Mission Letter – May 5, 2014
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!