My dear friends,
This past weekend I was blessed to sit in a chapel with an apostle of the Lord, two of the Lord’s seventies, and approximately 250 full-time missionaries. I will not soon forget that experience. I want to share another gift that I am bringing home from my mission, deepened and fortified by that conference.
Gift 7: An understanding of the Book of Mormon keystone of our conversion to Jesus Christ
On Saturday, in answer to a missionary’s question, Elder D. Todd Christofferson read D&C 4:4 which states, "For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul", and then asked "what is your sickle?"
"It’s the Book of Mormon," he answered. "If you want to harvest, you will learn to use this tool. It tells you who’s ready and who’s not. If they won’t read and pray about it, they’ll never become converted." A lightbulb came on for me at that. It hit me powerfully, and I’ve been reflecting on it since. It’s so important! I can’t believe I had forgotten. We work so hard to help people understand the doctrines and principles of the Gospel as we teach them, and I had forgotten that none of that matters if they aren’t reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. It is the keystone of our religion, the foundation of our testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It is absolutely essential to our conversion today.
Elder Holland taught, "I testify that one cannot come to full faith in this latter-day work—and thereby find the fullest measure of peace and comfort in these, our times—until he or she embraces the divinity of the Book of Mormon and the Lord Jesus Christ, of whom it testifies."
I have recommitted myself as a missionary to drink daily from its pages, and to bear testimony of it in every encounter as we "invite others to come unto Christ". I’m excited! I’m so excited.
I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know it. I love it. 2 Nephi 33 is one of my favorite passages of scripture. It is Nephi’s final testimony of the record he was commanded by the Lord to write. It is written to us.
10 And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good.
11 And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye—for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness.
I have to put one final unrelated note in here, and then I have to go!
Cassidy Williams, I want you to know how incredibly proud of you I am. I had no idea what I was looking at for about a solid minute as I read your reception invitation. I couldn’t recognize you from your profile picture, and nothing was registering until I turned it to the back and saw your face. "IT’S MY SISTER!" I shouted, and just kept shouting and cheering for about ten minutes. I was so happy, and am so happy for you. =) I know that you and your husband will be blessed forever. I am so proud of you. I love you so much. =)
My dear friends, this Gospel is true. Jesus Christ lives. He is returning. Let us be ready to receive Him. Don’t wait. Please, don’t wait. It is coming so soon. Become converted to Christ and His restored Gospel.
I love you. I pray for you. I will see you all too soon.