Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Book Review: The Book of Mormon

And it shall come in a day when the blood of saints shall cry unto the Lord, because of secret combinations and the works of darkness.Yea, it shall come in a day when the power of God shall be denied, and churches become defiled and be lifted up in the pride of their hearts; yea, even in a day when leaders of churches and teachers shall rise in the pride of their hearts, even to the envying of them who belong to their churches.
Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be heard of fires, and tempests, and vapors of smoke in foreign lands; And there shall also be heard of wars, rumors of wars, and earthquakes in divers place.
Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be great pollutions upon the face of the earth; there shall be murders, and robbing, and lying, and deceivings, and whoredoms, and all manner of abominations; when there shall be many who will say, Do this, or do that, and it mattereth not, for the Lord will uphold such at the last day. But wo unto such, for they are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity.
Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be churches built up that shall say: Come unto me, and for your money you shall be forgiven of your sins.
O ye wicked and perverse and stiffnecked people, why have ye built up churches unto yourselves to get gain? Why have ye transfigured the holy word of God, that ye might bring damnation upon your souls? Behold, look ye unto the revelations of God; for behold, the time cometh at that day when all these things must be fulfilled.
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.
- Mormon 8:27-35

This post will be a bit different from my previous book reviews. Last month in church while listening to several women bare their testimonies I made a goal to become a better person, specifically a better mother. This goal is constantly on my mind as I have been very humbled since becoming a mother. I made a list of things that I needed to accomplish and one of them was reading the Book of Mormon before Hannah's first birthday. Adam and I were just starting Alma together at the time and I decided I'd start over for my personal study. 50 days 531 pages. I've read the Book of Mormon about 5 or 6 times previously, each time proved to be a very unique experience depending on my life's circumstance. I've read it in different countries, different stages of life, and each time I read it, my testimony grows in a very specific and unique way. There have been three times particularly that have stood out in my mind

1) The first time I read it. I was in Jr. High. My dad and I read it together at 5:30 every morning. We'd each read every other verse out loud. After several months when we finally completed it, my dad told me to go and pray about it. He encouraged me to find out if it was true or not. After praying and studying and deliberating, I received a spiritual confirmation that it was indeed true.
2) 2005- President Hinkley's challenge: I read as a college student--who had been asked to marry her boyfriend (unofficially) several times. I didn't know what to do and I was lost. As I finished the scriptures, I once again prayed for confirmation to know that God was there and he loves me.
3) 2006- I read searching for references to Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon. Fun Fact: Some 101 appellations for Jesus are found in the 3,925 references to Christ in the Book of Mormon's 6,607 verses

This time around I didn't have a specific purpose, other than to help bring that special spirit into our home. I did find however, that because my goal was focused around Hannah and since I am a fairly recent mother I noticed how many times they talked about family, parenting, and children.

Reading it this time has been such a testament to me that the Book of Mormon was written for OUR DAY ABSOLUTELY! With all the dysfunctional families (Laman and Lemuel) wars and distentions, cunning and malice and amid all the heart ache and deceit the Lord protects His people, those who obey. He provides comfort and peace and the FAITH of these people in a Christ that had not even been born yet is so uplifting to me. I chose to quote Mormon 8:27-35 because I think it describes perfectly the world in which we live today.

I mourned at the destruction of the Nephites. For a book that begins with such a righteous prophet and ends with the wickedness of an entire nation that is his posterity is truly tragic. On the other hand, it also begins with Nephi's wicked brothers and we get to see the change of heart as the missionaries teach the Lamanites against the foolish traditions of their fathers and they accept Jesus Christ. It has taught me hope for those who have hardened their hearts against Christ that they may be changed. It has taught me to take care of my testimony and the testimony of my family because we are never safe from Satan and his power.

I know that the Book of Mormon is absolutely the word of God. That Moroni hid the plates and that Joseph Smith was led to them, that he translated the ancient record and that through mighty miracles the Church of Jesus Christ was restored on the earth.

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