I completed reading the Book of Mormon on the the last day, in the last hours of December 31, 2005 - I remember the most peaceful feeling coming over me knowing what I had read was true. While I have always struggled understanding everything in the scriptures, certain parts just spoke loud and clear to me and I knew without a doubt it was true.
Several years ago, I wasn't living my life in every single way I knew I should. The gospel has always been important to me, but things would come up that started to distract me from what I knew to be right. I hung onto my belief that God was there for me and that he heard every single prayer I was praying but I still wasn't living the life I knew he would have for me. This lead me to fall out of the habit of daily scripture study. In 2010, my grandpa challenged me to read something/anything out of the Book of Mormon every single day. He told me it didn't matter if I understood what I was reading or not. I just needed to read it every day and be consistent with it. Well I knew I wasn't as happy as I could be in life and I knew I was longing for so much more, so I took his challenge. I went home and opened the book. I have read it every day since that day and I know without any doubt in my mind - IT IS TRUE!
The Book of Mormon has been such a blessing in my life. It offers me hope when mine is lost, strength when I'm weak and infinite peace!
My 10 favorite versus from the Book of Mormon:
1. Alma 32:21
"And now as I said concerning faith - faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true."
There are so many times in my life when I feel I am blindly being led by Heavenly Father to do something or to go down a certain path only to have no clue why. It's always for good when I choose to take the path to follow him. When I choose to let go and let God take over, that is faith and that is when the blessings seem to overflow in my life.
I remember a particular event in my life where I knew with all my heart what I needed to do but it happened to be one of the hardest things I ever had to face. My heart was broken, I cried out to God pleading for him to give me the courage to live on hope of the future, so I would have the power I needed to be able to walk away from the situation. In this moment, I couldn't see how it would turn out positively if I chose to walk away, but I knew with all of my heart it would only hurt me if I stayed. I knew God was right beside me, I knew more than anything the church was true and I wanted to live righteously but I did NOT have perfect knowledge it would be okay. This was hands down one of the most heartbreaking moments in my life but I chose to live on hope and that hope saved my life and someone else's as well. I chose to have faith and I look back now and I have been so immensely blessed for it.
2. 2 Nephi 32:9
"But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul."
Reflecting back on the most recent pageant I competed in, the Days of '47 pageant was such a lesson of faith for me. I put every ability and effort I had to offer into this competition. I prepared myself mentally, physically, spiritually and socially. I prayed every night asking Heavenly Father what more I could do to prepare for the competition. When I got there, I was so nervous I hadn't done enough to prepare myself. I wanted so badly to win this competition so I would have the opportunity to speak to girls. I knew it was the last pageant I would have the opportunity to compete in. I was hanging on so deeply to "My will".
That Saturday afternoon, moments before the competition would begin I said a prayer backstage in the name of Christ, asking Heavenly Father to bless me on that stage. Then it clicked. I had done absolutely everything I was capable of doing and I now needed to turn it over to God and let go and let his will to be done. I had to consecrate my performance to him. I ended up in the top ten, however I did not win. Looking back on it, I would not have had the time to give that was demanded from the royalty. And you know what? The main reason I wanted to win this pageant was to have opportunities to speak to Young Women groups and this summer that is exactly what I have been doing. God's way is ALWAYS better! Turn your will over to him.
3. 2 Nephi 2:11
"For it must needs be, that there is opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensiblity."
This scripture has to be one of my all time favorites. Without opposition we can't know happiness, peace, faith, knowledge and every good thing there is. When ever storms come my way, I get really excited! When opposition is brought on by something you don't have any control over, you are obviously on the right path because Satan's main plan is for you is to be miserable like unto himself. He so often tries to stop us or distract us from our potential and the positive impact we can have on so many around us.
The week I was to compete in the Days of '47 Pageant, everything that could go wrong, did! And this pageant was something I knew I needed to do without a shadow doubt. So I embraced it! I laughed through my tears knowing that God had something so special planned out for me or Satan wouldn't have been trying SO HARD to mess it up.
When you KNOW and expect opposition in everything, it gives you more of an eternal perspective, knowing that it is part of God's plan and you are on the right path - you just have to endure to the end!
4. Ether 12:27
"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."
This may be the most comforting scripture ever. I will be the first to admit that I am full of weaknesses. I was diagnosed with OCD the end of 2008. My mom has had it my whole life. Growing up it was really hard for my family and I, we weren't perfect at showing the amount of patience or compassion she needed. Well guess what? That weakness was given to me and it has definately humbled my perspective and my patience for it.
