“What the Bible Taught Me,” Friend, Dec. 2015, 40–41
When I was a young boy growing up in South Africa, I was not a member of the Church. But I read the Bible and said my prayers often, like my parents had taught me to. Because of that, I always felt that the Lord was close to me. I especially liked reading stories about Jesus’s life. I tried to be honest, hardworking, trustworthy, and kind, like Jesus. That’s what the scriptures and Jesus’s example taught me.
From reading the Bible, I also learned what the Church was like when Jesus was alive. And it made me wonder why none of the churches I knew about looked like Jesus’s Church had. Why don’t they have prophets and apostles? I wondered. Why isn’t there revelation in our day?
One day when I was older, two missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints knocked on our door. “We have a message for you,” they said.
My mother, who was a very friendly person, said, “We’d like to hear it. Will you come back this evening?” When the missionaries came that evening, the room was full—my mother and father, my four siblings, and me. My parents had even invited our neighbors over to listen to the missionaries.
My family was amazed by what they taught. We were thrilled that Jesus’s Church had been restored. It was a church with prophets and apostles! Over time, the missionaries answered all the questions that I had from prayerfully reading the scriptures. Because my family and I were already familiar with the Bible, we were ready to hear the missionaries’ message. We were excited about the gospel. Our neighbors didn’t feel the same excitement.
What truly converted me to the gospel was the Book of Mormon. I read some verses from it. Then one day I decided to follow Moroni’s promise to “ask God … if these things are not true; and … he will manifest the truth of it unto you” (Moroni 10:4). So I said a prayer and started reading the very first verse in the Book of Mormon. When I read it, the Holy Ghost witnessed to me in a wonderful way that the Book of Mormon truly is the word of God.
You’re never too young to start reading the scriptures and praying every day. Doing those things will help you know what is true. It will give you faith and the courage to make right decisions.
God doesn’t expect us to rely on anyone else’s testimony of the gospel. He will tell us Himself that the gospel and the Book of Mormon are true. If we are sincere and pray with faith, He will answer our prayers to know the truth.