~by Heather L.
I love the Book of Mormon.
I am so grateful that the young prophet, Joseph Smith, was given the assignment by God to translate the ancient American records we know as the Book of Mormon so that we could look to them for answers in our day.
I know that Joseph Smith must have received answers to his prayers as he did this important work. For example, Joseph faced a lot of persecution for his testimony that God and Jesus Christ appeared to him in a grove of trees. Imagine seeing such a vision and going to tell your pastor, then being ostracized from the very churches that the day before were vying for your membership. Here is how Joseph felt as recorded in his own words:
“I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation.” (Joseph Smith – History 1:25)
I imagine the comfort he must have felt as he read these words in the Book of Mormon about another prophet who went through similar experiences:
“And when the Jews heard these things they were angry with him; yea, even as with the prophets of old, whom they had cast out, and stoned, and slain; and they also sought his life, that they might take it away. But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance. (1 Nephi 1:19, 20)
Joseph was imprisoned over and over by mobs bent on his destruction, so I imagine the peace he gained reading the words of the Book of Mormon prophet Ether, or Mormon, or Moroni, all of whom were the last righteous men living of their people – the people they loved but who had forgotten God:
“My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever.” (Moroni 9:25)
I, too, have found answers to prayer within the pages of the Book of Mormon – comfort at the loss of a child, God’s reasons for being modest, reassurance that God is there for us even in our darkest hours, inspiration on how to cope with difficult co-workers, etc. Even ideas on how to run a football program! I will share some of these answers I received in future articles.
But you don’t have to wait, or take my word for it!
The prophet Moroni closed his writings in the Book of Mormon with the following promise to all of us:
“Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
“And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.”