Life is really really hard when you are living with OCD. At the time I was diagnosed, I was not living my faith as strong as I should be. As soon as I fully started to live the covenants and standards of the gospel, giving everything I had to Christ, I noticed something. It was through my faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ and through the practice of humility that God started to make me strong. Yes I still have OCD but it is 75% cured as I am living my life with full faith in the gospel. I testify and I am living proof that Heavenly Father makes weak things become strong when faith is practiced in the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
5. Moroni 10:4
"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 truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost."
This is the golden scripture of the Book of Mormon. This is the scripture that missionaries probably use most often. When I am doubting something, I turn to this scripture, I then pray with all of my heart to know if what I am seeking is true. This is the scripture that taught me the Book of Mormon is true.
I had an amazing spiritual experience the beginning of this month. Heavenly Father guided me to a guy, I remember praying one night and I got this strong impression that there was potential to marry him. After going out several times with him, I got a strong impression he was not the one for me. I was confused, how could this be? I prayed seeking for understanding. Then I was instantly reminded of this clip from Elder Holland. I watched the clip then prayed with everything I had to know if what I had just experienced was true. This scripture guided me through the process of knowing with all of my heart the things I had asked and felt were indeed true. It was a test of faith and an experience for me to learn how the spirit speaks to my heart.
I testify, if you ever come across something and you want to know if it is true, pray with faith in Jesus Christ and you will know!
6. Moroni 7:12
"Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God; and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually."
It is so important to keep an eternal perspective in all things. Anything that makes us happy and brings us peace and joy is from God. Anything that makes us feel sad, lonely, scared or rebellious is coming from the devil.
I use this scripture every time I am asking a question in prayer. When you are trying to decide what Heavenly Father is speaking to you, sometimes you have to think of an answer on your own and then compare it to this scripture.
Is it GOOD?
Will it bring you closer to Christ?
If you don't feel that strongly about it, it probably is from the devil. But if the answer is yes and you feel it is right, the best thing you can do is pursue it.
7. Alma 41:15
"For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored; therefore, the word restoration more fully condemneth the sinner, and justifieth him not at all."
This is what my best friend Jared taught me as the "Mormon karma scripture." Everything good you are sending out into the world will come back to you. If you serve, it will come back. If you give up something, something better will be restored. I think of all the times I have acted on faith blindly, not knowing what the result would be and every time I was immensely blessed in the end.
I honestly LOVE this scripture!
8. 1 Nephi 3:7
"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."
The Lord will give us no commandment, no temptation and no trial without preparing a way for us to get through them.
Once upon a time I was dating this guy. It got to a point where I was spiritually, physically and emotionally exhausted and I knew it was time for me to say goodbye. It was absolutely one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my entire life. It was God that guided me through the process. He prepared the way. There is absolutely no way I could have done it on my own. He started to change my heart in a way that made this process easier.
Sometimes Heavenly Father's commandments and requests seem far from what we want to do. In the times when we can only see our way and we start to design our own plan, our heart can become hardened and we no longer feel happy, but confused as we cling onto what we think we want. It is in the moments when we let go and cease to God's commandments that peace can fill our hearts and souls. When we follow the will of Heavenly Father, we will experience TRUE HAPPINESS that can't be felt anywhere else in this world, only then will we never want to return to our will ever again.
9. Helaman 5:12
"And now, my sons, remember remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."
This scripture has been on my heart for a very long time. It was the seminary theme for when I spoke at seminary graduation.
When we have a firm foundation in Christ, little and even major temptations can have no power of us. It is all on us to build a personal, strong foundation. No matter how much we ache, how lost we may feel or how deeply our faith is shaken - if we have a solid testimony in our Savior Jesus Christ, he will always lift us up and it will be impossible to fall.
Christ is my strength and my anchor for every fear I face and every broken heart I felt. Christ is the light in my life, for he knows every sorrow, temptation and pain I have and ever will have to go through.
10. Mosiah 2:17 -
"And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."
At last, my favorite subject - service! I love service! I love serving God.
Quite a few months back I was having a really rough day. I felt so alone and so lost. I prayed to Heavenly Father asking where to go and what to do to overcome these feelings. A name immediately popped into my mind, Leeila Manwill, my adopt-a-grandma back when I was in the Young Women's program. I hadn't seen her for at least 7 years. I got up and went to the store to get flowers to take over to her. We sat, laughed and talked for at least an hour. We had so much to catch up on with each other. God needed me to serve her that day and it made me forget about every sorrow I was facing.
I truly believe that God put us on this beautiful earth for each other, so we can serve one another. He magnified what I was willing to offer her and in the end, it blessed both of us.
All I can say is this book is true. I LOVE the Book of Mormon with all of my heart, might, mind and soul.
If you would like a free copy for yourself - go here!