I have read the Book of Mormon several times in my life and always believed in it. This time was different, however. For the first time in my life I can say that I am truly converted to it. I don't know what was so different this time, but I am so grateful that I stuck with it (even though I was about 40 pages behind most days!). Here are several things that stood out to me:
- The importance of my baptism. I think we take this for granted when we are baptized at 8, and think of it only as a "first step". It is so much than that. It is the "salvation step" and the true message of the entire book.
- The importance of conversion and missionary work. Every time someone was truly converted, they manifested it in missionary work. The LDS church is truly a church of conversion.
- The gathering of Israel. Christ will redeem his people. The work will go forth and the good guys will win, end of story. The only question is will we remain faithful and obedient to God. Thank you 2Nephi. Though I still dread the Isaiah chapters, you were a revelation to me this time.
- The words of the Savior. I should read 3Nephi every day of my life! Repentance, love, charity, goodness, virtue. How simple is his message. I also love the passage where the Savior prays for the people 3Nephi 17:20 "Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full."
- My Temple covenants. Thanks to Alma 12 I will never look at a temple session the same way.
- The words of Mormon and Moroni. Warrior poets.
- Revenge is no good. A very timely message for me and my family. Just look at the Jaredites.
- The Atonement. An always timely message. Moroni 7:28-"For He hath answered the ends of the law, and he claimeth all those who have faith in Him; and they who have faith in him will cleave unto every good thing; wherefore He advocateth the cause of the children of men; and He dwelleth eternally in the Heavens." Everything in the Book of Mormon points to Christ and his Atonement.
- Importance of freedom in the promised land. If our cause is righteous, and if we are willing to fight for it and remember the captivity of our fathers, God will grant us to live in freedom.
- This life is a probationary state and we will be judged by our works. We can get caught up in everything else but that is the simple fact and purpose of this life. Mormon 9:28 "Be wise in the days of your probabtion. Strip yourselves of all uncleanness."
I have truly feasted on the Book of Mormon this summer and am so glad for the Holy Ghost that witnesses the truth of it to me. When I read it, everything is better. I am the best version of myself. I am so grateful for Joseph Smith, and I truly believe he was a prophet of God. I am grateful for my Savior who redeems me daily. Ether 12:41 "And now, I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written...that the grace of God may be and abide in you forever."
Any of you interested in taking this challenge can find it at : http://lds.about.com/library/bl/aids/aids2/bk_bom_reading.pdf