be written to the time that God felt the world was ready and in need of these revelations. I know that this book is the keystone of our religion and that by its power we can know the Plan that God has for us in this life, we can find the comfort we need and we can truly know His ministries, I know it can change your life, and I know there are lots of you reading this blog who don’t know these blessings of the gospel, you have shared with me (or my mom) your love and concern and I hope you can feel the love I have for every one of you, you can give it a shot, just see of who it speaks of and what it teaches.
I love you all so much.