The April 2017 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints took place on last Saturday and Sunday. Many inspiring messages were given. I was reminded of numerous areas where I can improve; however, I feel that I am doing fairly well with the main message given by the living prophet of God, even President Thomas S. Monson. Doing fairly well does not mean that there is no room for improvement!
I was happy to see President Monson in attendance today and joyful to have the opportunity to listen to his counsel. He is 89 years old now, and his youthful vim and vigor have left him. His body has become frail, and his voice is not as strong as it once was. He is unable to give several long talks but opted to give two short ones during the conference. Even though his body is failing, his testimony grows stronger and more powerful. Here is his message for members and non-members alike.
My dear brothers and sisters, I greet you most warmly was we are met again in a great general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints….
This morning I speak about the power of the Book of Mormon and the critical need we have as members of this Church to study, ponder, and apply its teachings in our lives. The importance of having a firm and sure testimony of the Book of Mormon cannot be overstated.
We live in a time of great trouble and wickedness. What will protect us from the sin and evil so prevalent in the world today? I maintain that a strong testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and of His gospel will help see us through to safety. If you are not reading the Book of Mormon each day, please do so. If you will read it prayerfully and with a sincere desire to know the truth, the Holy Ghost will manifest its truth to you. If it is true – and I solemnly testify that it is – then Joseph Smith was a prophet who saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. Because the Book of Mormon is true, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s Church on the earth and the holy priesthood of God has been restored for the benefit and blessing of His children.
If you do not have a firm testimony of these things, do that which is necessary to obtain one. It is essential for you to have your own testimony in these difficult times, for the testimonies of others will carry you only so far. However, once obtained, a testimony needs to be kept vital and alive through continued obedience to the commandments of God and through daily prayer and scripture study.
My dear associates in the work of the Lord, I implore each of us to prayerfully study and ponder the Book of Mormon each day. As we do so, we will be in a position to hear the voice of the Spirit, to resist temptation, to overcome doubt and fear, and to receive Heaven’s help in our lives.
I so testify with all my heart, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
If studying the Book of Mormon and gaining and/or strengthening our testimony of it is the most important thing that the Prophet wants us to do, I think that we should do it – today. As I listened to him speak this morning, my thoughts went to another prophet, even Amos in the Old Testament, who explains the importance of listening when a prophet speaks. “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).
People who understand and are watching for the signs of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ know that His coming is nigh at hand. We also understand that we will go through some tough times as His coming draws near. We are told that life will be so difficult that even some of the “elect” will fall. President Monson says that the “importance of having a firm and sure testimony of the Book of Mormon cannot be overstated.” In other words, we must have testimonies of the Book of Mormon in order to find safety in the winding up scenes on earth.
I have followed the Prophet’s counsel. I have studied the Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ, and I have prayed about it. I asked Heavenly Father sincerely and “with real intent, having faith in Christ” to manifest the truthfulness of the book to me. He heard my prayer and answered it in an unmistakable way. The experience is too sacred for me to share in this post, but my testimony of it cannot be shaken. I know for myself that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s true church on the earth today. I continue to study the Book of Mormon and pray about it every day. I invite you to study the Book of Mormon and find out for yourself.