Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mission Letter – May 5, 2014

Dear missionaries,

From Preach My Gospel we read (p. 103):

“The Book of Mormon is powerful evidence of the divinity of Christ. It is also

proof of the Restoration through the Prophet Joseph Smith. An essential part of

conversion is receiving a witness from the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is

true. As a missionary, you must first have a personal testimony that the Book of

Mormon is true. This testimony can lead to a deep and abiding faith in the power of

the Book of Mormon during the conversion process. Have confidence that the Holy

Ghost will testify to anyone who reads and ponders the Book of Mormon and asks

God if it is true with a sincere heart, real intent, and faith in Christ. This witness of

the Holy Ghost should be a central focus of your teaching.”

President Ezra Taft Benson taught this important principle relating to the Book of

“It is not just that the Book of Mormon teaches us truth, though it indeed does that.

It is not just that the Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ, though it indeed

does that, too. But there is something more. There is a power in the book which

will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the

book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to

avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The

scriptures are called “the words of life” (D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true

than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those

words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance.”

I love the fact that if we make the study of the Book of Mormon and as we live by

the precepts that are found therein, we will receive power. This power will allow

us to become more powerful and effective teachers of the word of God. This power

will help us in becoming the disciples that will follow Christ not only during our

missions but throughout our lives.

Remember the words of Elder Holland speaking as if the Lord were speaking to

Peter after He asked him if He loved Him? “What I need, Peter, are disciples—and

I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need

someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me,

truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me

to do.” Becoming such disciples will be accomplished through diligent study of the

Book of Mormon.

We will have power to fight temptation; we will have power to be closer to the

source of inspiration and revelation; we will have power to avoid deception and yes,

it is all around us and we must not be deceived by anyone – lest we are left alone,

even the very elect may be deceived; we will have the power to stay on the straight

and narrow path; and we will have a hunger and thirst for pure knowledge as it

begins to pour upon us when we read this great book.

I ask that we each begin a spiritual journey as we read and study the Book of

Mormon together for the next 90 days. Keep the things you are taught in your

journals so that we can share what we felt and learned from the Spirit during our

next zone conference in the Summer.

I challenge all of us to receive a powerful witness and a love for the Book of Mormon

so that it may be the source of spiritual strength needed by God’s warriors. It will

sustain us and it will be a blessing in our lives not just now but forever.

I invite us all to make the study of the Book of Mormon a lifelong pursuit and let

it then change who we fundamentally are and become more like God wants us to

I love the Book of Mormon. I first read it’s sacred pages as a very young boy. I

learned the stories found therein as a young child from my mother. I felt safe sitting

on her knee or kneeling on the ground as she enriched our lives by the principles

taught therein. I can still remember the warmth I felt as my young imagination

took me on many journeys with Nephi, Jacob, the sons of Mosiah, Helaman’s young

warriors. The terror I felt for Mormon and his son Moroni, for Abinadi as he sealed

his testimony while being burned alive; or for Alma and Abinadi as they saw the

Saints being burned alive. I could feel the wonder of it all as God delivered His

servants over and over and over again – the sons of Mosiah, Nephi and his brother

Lehi. At the sadness and disappointment I felt for those who would not obey God’s

commandments. Greatest of all, I felt myself walking up to the Savior when He

appeared to His people at the temple. I felt my small finger lovingly touch the

wounds in His hands and His feet and His side and wondered “who would ever do

such a thing?” and “why would He let them do it?” After many years of studying

this great book, these stories are part of me, of who I am and I now have a greater

comprehension to the questions I posed to myself - who could do such a thing and

why would He let them do it!

Yes, my fellow missionaries. I received a witness of this great book at a very young

age and I testify of the staying power it has provided me throughout my lifetime as it

will be for each of you. I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON!

I testify to all of the truths found therein. Thanks be to God for His mercy and love

He has for each one of us and for the great privilege I have to have such a book!

President Alba

No comments:

Post a Comment