The Salt Lake City East mission president, President and Sister Hillier have extended a challenge to all those in the mission. This is to read the Book of Mormon, cover to cover by Easter Sunday. President extended this invitation to us during our Zone conference on Thursday. In the Zone conference the Book of Mormon was discussed as the main topic. There we discussed the importance of the Book of Mormon and how important it is in missionary work and how it is the keystone to our religion. The question that brought up the conclusion was, "How different would we be and how would we accomplish missionary work if we did not have the Book of Mormon?" No one could fully answer that question because we did not have an answer for it other than, we would not be that successful in bringing others to Christ.
The testimonies of the Book of Mormon was another part of the discussion and was given by fellow Elders and Sisters including the President. Lastly we watched a video of Elder Holland giving his powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon and in his hand was the original copy of Hyrum Smith's Book of Mormon. The same copy that Hyrum folded down the corner of the page of Ether 12: 37. "37 And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: If they have not charity it mattereth not unto thee, thou hast been faithful; wherefore, thy garments shall be made clean. And because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father."
As our missionary purpose states, "Our purpose is to invite others to come to Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end."
The main key in our purpose is to INVITE. As representatives and servants of our Lord and Savior, there was another invitation given by President. That is, to invite others to accept this challenge that has been presented. So I invite you to accept the challenge to read the Book of Mormon cover to cover and finish by Easter Sunday. I am also inspired to invite you as well to accept the challenge to invite others you know to take this challenge, member, nonmember, family, friends, coworkers, or if you want to really go out there you can invite a random person to read with us.
I bear my testimony, that this challenge has been inspired of President and Sister Hillier by our Savior. I know without a shadow of a doubt and with a burning fire in my heart that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, another testament of his only begotten Son, and the most correct book we have on earth. This will be my second time reading it cover to cover on my mission. The first time I have never felt any closer to our Savior and Father in heaven as a son of God and a servant of our Master.
For those who have not yet had the privilege knowing without a doubt that the Book of Mormon is the word of God as I do, In the scripture 3 Nephi 27: 28-29 it says,
28 And now I go unto the Father. And verily I say unto you, whatsoever things ye shall ask the Father in my name shall be given unto you.
29 Therefore, ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; for he that asketh, receiveth; and unto him that knocketh, it shall be opened."
Christ tells us and let's us know that if we ask we will receive if we have the desire to do so. If you are not motivated at first to ask, know that there is another special scripture in Alma 32 : 27 that states,
27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.
Our Father in Heaven is pleading for us to realize this is something he wants us to do, and to experiment on His words and promises. To not be afraid or to doubt and to give it a shot and to let Him fulfill His promise when we have done our part to take that step in faith. I promise you the blessings that if you accept this challenge and complete the challenge by Easter Sunday and are diligent with faith, that you will feel the love of our Savior and our Father in Heaven as well as feel closer to Him. I promise those who have not had the chance to know that the Book of Mormon is true that if you are looking with real intent having faith in Christ that you will come to know that it is true.
A famous scripture used by missionaries and part of my conversion as well, Moroni 10:3-5 states,
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 truth of 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.
I know that these are true. I know this is the Church of Jesus Christ. I know and have seen it first hand while out here that the Lords work is hastening. For the Gospel will be taught to every Nation, Kindred, Tongue, and People. I know that we have a modern day prophet. I know that some day, I will be able to see my Savior and stand before Him and know that I have put in all my heart, might, mind, and strength into serving Him. That He has made my weaknesses strong to serve Him.
D&C 18: 15-16
15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!
I leave these things humbly with you, in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.