Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Book of Mormon: Why I Love It.

*I hope the following post isn't too churchy, I just feel like I need to share my thoughts about something very important to me.





I finished reading the Book of Mormon again today. It's not the first time I've read it, nor will it be the last. But this time through did mean more to me than some of the others. Sometimes I think I take the book for granted. I grew up reading its passages. Sometimes my reading is more out of habit or duty than real desire. But this time was different.

This time, I started reading it when we were in the middle of a stressful time in our lives. This time, I really hungered for answers and comfort. And that is most definitely what I found. President Ezra Taft Benson has said that there is a power in the Book of Mormon that will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of it. I know that that is true.

When I read the Book of Mormon, I receive a power that is beyond my own to deal with life’s problems. That power is manifest in the little things–like having more patience with my kids– and in the big things, like when Brad lost his job this summer.

I don’t claim to be the Queen of Trials. I know there are many more trials that we can and probably will go through. I know people who have dealt with much tougher things than we have, and they stand as strong examples to me. But in our little sphere, the adversity of this summer was the hardest we have had to withstand up to this point in our lives–more than dealing with our infertility and illnesses, more than dealing with broken bones and broken dreams. And there were two things that saved me from hiding in bed everyday and never coming out. Two things that gave me faith and hope and strength and even the ability to find joy in the midst of it all. Those two things were the Book of Mormon and the Temple. Strangely enough, it was the Book of Mormon that guided me to the temple.

Over and over in the Book of Mormon I found examples of people in trials. And over and over the Lord reminded them of their covenants with Him. The Lord does not forget His Covenant People! He will not forsake them. That doesn’t mean we won’t have trials. But He does give us power to overcome–and even triumph over–our trials.

One of the most poignant examples of that lesson for me is found in Mosiah, Chapter 24. I think I read this scripture block every day for about three months, just to remind myself that the Lord does keep his promises. Alma and his people were just trying to live the gospel. Unfortunately, Amulon, a former priest with Alma, had gained favor with the Lamanite king, and made their lives a living heck. Amulon and his cronies began persecuting Alma and his people, and treated them as slaves. He threatened them with death if they even prayed.

Mosiah 24: 12 "And Alma and his people did not raise their voices to the Lord their God, but did pour out their hearts to him; and he did know the thoughts of their hearts.

13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.

14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their cafflictions.

15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord."

The Lord kept his promises with Alma and his people, and He kept his promises with my family. Even when we were being mistreated and betrayed, the Spirit of the Lord came to us and lifted us up and lightened our burdens, and I think that peace and protection has everything to do with the covenants we have made.

There is a protecting power in our covenants. Again, from the Book of Mormon, we learn more. Speaking of those who had made the same covenants we have made, Ammon says,

Alma 26: 6 Yea, they shall not be beaten down by the storm at the last day; yea, neither shall they be harrowed up by the whirlwinds; but when the storm cometh they shall be gathered together in their place, that the storm cannot penetrate to them; yea, neither shall they be driven with fierce winds whithersoever the enemy listeth to carry them.


7 But behold, they are in the hands of the Lord of the harvest, and they are his; and he will raise them up at the last day."

I am so thankful for a Savior who knows how to succor His people. I’m so thankful that He does not leave us comfortless. And I’m so thankful for a book written for our day--the Book of Mormon--that reminds us of these things, and brings us closer to Him.


8 comments:

  1. This post was definitely not too churchy. It was perfect. I loved reading about your experiences and your sweet testimony. I had no idea things were so traumatic for you guys this summer. I am sorry! Your testimony is really beautiful. So are you. Love ya, Sal.

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  2. This post was perfect! I too have felt the same way about the BoM, especially during the last almost 2 yrs of our lives where we have been tried with loss of job, and many other trials that have seemed harder than anything before. I feel like I'm exactly in sync with your thoughts at the moment. You wrote your testimony of this out so well- I'm never good at writing my thoughts down and having them make sense. Interesting, I just finished reading through that section of Mosiah again, and was really finding it more interesting and comforting than I have in the past. Thanks for your thoughts Sally! :)

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  3. Thanks for sharing, Sal. I loved reading your testimony of the Book of Mormon and of the Lord supporting His people in their trials.

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  4. Thanks for sharing your testimony of the Book of Mormon. 2009 was a tough year for us as well. I know that reading the Book of Mormon and going to the temple can only help me to feel better! Those are two things I hope to do more of this year! It is amazing how uplifted one can feel after reading the Book of Mormon. I am grateful for it! I am glad you were able to find peace, comfort and guidance through your trials this past year, Sal. I'm sorry that you suffered but it sounds like you came out of it a stronger person!

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  5. What an awesome testimony. And what a blessing to have that testimony to sustain you through hard times. Sometimes I look around and wonder how people survive without the power of the gospel in their lives. I know I couldn't!

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  6. Anonymous12:13 AM

    Sal-O-Mal: One of the billion reasons why I love her. Love, MOM

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