Finding the Key

“Finding the Key,” Friend, May 2005, 18

Finding the Key

(Based on an experience from the author’s family)

Therefore, he that lacketh wisdom, let him ask of me, and I will give him liberally and upbraid him not (D&C 42:68).

Andre plopped onto his bed and groaned, “Do I have to read it?” He usually liked reading, but this book was different.

“Next year you will be 12. It’s important to Dad and me that you read the Book of Mormon before you receive the priesthood,” Mom said as she sat next to him.

“I know it’s important. But the Book of Mormon is so hard to understand,” Andre complained.

“What could you do to understand the Book of Mormon better?”

“Wait until I’m older, I guess,” Andre joked.

Mom smiled. “Do you remember what we talked about in family home evening this week?”

“We can pray to Heavenly Father whenever we need Him,” Andre recited. “But how does that help me now? I’m not in trouble.”

“I want you to read something with me,” Mom said as she picked up the scriptures.

“‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God … and it shall be given him,’”* Andre read.

“If you truly want the key to understanding the scriptures, pray for help. Heavenly Father will listen to and answer your prayers.”

After Mom left the room, Andre read the scripture a couple more times. “I guess it’s worth a try,” he thought. “I really want to understand the Book of Mormon, and I haven’t been able to do it on my own.”

He knelt down and prayed. He could feel the warmth of the Holy Ghost and knew Heavenly Father was happy he was asking for help.

Andre picked up the Book of Mormon and began to read. Starting out was easy. Andre had read the beginning of 1 Nephi so many times it seemed as if he had almost memorized the chapters about Nephi’s family leaving Jerusalem and the trials they faced.

But as Andre read further, he began to get confused and frustrated. He set down the Book of Mormon and frowned. “I’ll never be able to do this. There is too much to learn.”

Then Andre remembered how Nephi had never given up. Nephi had faith that Heavenly Father would help him. Andre had faith, too. “Heavenly Father can’t help me if I’m not doing my part,” he realized.

Andre began to read the Book of Mormon every day and found ways to help himself understand better. He would read the headings at the beginning of each chapter. They helped him know what the chapter was going to be about. And he discovered that by focusing on only a few verses at a time, and making sure that he understood all the words, it became easier for him to learn. Some-times he needed to read a chapter many times before he was able to understand it all, but he began to understand and even enjoy what he was reading.

“The Book of Mormon is exciting!” Andre told his dad one day. “Did you know that in 1 Nephi 13, Nephi had a vision of the people coming to America and of Joseph Smith restoring the gospel?”

“Amazing,” Dad answered, smiling.

After a few weeks, Andre wasn’t frustrated anymore when he read. The Book of Mormon was still confusing to him sometimes, but he knew that if he was patient and kept trying, Heavenly Father would continue to help him understand.

  • Karen McClusky Beals is a member of the Signal Butte First Ward, Apache Junction Arizona Stake.

Illustrated by Mark Robison