Our recent joint Priesthood/Relief Society lesson was from President Russell M. Nelson’s October 2017 General Conference talk, “The Book of Mormon: What Would Your Life Be Like without It?” And the teacher asked us the leading question, What would YOUR life be like without it. He asked if we were ready. Ready for what?
Not only was I half-asleep from a long Turkey Day weekend, but also I’m uncomfortable with the question. (My slumber was not the teacher’s fault. If you haven’t noticed, in the spirit of tradition, Moms across the U.S. work their tail ends off for 5 days straight. Well, that’s my excuse.) I am uncomfortable admitting publicly how far afield my rebellious spirit might have led me unchecked by any deep religious belief. And I can’t really define how deep that darkness goes.
However, the question that is begging to be asked is, “What COULD your life be like if you actually fully embraced the Book of Mormon NOW?” Sure, your life is significantly different because you belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and you have a testimony of the truth of the Book of Mormon. You may have even read it a couple times. But if you believe that those small steps have significantly made your life better, what more is there if you were ready to receive more?
If you actually studied your scriptures every day, not just read them on your way to slumber, how much better would your life be one year from now? 10 years from now? What if you chose a topic and studied it until you exhausted it? And when you had exhausted a topic, what if you wrote a short talk or testimony about it for your journal? If you completed one topic every two weeks, that would be 26 in-depth Gospel study topics you would have studied and gained a testimony of within a year.
(Because within that two week period, I’m confident that the Holy Ghost would take the opportunity to teach and enlighten your mind on the topic.) There would be 26 new entries in your journal for your children and grandchildren to read in the years to come. And in your journal or on your laptop, there would be 26 different topics for sacrament meeting talks or Sunday school lessons that you already have a head start on (I didn’t say you should tell your Bishop – that’s just inviting trouble).
Well, I can guess a couple of outcomes. You’d be less likely to use profanity, and more likely to speak in formal English. Since you are filling your mind with good words, you are more likely to have phrases and thoughts from the scriptures weave themselves into your speech. You would be more willing to teach or answer a question when called upon in church. Knowledge is light, and light wants to be shared.
Your answers in conversations and in classes would be more conducive to the Spirit, and more on-topic. You’d also be more likely to share your testimony and gospel principles with those around you, without hesitation and probably without even thinking about it. If you are shy or hesitant about sharing the Gospel or teaching a class, you should be reading the Book of Mormon more. (Based on that theory, if you want to your ward meetings to be more spiritual, YOU can start by increasing YOUR study of the Book of Mormon.)
I also know that reading the Book of Mormon teaches you about loving God’s children. There are incredible stories of patience and tolerance and loyalty. Ammon leaves his life of comfort to serve a king with opposing religious beliefs and gains the king’s respect in the process.
Even as Moroni is watching his people die all around him due to a great war, he is still filled with hope. He has hope for our generation. He saw us in vision, knew our challenges, and completed his task in the HOPE that we would fully embrace his words.
How much more could you have in your life, if you were ready to fully receive The Book of Mormon?
Molly A. Kerr
Molly is on a life long quest to figure herself out. Born to be and educated as an aerospace engineer she is also blessed to be a wife and a mom of two in the present, previously served as a full-time missionary, is consistently called to teach the youth in her ward, is eagerly though slowly doing home improvement as money and time allow, all while gradually learning how to be herself and find peace and balance somewhere in between. Despite her attempts to make “the right” decisions in her life, she has learned to deal with some unexpected challenges over the last two decades. Total tornadoes, really. What she has discovered is that her career has taught her a lot about the Gospel and being a better mother, and the Gospel, when applied to challenges at the office, has made her a better professional. She has also learned that it is okay to be herself, and God still loves (and forgives) her for it.