I have enjoyed the opportunity I’ve had this weekend to listen to the words of the prophets, apostles and leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I’ve noted in numerous talks strong and powerful testimony about the strength we can find in the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. We have been encouraged and counseled to read from the pages of this book daily.
But I admit that following that counsel has not been a strong point of mine. I’ve made efforts, but weakly is probably a more descriptive word of my efforts. However, a recent experience has built my testimony of this marvelous work and a wonder, so to the testimonies of all those shared this weekend during the 187th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I add my testimony.
In December of last year, I made it a goal to read more books. My initial focus was on classics, like The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. I’ve also tackled books like Sully, Apollo 8 and 1776. Treasure Island was a fun read, mainly because I wanted to go on a pirate adventure (because books really can take you places).
But as I was in the middle of my last book, I decided that one of the books I needed to tackle this year was The Book of Mormon. So it was the next one I picked up as soon as my latest work was completed. I have read the Book of Mormon much like my others books – as a story, not worrying about looking up references or footnotes, but enjoying the stories and lessons learned by the Nephites.
In less than two weeks, I have read 120+ pages of the book and am entering the book of Enos this evening.
While driving home from the Priesthood Session of General Conference, my oldest son and I were talking about the words we had heard, and the counsels of reading the Book of Mormon came up. I took the opportunity to share my testimony with my son.
“As I have made it a point to read in the Book of Mormon, I have had the Spirit with me,” I told him. “I have found it easier to avoid, as Nephi worded it, ‘the sins that do easily beset me.'”
While I have known, since serving a mission for the Church in 1999-2001, that the Book of Mormon is in fact the word of God and ministry of Christ among the people of the Americas in 600 BC to to about 400 AD, this recent experience builds upon that testimony that daily study of its pages will make us stronger in the challenges we face.
Once I finish reading its pages and move on to another book in my collection, my challenge will be making the time to continue reading and studying the Book of Mormon that I may be a better example to my kids and family of following the counsels of the Lord’s servants in these latter days.
– Jason M. Carlton (Sandy, Utah)