This is the desire of our hearts. (Mosiah 18:11)
This little line has brought an abundance of the Spirit and tears to my eyes this afternoon.
I was reading about the Prophet Abinadi and the beautiful truths he taught about Jesus Christ to wicked King Noah and his priests. Alma, one of the priests, believed Abinadi’s words, and after Abinadi was put to death for refusing to deny that Christ would come to the earth and redeem his people, Alma preached to the people privately, bringing many to the knowledge of the Messiah.
One day, he gathers with 204 other souls at the waters of Mormon to baptize them, having authority to do so. This is what he said:
And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;
Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn ; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the…
Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?
That is when the people clapped their hands with joy, and said This is the desire of our hearts.
I thought of the covenants I made at baptism as I read Alma’s admonitions to them. I made the same covenants these 204 people made at the waters of Mormon in around 147 BC!
I want it to always be a desire of my heart to be in the fold of God, to be His child, to bear burdens, mourn and comfort, and to stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things and in all places.
Friends, I am so very grateful that I have been reading The Book of Mormon as part of our prophet’s, Russell M. Nelson’s challenge to the women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I began this challenge October 7, and I feel so blessed and nourished to already be on page 183 in my reading. I have never read The Book of Mormon this fast, and I will be done just after Christmas.
I have never felt more strongly about my testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon until taking this challenge. I have always known it to be true, but, reading so much of it at once, I have been able to really get the meat of the messages and truly learn from them. Every time I read an account, I think that it can’t get much better than this, but then another account is just as precious.
Anyone who is a critic of The Book of Mormon has never read it with the right mindset or a softened heart. How can you read a book that is filled to the brim with scripture verses about faith, repentance, good works, commandments, obedience, forgiveness, sacrifice, good verses evil, and covenants that all surround teachings about Jesus Christ – his birth, miracles, teachings, death, resurrection, second coming, the judgement, and eternal life with Him- and not be touched to the very core? How can you say it isn’t the word of God?
The prophets of The Book of Mormon loved the words of Isaiah, and quoted him often because of his prophesies of Jesus Christ.
There is so much about the Jews and their scattering, and then gathering. There are prophesies about the promised land (the Americas), and how God orchestrated so many things in our history just so that His gospel could be restored and so that the Jews could someday come to a knowledge of their Redeemer.
The Book of Mormon was written to be a partner with the Bible in bringing the world to a knowledge that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that only through Him can we be saved. It does not replace the Bible. It is a perfect complement to the Bible.
I have so many verses underlined and starred from my reading so far, and I wish I could put all of them to memory or put them in frames on my walls. The Book of Mormon is a treasure to me, and I know if I live by the words of the prophets, most importantly the Savior Himself, who visited the people of Ancient America after his resurrection, that I will be able to withstand Satan’s temptations, stand spiritually strong in an increasingly wicked world, and share light with others.
There is a promise from the Prophet Moroni at the end of the Book of Mormon (Moroni 10:3-6):
3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truthof it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
6 And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is.
The Book of Mormon is full of stories about how God is merciful, and it does nothing but acknowledge the Christ and that He lives. I promise you, as Moroni did, that if you prayerfully read The Book of Mormon with an open heart, that you will feel the Holy Ghost testify to you that it is true. You will know even more than you already do that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and that He lived, died, and rose again for you and me. We can be saved through Him. That is the key message of The Book of Mormon.
Please read it. I know you will love it as I do.
This is my favorite prophetic message about The Book of Mormon. Watch it, and feel the Spirit. You will want to read this powerful, true word of God.