The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. That title leaves so many people wondering what it could possibly be. Many people have heard about it and thought that it was just the Mormon Bible, while others have thought “What is it? What does it say? Where did it come from? What does it say about Jesus Christ?” The Book of Mormon is a book of scripture telling us of a group of God’s people, who were a branch of the House of Israel, that had traveled to the American Continents. There, in the western hemisphere, they grew spiritually, made a mighty civilization, and flourished under the blessings of the Gospel. There, they also grew wicked, dwindled in unbelief, fought wars, conspired one with another for the sake of getting gain, murdered, and eventually were destroyed. The most important thing, however, is that they testified of the coming of Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah, of his Atonement, and his teachings. The book tells us of Christ’s coming to America to visit the lost sheep of the House of Israel. Christ even told those at Jerusalem that he would visit them. He said, “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd” (John 10:16). The Book of Mormon teaches us about Jesus Christ in a way that is unique among books. No other book tells us more about him. It tells us more about his attributes. It tells us more about his mission. It even mentions him more than any other book on Earth, with the count coming in at 3,925 times using all his 101 names and titles used in the book. If each verse only mentioned him once, then over half of the 6,607 verses in the book would mention him. The Book of Mormon surely teaches of his Pre-mortal, Mortal, and Post-Mortal mission. I could continue on spouting off facts about the book for pages, and then you would get bored, but this isn’t the point of this post. I wish to bear my testimony of this book. When I was just a ninth grade seminary student, we were studying the Book of Mormon. I had gone the majority of the school year, only having read a chapter here and there, never sitting down to read the book. I had taken it for granted. I was raised with the book around. My parents had always used the book to teach us. I heard about it each week in church. I had had various personal copies of my own to use, and part were marked here or there. Yet, I had never taken the time to read the book from cover to cover. Then, one day while attending seminary, my teacher decided that he was going to do a special lesson about Jesus Christ. He showed us the video The Lamb of God, and then continued to explain to us that the Book of Mormon taught more about him than any other book. I had never had this explained to me before. I knew it talked about him, but I didn’t think it talked that much about him. This being around Easter time, I felt that I needed to know more about Jesus Christ. I was also feeling guilty that I hadn’t yet really started to read it and the school year was almost over. I wanted to finish the Book of Mormon before summer came so I could say that I had read it while we studied it in seminary. So, every day after school, I would go down to my room, unbeknownst to my parents, and I would sit and read the Book of Mormon. At times, I would listen along to the audio cd’s my dad had of it, other times I would read it on my own. I thought it was amazing, but I, like so many others, faltered when I reached the Isaiah chapters. I forgot about my goal for about two weeks. Then, one day I remembered that summer was coming, and I had made my goal to finish the book. As I continued reading, and I finally made it through the Isaiah chapters, I began to love the book more and more. I spent hours alone in my room reading it. I had finally reached the Book of Alma, with about two weeks of school left, and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep my goal. Then, somehow, I was blessed with a miracle. As I was reading one Friday night, I was unable to put the book down. I became enthralled in the stories being unfolded before my face. I was amazed that these things could have even happened, and most importantly, I was beginning to understand what my teacher had said about it teaching more about Christ than any other book. That night, as I sat there reading, I expected to receive some sort of sudden testimony of the book, yet it did not come in one massive wave. I continued to read, and my love for the book grew with each passing moment. I managed to read the remaining portions of the book in one night, from Alma to Moroni. I did not receive a testimony of the book per se, but rather, I received a greater testimony in Jesus Christ. I knew that he loved me. I knew that he had atoned for my sins, and that he had come to visit all his people, in Jerusalem, in America, and everywhere there were people that he had called his. I didn’t know it, but my testimony in the book grew just as much as my testimony in Christ had. I loved both very dearly. The next day, I finally told my parents that I had been reading it, and they were happy to hear it. They were amazed that I had read so much in one night, and though I was unable that day to tell them I had a testimony that it was true, I know that they knew that I had received one. I have since read the book various times, now in two languages, English and Spanish, and I now clearly say, I know that the Book of Mormon is a true book of Scripture. It will help a person come closer to God and Jesus Christ than any other book, and that it does contain the fullness of the Everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ. Through my testimony in that book, I know that Joseph Smith was called of God to be a prophet, and that he restored by the power of God the very Church of Jesus Christ, known today in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Book of Mormon has helped me through many of the troubles I have gone through in my life, and will continue to do so, hopefully for my whole life. I know it is true, and I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Susan Easton Black, Finding Christ through the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1987); Susan Ward Easton [Black], "Names of Christ in the Book of Mormon," Ensign, July 1978, 60-61.Blogger Labels: Susan Easton Black,America,Testimony,Book,Mormon,Another Testament of Jesus Christ,Jesus,Christ,Bible,Israel,Gospel,Messiah,Atonement,teachings,Jerusalem,mission,Earth,Mortal,seminary,church,Lamb,Easter,Isaiah,Alma,Moroni,English,Spanish,Scripture,Joseph,Smith,prophet,Latter,Saints,Ensign