3 Essential Things to ‘Come Unto Christ’ and Experience the Book of Mormon

I want to shout to the world the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. It testifies of Christ, His resurrection and His infinite and eternal atoning sacrifice for each of us. There is not a greater gift in all eternity. Why, then, should we not seek to learn more about Jesus Christ? “Why not speak of the atonement of Christ, and attain to a perfect knowledge of him, as to attain to the knowledge of a resurrection and the world to come?”[1]

In upstate New York, 195 years ago this fall, the Book of Mormon was set in type and run on a press.[2] In the year 2029 it will be 200 years since that marvelous book was made available for us to read. As I see it, there are three major factors I’d like to address which are necessary for us to experience the Book of Mormon and, thus, come closer to Jesus Christ.

First, we need to know how to read. Education is essential. “The glory of God is intelligence.”[3] Men and women teach their children. There are countries in Africa and other places in the world where education is limited, particularly to women. But the women need to know how to read. If they can read the scriptures, they can teach their children. Education is an essential and necessary part of our eternal progression.

Thankfully, technology allows us to listen to scriptures. Isaiah prophesied, the deaf would hear and the blind would see the words of books in the future.[4] Voice recordings and braille, and modern technology allows the blind to see and the deaf to hear. Technology allows each of us to read or listen to the Book of Mormon online or on an app or search up verses of scripture in an instant. There are warnings, however, about the use of some technologies.

Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles warned, “While generative artificial intelligence may be quick to offer information, it can never replace revelation or generate truth from God.”[5]

Elder David A. Bednar, also of the Quorum of the Twelve, has warned:

Please do not allow the supposed accuracy, speed, and ease of modern technologies to entice you to avoid or circumvent the righteous work that invites into your life the blessings you will need. …there are no spiritual shortcuts or quick fixes. 

Always remember that ongoing conversion unto the Lord requires focus and sustained work.[6]

Second, we need to experience the Book of Mormon for ourselves. When Christ showed himself to the Nephites following His resurrection, he had the people go forth one-by-one to touch and handle him so they would know for themselves.[7] There were 2,500 people there. Elder Michael T. Ringwood of the Seventy said of this:

Have you ever wondered how long it took for each of them to come forward and feel for themselves? If it took five seconds for each person to experience this, Christ stood there for three-and-a-half hours. If it took 10 seconds he was there for seven hours. Yet He was willing to do that because He knows that each of us has to know for ourselves.[8]

Elder Ringwood then added:

Christ could have asked Nephi to come forth and feel the nail mark in His hands and feet and then to let everyone else know via twitter, Instagram and Facebook, but He didn’t. Some things are not to be experienced vicariously.[9]

Lastly, it is imperative for our own salvation to “feast upon the words of Christ”[10] and not get distracted. President Ezra Taft Benson (1899-1994) once said, “Every Latter-day Saint should make the study of this Book a lifetime pursuit, otherwise, he is placing his soul in jeopardy and neglecting that which could give spiritual and intellectual unity to his whole life.”[11]

It is easy to find other things to do. Let’s not get distracted. Distraction is the enemy of progression. Besides, the adversary is skilled at twisting and ruining pure doctrine.[12]

President Russell M. Nelson offered this warning and pleading:

Pray to discern between God’s laws and the philosophies of men, including those cunning counterfeits of the adversary. Through eons of time, Lucifer has honed his craft. He is skilled at distraction, distortion, deception, and misdirection. I plead with you to avoid his cunning snares as you would avoid a plague![13]

Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge of the Seventy, discussed the realities of “an entire universe of distractions” during this “day of deception.” He observed, “Never has there been more information, misinformation, and disinformation; more goods, gadgets, and games; and more options, places to go, and things to see and do to occupy time and attention away from what is most important.”[14]

One of the greatest ways to avoid deception and anchor our minds and souls to Christ is to hold fast to the pure doctrine found in the Book of Mormon. I promise, that as we continue to learn and educate ourselves,[15] make a great effort to “daily sup from [the] pages [of the Book of Mormon] and abide by its precepts,”[16] and “feast upon the words of Christ”[17] and “receive the pleasing word of God,”[18] we will eventually receive the unfathomable and incomprehensible blessings promised for those who love God and faithfully keep His commandments.[19]

Image: ChurchofJesusChrist.org

[1] Jacob 4:12

[2] Gordon B. Hinckley, “A Testimony Vibrant and True,” Aug. 2005.

[3] Doctrine and Covenants 93:36

[4] Isaiah 29:18; 2 Nephi 27:29

[5] Ryan Jensen, “Rely on the Spirit when using AI, Elder Gong encourages,” Thechurchnews.com, March 13, 2024.

[6] David A. Bednar, “‘Consider the Wonderous Works of God (Job 37:14)’” BYU Speeches, Jan. 23, 2024.

[7] 3 Nephi 11:14-15

[8] Michael T. Ringwood, “The Power of the Book of Mormon,” March 15, 2016, BYU-Idaho Devotional.

[9] Michael T. Ringwood, “The Power of the Book of Mormon”

[10] 2 Nephi 32:3

[11] Ezra Taft Benson, “The Book of Mormon is the Word of God,” Ensign May 1975, 65, and “The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion,” Ensign, Nov. 1986, p. 4.

[12] Alma 13:20; Alma 41:1; Doctrine and Covenants 10:63; 2 Peter 3:16; Jacob 4:14

[13] Russell M. Nelson, “Prophets, Leadership, and Divine Law,” Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults, Jan. 8, 2017.

[14] Lawrence E. Corbridge, “Stand Forever,” BYU Speeches. Jan. 22, 2019.

[15] 2 Nephi 9:28-29

[16] Ezra Taft Benson, “A Sacred Responsibility,” Ensign, May 1986, 78.

[17] 2 Nephi 32:3

[18] Jacob 3:2

[19] 1 Corinthians 2:9; Doctrine and Covenants 132:20-21

Jeffrey Denning

Jeffrey has written award-winning articles for the Washington Times, Guns.com, and other publications. He is the author of seven books, including Warrior SOS: Military Veterans’ Stories of Faith, Emotional Survival and Living with PTSD. He teaches courses on peer support, suicide prevention, and other mental wellness and resilience to public safety professionals. If you would like Jeff to speak at your event or training please contact him HERE.

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