“A Practical, Everyday Guide,” Ensign, Apr. 1996, 7
I have learned to love the heroes of the Book of Mormon. I admire the valiant commander Teancum, who was “a true friend to liberty” (Alma 62:37). I marvel at how humble King Mosiah worked in the fields alongside his subjects (see Mosiah 6:7). I sorrow with Mormon as he cries, “O ye fair ones, … I mourn your loss. … How is it that ye could have fallen!” (Morm. 6:17–19.) I wonder at how Nephi endured the continual persecution of Laman and Lemuel, and I gain strength from his psalm: “Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart” (2 Ne. 4:28).
The Book of Mormon means the most to me, however, when I find help in its pages for specific problems in my own life. When my husband’s health became a concern at one point, I prayed for guidance regarding how I could help ease his burdens. As I studied the Book of Mormon, I read that the people in the land of Zarahemla were invited to “go up to the temple to hear the words which his [Mosiah’s] father [King Benjamin] should speak” (Mosiah 1:18). I felt prompted to attend the temple and listen for wisdom from my Heavenly Father. Near the end of the temple session, the Spirit gently taught me to stop mentioning to my husband my regrets about not buying a certain piece of real estate. This helped take pressure off him, and much later we learned the investment would have been a mistake anyway.
One morning I received guidance from the Book of Mormon about a lingering question: How much advice should parents give a married child? The answer became clear when I read about Lehi’s counseling and blessing all his household, which included his married children (see 2 Ne. 4:3–12), and when I recalled that he had done the same for his married children on other occasions as well (see, for example, 2 Ne. 1:1–3, 12–29). I realized that my responsibility to my son has not ended. I phoned a friend who gave me just the example I needed to adjust my attitude.
As a family, we were friendshipping a brother-in-law who was struggling to stop smoking and trying to decide if he should be baptized. One morning during prayerful scripture study, I received a firm impression to read him this passage, changing the text to the singular: “My beloved [brother], reconcile your[self] to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after [you] are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that [you] are saved” (2 Ne. 10:24). As it turned out, my brother-in-law, through his own scripture study, later ended his smoking habit and joined the Church. This experience reaffirmed to me that regular study of the Book of Mormon can inspire us to know how to benefit those we serve.
At one point I had allowed other interests and activities to keep me from studying the scriptures. When I resumed my study, I read the following: “Wo be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough!” (2 Ne. 28:29.) I realized that by my inconsistency I was saying that I had received enough of the word of God already. I renewed my resolve to seek his word every single day.
Heeding the words of the Book of Mormon has proven invaluable to me. However, my most valuable reward for studying this other testament of Jesus Christ is that it draws me nearer to him and my Heavenly Father, so that I can avow with King Lamoni, “O God, … I will give away all my sins to know thee” (Alma 22:18).