Topic : God

"And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." (Moroni 10:4-5)

“Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfill all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.” (3 Nephi 1:13)

I was born in Salt Lake City and raised in the Mormon Church. I never doubted that the Gospel and the Book of Mormon were true. I always believed that Jesus Christ was my Savior and my friend.
However, as a married adult I lived in various parts of California and Illinois, and listened to newly baptized members of my church bearing testimony of The Book of Mormon with great emotion. I began to hunger to feel the same. I believed what they believed. What was different?
So at the age of twenty-seven, without telling anyone, I decided to accept Moroni’s challenge. I didn’t think I needed to ask if The Book of Mormon was true; I already thought it was. But after putting my two small children to bed, I began praying and humbly asking Heavenly Father that I might have my own personal witness of the truthfulness of the book.
Night after night I prayed diligently before reading The Book of Mormon. Days turned into weeks and weeks into months. I felt increasingly spiritual and I began experiencing new understanding and knowledge through praying and reading with real intent. When I read the account of Helaman, my heart was troubled and sorrowful for the Nephites and the contention and evil that existed among them. I felt compassion and great respect for Helaman, Nephi, and Lehi, and the steadfastness of their constant pleas for the people to repent. I was overwhelmed with the courage of Alma during his missionary experiences, and the courage of Samuel the Lamanite prophesying and calling the people to repentance. I began feeling I was there!
When a day was set for Samuel’s believers to be put to death, my heart was pounding and I felt their fear, but also rejoiced in their faith. Tears dropped on my cheeks.
When I read Jesus’ words to them, “Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world,” my whole body was burning, and I received my own personal manifestation of many truths through the power of the Holy Ghost. I now knew, did not just believe, that Jesus is my Savior and King. I knew that The Book of Mormon is true.
I can still testify of that with great emotion, the emotion for which I had hungered. While reading the Book of Mormon, I have time and again been blessed with personal revelation, light, and understanding from my Father in Heaven.

"Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things." (Jacob 4:7)

I believe that the Book of Mormon is a true book. I know that Heavenly Father has put us here for a wonderful purpose in these hard times. I know that most think that our mistakes will last forever, that we can never be forgiven, and that Heavenly Father has turned his gaze from us.
However, I know that God loves us. Whatever we do here, despite our mistakes, or being judged or bullied, God will stand by us and love us all the same.
He loves us and watches us, and he forgives us, and I know that with every fiber of my heart.

"Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God." (Ether 12:41)

Reading this scripture comforts me. It reminds me of the power of God. It tells me that with belief, hope, and faith I can anchor my soul, be steadfast, and make a difference with good works. When I am discouraged, it reminds me that by trusting in God we can all with surety hope for a better world.
I love the Book of Mormon. The stories tell me how to live and love. They bring me hope beyond the moment. The stories testify of Christ, his redeeming power, and his great love for each individual. The teachings of the prophet remind me not to judge. They convince me that it is never too late for me or others to turn to righteousness, and therein find light and happiness. No matter what circumstance we find ourselves in, our Heavenly Father loves each of us and desires our happiness.

"And I have been supported under trials and troubles of every kind, yea, and in all manner of afflictions; yea, God has delivered me from prison, and from bonds, and from death; yea, and I do put my trust in him, and he will still deliver me." (Alma 36:27 )

Let me start by saying I believe God and Jesus Christ are two separate people, and they love and care for us and will help us through our trials. The above scripture is my favorite in the Book of Mormon. This last year has been one of the most trying times of my life. When I read the Book of Mormon it seems to give me a push in the right direction and inspiration to go on with my day. The Book of Mormon has touched not only my life, but the lives of people around me. I never learned the true meaning of the Book of Mormon until I had gone through the trials of my life. I know that when my dad was 14, he knew the Book of Mormon was true. I am now 14 and I know that the Book of Mormon is true and it touches the lives of so many people around me. The Holy Ghost touched my heart and told me these things after I had prayed about them. My favorite religious teacher told me that when we search and understand something in the Book of Mormon, we understand something more about God. I know that we can grow closer to our God in heaven if we read the Book of Mormon.

"And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer" (Enos 1:4-10)

My soul hungered. My legs were burning from the climb. A moment’s rest at the top of the mountain was a needed reprieve. Beads of sweat pooled where my bicycle helmet met my forehead. Behind me I glimpsed the hair pin curves and twists of the narrow asphalt road exposed between the openings in the dense pines and oaks.

The view was spectacular, but my mind was elsewhere. During the arduous press up the incline, the words I had read were stirring deep in my heart. A seventeen year old boy raised in the Mormon faith, I had often heard my parents speak of the joy of the saints. I wanted to know with greater surety of the things of God. My heart was filled with desire for assurance and conviction of what I had been taught and what I hoped and professed to believe. I had felt God’s love for me and felt he cared when I prayed to him. Jesus’ teachings in the Bible were profound and brought out the best in me. My desire was to ask God about something else: the Book of Mormon.

I remembered the story of Enos, a hunter. He had been out hunting in the forest. Like me, he reflected on what his father had taught him and was filled with desire. Like him, I decided to pray. Climbing a large boulder and kneeling in the moss, I vocalized my desire to know what I believed to be true. I cried out for help. I pleaded for God to help me be a better person. I wrestled with the intensity of my soul, a wrestle that did not fully begin that day or end that day. I felt the love of God. My faith in Him and His Son grew. I trembled with the distinct knowledge of his love for me.

Like Enos, I turned my thoughts to others, and I knew of God’s love for all mankind, for each of his children. I felt strongly that God loves each one individually and I prayed for my family, my friends, and then for those I did not know, and finally for those I didn’t even like.

My conviction of the Book of Mormon solidified. I felt the truth of that book. God had given answer to the desire of my soul. I did not see angels, I did not hear a voice, but I felt deeply of God’s concern for me.

My journey that day had been a hunt that brought me nearer to God. Life is full of twists and turns and mountains to climb, replete with highs and lows, pain and joy, and sorrows and happiness. I still have much to learn and I still make mistakes. I know better that God cares about me, and that the story of Enos’s hunt in the Book of Mormon brought me closer to Him. My journey in life remains a hunt that draws me nearer to God.