Part of what we do here is to promote spiritual preparedness. To be spiritually prepared is to have a testimony in the gospel strong enough to share it with those around you. It allows you to confidently tell people about your beliefs with confidence. The best way I know to develop spiritual preparedness is to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. And the book which testifies to the greatest extent about Him is the Book of Mormon(BOM).
The Book of Mormon is evidence of the divinity of Jesus. It testifies of the Restoration through Joseph Smith. It is the keystone of our religion. Without the BOM, the church ceases to exist and we have no religion. It presents the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The enemies of the Church know if they can convince you the BOM is not true then the very foundation of your religion goes away. But I know 0f the truthfulness of the BOM. I have felt the Spirit testify of its truthfulness. Without the BOM we are just another Christian church espousing the teachings of the Bible interpreted in our own way.
I think one of the most powerful stories in the BOM is in 3Nephi 11-28 when the Saviour comes to visit the Nephites. He talks to them and teaches them. He counsels them and comforts their children. I think it is especially interesting to read earlier on when He comes, the people had to have the Spirit whisper to them 3 times before they would look up. This shows me how soft the Spirit is. How close and in tune you will need to be to hear what the Lord has in store for you and what He wants you to do. Are you willing to be quiet and listen? The Spirit was like this even when the Savior was coming physically to visit them. Am I quiet enough when I know He is not coming right now?
The BOM teaches us about the law of witnesses: “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established” (2 Corinthians 13:1). To me this shows there should be at least one more book other than the Bible to testify of the divinity of Christ.
One of the more interesting things about the BOM is its ability to answer questions of the soul. As I teach and talk to others I realize how much of the Gospel was lost among man. Some of the most basic questions, such as
- Is there a God?
- Is there life after death?
- Does God know me?
- Does God answer my prayers?
are all answered in the BOM. I sometimes forget how many people do not know the basic answers to these profound questions. I am grateful the Book of Mormon was put upon the earth to answer them.
One of the objections I get is, religion is too restrictive. There are many things you can’t do. While this may be the persons interpretation it is amazingly easy to dissuade them of these fears. Would you agree doing drug will lead to trouble? Most will say yes. Well don’t you think it is restrictive to prohibit me from doing drugs? No. I think Heavenly Father from experience will be able to tell you the best guidelines you can follow to lead a happy and abundant life. You see, we sometimes forget, just as out parents would counsel us about things not to do based upon experience. Heavenly Father is giving us the same counsel based upon His experience. I try to look at it as I do now. I often say I would have done things differently if I had known. In this case we have someone who knows what will lead to eternal happiness. His rules will guarantee eternal happiness. I understand they are not always easy but there is at least a guidepost for us to follow. We can always go to Him for counsel in how to proceed if we have questions.
The Book of Mormon will draw you closer to God. It is a book which will not allow you to think things other than good, uplifting thoughts. I think this is why we focus so much of our attention on it and its principles. We can learn how to act, what to say, what to eat, how to behave, what counsel to give, among other things. The Book of Mormon is a remarkable book. I encourage you to pick a topic and open it to learn what it has to say about that topic. I have learn things about freedom, liberty, growing food, eating food, how to interact with others, among other things. Pick it up, give it a whirl, I am sure the answers will come to you.