Editor’s note: This is our second post in our series where members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints share about what The Book of Mormon means to them. You can read the first post in our series here: “The Book of Mormon…was meant for me“. Today, Amanda shares some of thoughts, posted with permission. You can read her entire blog post here.
I haven’t always been an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I was proud and selfish, into doing my own thing and trying more worldly ways. Granted the world has some ways that are fun but always left me feeling hollow and a bit lost by the end of the day. I began to feel my spirit was a great chasm of darkness. I felt lost.
Oddly enough, through this lonely road of exploration, I always felt there was a God, He loved me, and I continued to pray daily to Him. I felt His Spirit here and there. Then one day, I couldn’t feel His presence in my life at all. I knew I had hit rock bottom. I wasn’t wild (i.e. into drugs or drinking or those types of things). I just was into what I wanted not what He did. I felt the loss of Him in my life so poignantly, it made me ache inside.
A trusted local Institute teacher encouraged Amanda to go talk to her bishop to get his counsel on how to get her life back in order. He invited her to do many things, such as pray, read her scriptures, surround herself with good friends, go to church, read good books. She says this:
I had a hard time with the going to church thing because I felt so different from everyone there. So I started with reading the scriptures. I had never read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover before. I began reading a verse a day and then felt like my spirit was starving for what was within the pages of the Book of Mormon. I then not just feasted, but devoured the words. I let them sink into my mind and envelop my aching soul. The words within its pages, the stories, the guidance and insight were a balm to my broken and contrite spirit. I found healing and a new found respect for myself.
I began reading it aloud with my grandmother so I could share this new found joy with someone I loved. We fell in love with the Book of Mormon together. I cherish those precious days with my Nonna. I may have already been a member of the church but I was finally a convert. My Nonna also become one but in the more literal sense and was baptized at the age of 71.
I also began to study the New Testament and became more familiar with our Savior’s teachings in both The Book of Mormon and the Bible. I could see so clearly how they complement and support each other as works of scripture and testaments of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, and his teachings to all people. I felt His and our Heavenly Father’s love working in my life. I felt a return of the Holy Spirit. My heart began to fill with true joy and peace. The void, the chasm was filled with God’s light and love; So much so, it was over flowing and I felt compelled to share it with others and chose to serve a full time mission. Sure I have struggled with trials and temptations since that period of conversion but there is nothing the world has to offer that can even compare to the greatness of God’s approval and comfort. I know God lives. He loves me. He loves you. We are His beloved children. He wants to fill our lives and hearts with His love and guidance. All we need do is turn to Him.
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I love Amanda’s testimony! Thank you for sharing.