In his last General Conference talk in April 2017, President Thomas S. Monson spoke about our need to study the Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ. In the next General Conference in October 2017, Elder Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, also spoke about the Book of Mormon and its place in our lives.
Since President Monson’s death on January 2, 2017, Elder Nelson – as the senior Apostle – has been leading The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Because the senior Apostle has always become the next Prophet, Seer, Revelator, and President of the Church, I want to share some of Elder Nelson’s remarks. He said that he acted on President Monson’s counsel in the previous conference, and he shared some of his experiences. He then bore his testimony of the Book of Mormon.
Immersing ourselves regularly in the truths of the Book of Mormon can be a life-changing experience…
My dear brothers and sisters, I testify that the Book of Mormon is truly the word of God. It contains the answers to life’s most compelling questions. It teaches the doctrine of Christ. (See 2 Nephi 31:2-21.) It expands and clarifies many of the “plain and precious” (1 Nephi 13:29-33) truths that were lost through centuries of time and numerous translations of the Bible.
The Book of Mormon provides the fullest and most authoritative understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ to be found anywhere. It teaches what it really means to be born again. From the Book of Mormon we learn about the gathering of scattered Israel. We know why we are here on earth. These and other truths are more powerfully and persuasively taught in the Book of Mormon than in any other book. The full power of the gospel of Jesus Christ is contained in the Book of Mormon. Period.
The Book of Mormon both illuminates the teachings of the Master and exposes the tactics of the adversary. (See 2 Nephi 26-33.) The Book of Mormon teaches true doctrine to dispel false religious traditions – such as the erroneous practice of performing infant baptisms. (See Moroni 8:11-15.) The Book of Mormon gives purpose to life by urging us to ponder the potential of eternal life and “never-ending happiness.” (See Mosiah 2:41; see also Alma 28:12.) The Book of Mormon shatters the false beliefs that happiness can be found in wickedness (See Alma 41:10-11.) and that individual goodness is all that is required to return to the presence of God. (Special sacred ordinances and covenants are also required.) It abolishes forever the false concepts that revelation ended with the Bible and that the heavens are sealed today.
I am grateful for the counsel and testimonies of President Monson and Elder Nelson. I am grateful to live in a time and a place where Prophets and Apostles walk the earth to teach and bless as the Savior would do. I encourage all of us to pay attention when they speak. I also encourage you and me to follow their counsel to study the Book of Mormon and let it change our lives for the better.