Saturday, December 1, 2012

a stone of stumbling.

I shared this quote in a devotional I did in seminary the other day (from my favorite talk ever that you can read here)...

"I testify that one cannot come to full faith in this latter-day work—and thereby find the fullest measure of peace and comfort in these, our times—until he or she embraces the divinity of the Book of Mormon and the Lord Jesus Christ, of whom it testifies. If anyone is foolish enough or misled enough to reject 531 pages of a heretofore unknown text teeming with literary and Semitic complexity without honestly attempting to account for the origin of those pages—especially without accounting for their powerful witness of Jesus Christ and the profound spiritual impact that witness has had on what is now tens of millions of readers—if that is the case, then such a person, elect or otherwise, has been deceived; and if he or she leaves this Church, it must be done by crawling over or under or around the Book of Mormon to make that exit. In that sense the book is what Christ Himself was said to be: 'a stone of stumbling, … a rock of offence,' a barrier in the path of one who wishes not to believe in this work. Witnesses, even witnesses who were for a time hostile to Joseph, testified to their death that they had seen an angel and had handled the plates. 'They have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man,” they declared. “Wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true.'"
-Jeffrey R. Holland

Okay so I know that was a long quote... but so good, right??
I underlined my favorite parts... oh, and you really should hear him give the talk. He is such a good speaker. I'm sure you could find it on youtube... the talk is called Safety for the Soul

So I wanted to do a post on the Book of Mormon because it is just such a blessing in my life and a major - and often misunderstood - part of our gospel.

I love this picture. 

You know, people sometimes find it hard to follow the Book of Mormon and don't learn from it the way they could. 
Ha. Who am I kidding? Me included.

But the Book of Mormon is so cool. It is a history book. 
Something I think is so cool is that this great book - well - makes perfect sense. 

Let me explain. We believe that the Book of Mormon is the record of the people living in the Americas in ancient days... The Old and New Testaments - the Bible - aren't set in North or South America. But people were there. 

And after Christ was resurrected, He appeared to them. 

It's such a cool record - and explains what went on among the Ancient Americas. See? History book. We just got it later than we got the Bible. 

Until 1827, the records were simply buried in the ground. 

I mean, even thinking it out logically it still makes sense to me. And reading it - praying about it - just seals the deal. 

When I went to Nauvoo and later to Kirtland visiting some church history sites, I learned a little about a group of people that broke off of our church a long time ago because after Joseph died, they didn't believe Brigham Young was a prophet. They created a completely separate church from ours that still exists today. 

Anyways. My point in this is that that church still claims to believe in the Book of Mormon. They were selling copies, in fact. 

There are so many things wrong with this in my mind. ha. But one thing I thought was interesting was that those people still didn't deny the Book of Mormon. Even if they don't practice their religion in the way I believe the Book of Mormon teaches - they don't deny its truthfulness. 

One of my favorite parts of the very first quote was when he said that to leave this church you would have to crawl over or under or around the Book of Mormon to make your exit. 

The witness of Jesus Christ it contains simply Cannot. Be. Denied. Because of this, it should act as a barrier. 

I guess they wanted to leave the church, so they took the Book of Mormon with them! Dumb loopholes. jk haha.

And now, in our day, this precious, absolutely true book is being attacked from all sides. 

So what do we do about it? 

I love one action the Church took. 

They bought ad space in the Broadway show The Book of Mormon's play books. 

They sought out a way they could make this a somewhat positive thing. And I have to say, I think those ads are pretty sweet. 

Anyways. Don't get all ticked off. People just don't know. 

So explain. Understand. Share your testimony. 

Because a testimony of the Book of Mormon is something I wish everyone could have in their life.

So be grateful for this wonderful book! Try to see it as a history of your people (whether they are technically your ancestors or not)!

See it as a blessing from God. An undeniable truth. A constant in your life. 

And you will be so incredibly blessed and learn so much. 

This I know. 

And I promise you can know too.

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