Today I got to play the piano in Primary as a substitute because the regular pianist was ill. The singing time involved the story that our prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, tells in the video above, when he met an African king in 1986. President Nelson told him about the Book of Mormon being an additional record of Jesus Christ and gave him a copy of it. The king joyfully accepted the book, saying it was more valuable to him than diamonds or rubies.
The song leader had a treasure chest full of jewels. Then she had hidden paper bags around the room. One by one, she had a child look for a paper bag and then pull out a picture that depicts a treasure, either a hero or a teaching from the Book of Mormon, with a page number where the treasured truth is found in the Book of Mormon. Then we sang a song to go with the treasured truth.
Some examples of the picture, the treasure it represents, and the song:
Picture of Abish/Her example of faith/ So we sang, “I’ll Be What I Believe”
Picture of Alma/ His example of keeping the commandments, “Keep the Commandments”
Picture of King Benjamin/His gathering the people to face the temple while he preached to them/ “I Love to See the Temple”
Picture of Stripling Warriors/ Their knowledge from their mothers that God lives and that they can pray, “A Child’s Prayer”
So when we came home from attending I shared the story of the king and President Nelson with my family for our “Come, Follow Me” study after church. The General Conference talk from which the story comes from is here in text form, and below, in video form.
I decided to make my own list, as President Nelson invited us to do, of the following:
What the Book of Mormon is:
- divine, in other words, from God
- Another testament of Jesus Christ and His signs, wonders, and marvels
- scripture, the word of God
- A record of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas, who lived before Jesus Christ, while He lived on earth, and some, after Jesus Christ died
- A story about a family and its descendants, showing what happens when the descendants don’t obey the commandments of God
- A guide to modern living to fill one’s heart with light, love, life, and purpose
- The guidebook to become closer to God, by abiding by its precepts, more so than any other book
What the Book of Mormon is not:
- a fraud
- a result of Joseph Smith’s imagination
- a product of any mortal man’s imagination
- irrelevant to anyone living in this modern world
What the Book of Mormon affirms:
- that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World
- that Jesus Christ would not only atone for our sins but suffer for our infirmities and weaknesses “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
- that the purpose of this life is to have joy (2 Nephi 2:25)
- that the eating of the fruit by Eve, and the subsequent Fall of Adam and Eve, were not tragic accidents or mistakes. They were courageous steps so that we, as mortals, might move forward according to the plan of salvation. If Eve had not eaten of the fruit, we would not have been able to be born and gain a body and receive a fulness of joy (And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end. And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin. But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things. 2 Nephi 2: 22-24)
- that Jesus Christ is to be the God of America and will never have a mortal king, but be a land of liberty, as long as the inhabitants honor Jesus Christ as their God (2 Nephi 1:7)
- that those who migrate to America did so and do so under the guiding influence of the Lord (2 Nephi 1:6)
- that Jesus Christ is our advocate with the Father
- that “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. This shows that 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!
- that Jesus Christ will manifest Himself to all who seek him (2 Nephi 26:12-13)
- that we can feel comfort if we lose anyone to death. “The spirits of all men,” when they die, go home to that “God who gave them life.” (Alma 40:11-13) 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 punishment as well.
- that some things are not worth our labor and money: “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
- the importance of covenant making
- that we can ask to filled with charity, the pure love of Christ
What the Book of Mormon refutes:
- that little children need baptism (Moroni 8:8
- that Adam and Eve’s transgression was a mistake (see bullet point above under what it affirms)
What amazing treasures of truth! I will be updating this list as I find more! I love the Book of Mormon! My friend Joyce calls it the best beauty treatment! It makes your spirit and your countenance more beautiful as you immerse yourself in it. Here are some treasures that President Nelson quoted President Monson as saying we will have from diving into the Book of Mormon, as published in the January 2020 Friend:
I know these promises are real! I have experienced them coming true in my own life. I testify that the words of the Book of Mormon are true. You might like watching this video below about people who were shown words from the Book of Mormon without knowing the source. I blogged all about that here.