Proving the Prophet’s Promise
January 1994

“Proving the Prophet’s Promise,” Ensign, Jan. 1994, 64–65

Proving the Prophet’s Promise

When President Benson promised the Saints that the power of the Book of Mormon would begin to flow into our lives the moment we began a serious study of the book, we decided as a family to follow his admonition to read daily. (See Ensign, Nov. 1986, p. 7.)

At the time my wife and I decided to start reading the Book of Mormon with our family, we had four children, ages six months to six years. At first, we were able to read only one column each day. With 531 pages and twice that many columns, reading the book seemed like a neverending undertaking.

Despite, or maybe because of, how slowly we read, we made every effort to read each weekday. Our children were eager to please—often waking us to start reading. Although we missed very few days, it took us more than six months to read 1 Nephi.

By this time our two oldest children were able to read a few words by themselves. As we slowly made our way through 2 Nephi, including quotations from the writings of Isaiah, we were growing as a family in spiritual as well as other ways. We added a daily devotional time and another child to the family, and before we finished Helaman, this cycle had started again. Cries of hunger and dirty diapers often interrupted our reading, but each day we would finish our allotted column no matter how long it seemed to take.

About the time our oldest entered fifth grade, we started reading at an accelerated pace—one page per day. As we neared the middle of that year, we received word that the Alberta Temple would be rededicated the next spring, an event our family had been looking forward to. We did some calculating and found that if we continued reading at the same pace, we would have one chapter of the Book of Mormon left to read on the day the dedication would begin. We planned to travel the 1200 kilometers (745 miles) to attend this event, rise early that morning, and drive to the temple grounds to read the last chapter.

The morning of the dedication dawned bright and clear. The temple grounds were beautiful, and we secreted ourselves behind the old stone monument as we prepared to read.

The Spirit seemed to be with us more strongly than usual as we finished the chapter, and the volume of scripture. It had taken us about five years to complete reading it. We each took a turn praying for confirmation that the Book of Mormon was indeed the word of God. We didn’t see any angels or hear voices, but we did feel the calm, peaceful, loving presence of the Holy Ghost. Tears filled our eyes as the Spirit testified to each of us of the truthfulness and sacredness of the Book of Mormon.

We gave thanks for the opportunity we’d had to become closer to these great prophets and for the blessings that we had received through reading the Book of Mormon. We received blessings of increased faith, strength in the face of adversity, and greater love and tranquility in our home—the same blessings that President Benson had promised.

  • James R. Prince serves as activities committee chairman and family history coordinator in the Fairview Branch, Grande Prairie Alberta District, Canada Calgary Mission.