Let the Book Speak for Itself, Without a Title, So Any False Preconceived Notions Aren’t Stirred Up

 

“And moreover, I say unto you, that the time shall come when the knowledge of a Savior shall spread throughout every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. And behold, when that time cometh, none shall be found blameless before God, except it be little children, only through repentance and faith on the name of the Lord God Omnipotent.” Mosiah 3:20-21

(Note: I started writing this last January, but got distracted. Imagine that, LOL! That’s the way motherhood rolls, right?! Anyway, I’m finally publishing it! Hooray!)

I finished the Book of Mormon by the end of 2018, to follow the prophet’s challenge that he gave to the women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in October 2018. Then, as a family, we finished in January 2019. To top it all of, my nine-year-old finished on his own in June. I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve finished it. It’s one of of our family’s central classics that we turn to again and again to strengthen our core faith. Just like the Bible.

 

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Some copies of the Book of Mormon in different languages on display in a glass case at the Museum of  Church History and Art.

 

“I think a book like this can help people find answers when they are in darkness.” – quote about the Book of Mormon from a non-religious person.

 

That’s what I love about the Book of Mormon. Reading it can give you answers if you read it with a sincere heart, intent on finding answers to your sincere questions, not matter who you are, religious or not. Just like the Bible. It really doesn’t matter who you are, as long as you are sincere. I promise you, that if you read it sincerely, it will bless you. It will give you light in the darkness.

 

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What happens when people actually read words from the book, without knowing the title of the book, without knowing where the words come from?  The video below shows an experiment done by some students at BYU. They copied excerpts from the book, showed the excerpts to random people on random streets in big cities, and asked the people’s opinions about what they just read. In other words, they let the book speak for itself, by having it speak to people with no preconceived notions of what they were reading, because they weren’t told the title of the book. The result? Watch below:

 

 

I love this! I love the Book of Mormon! I testify that it testifies of Jesus Christ. It will lead you to Him and help you follow His teachings, so you can feel joy and peace. Here are 10 gems from the Book of Mormon that fill my heart with light and hope and why I like them.

  1. “And as I spake concerning the convincing of the Jews, that Jesus is the very Christ, it must needs be that the Gentiles be convinced also that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God; And that he manifesteth himself unto all those who believe in him, by the power of the Holy Ghost; yea, unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, working mighty miracles, signs, and wonders, among the children of men according to their faith.” 2 Nephi 26:12-13

This verse explains that Jesus shows himself to everyone who seeks him. Everyone! Not usually in person, but He manifests Himself in Spirit and or other ways according to our best good. Jesus is for every nation, kindred, tongue and people! He works “mighty miracles, signs, and wonders” among the whole earth. That’s amazing! I love hearing stories about Him showing His grace, peace, comfort, and power in people’s lives. I have definitely felt His power in my life.

 

 

2. “For behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true.” Alma 29:8

 

Why I like that verse: No nation or group has a monopoly on truth. God gives wisdom to all according to their readiness to receive truth, to all nations, across the globe, throughout all history. God is so generous!

 

3. “Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life. And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow. And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of the wicked, yea, who are evil—for behold, they have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they chose evil works rather than good; therefore the spirit of the devil did enter into them, and take possession of their house—and these shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and this because of their own iniquity, being led captive by the will of the devil.” Alma 40:11-13

 

Why I like that verse: it comforts anyone who loses a family member to death. “The spirits of all men,” when they die, go home to  that “God who gave them life.” These verses show both mercy and justice. Those who have lived according to goodness and the light and truth they have get the just reward of paradise. Those who have chosen “evil works rather than good,” get their fair reward as well.

 

4. “For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases.” Mosiah 3:5

 

I love that verse because it demonstrates that people knew that Jesus was going to come many hundreds of years before He was born. (The speaker of those words, King Benjamin, lived hundreds of years before Jesus.) Heavenly Father, in his merciful, beautiful, orderly plan, inspired prophets to tell people about Jesus, before He was born, to give them hope. God always wants us to have hope!

 

5. “And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness. But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.” Mosiah 4:14-15

 

That verse pops into my mind whenever my kids fight. It motivates me to help them stop.

 

6. “And it came to pass that I said unto them that I knew that I had spoken hard things against the wicked, according to the truth; and the righteous have I justified, and testified that they should be lifted up at the last day; wherefore, the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center.” 1 Nephi 16:2

 

If I’m finding it hard to accept something, maybe that’s a sign that I’m guilty and need to change? Ouch.

 

7. “Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him.” 1 Nephi 7:12

 

I remember reading this verse as a teen. It hit me so hard. It has always given me assurance that the Lord can do all things for me, according to His will, conditioned on my faith in Him. He is the most generous, loving, liberal god that we could ever hope to have.

 

8. “And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full. And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell.” Alma 12:11-12

 

That verse reminds me of the importance of receiving the word of God. The more I receive, the more I will get.

 

9. “Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness.” 2 Nephi 9:51

 

Nephi knew our “constant-stimulation-24/7” day would come, with its empty calories for the mind and body. He guides us to seek for that which is rooted in Jesus Christ. If it’s not, we will never be satisfied. This is the one place in the scriptures giving us permission to get fat on good stuff! I love it!

 

10. “And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.” Alma 7:11-13

 

 

I have more fave verses but that’s enough for now. I encourage you to dig in to the Book of Mormon yourself, even if you don’t belong to my church. You can read the article about the experiment here. You can read the Book of Mormon here. You can read some fascinating answers to questions (“KnoWhys”) about the Book of Mormon here. I challenge you to read it and let the book speak to you for itself.

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