“Why I Love the Book of Mormon,” Liahona, September 2014, 40
Nearly 30 years ago I drove to Utah for the first time. I had been living a very unchristian life but wanted to change. I just didn’t know how.
The evening of my second day in Utah, I stopped at a motel in a small town in southern Utah. As the lady in the office gave me a room key, I asked if she was a Latter-day Saint. She pleasantly replied, “Yes, I am.” Beaming, she added, “Have you read our wonderful book, the Book of Mormon?” Both startled and enticed, I told her I had not.
“There’s a copy in your room,” she continued. “There is nothing exciting for you here in town, so you might as well get acquainted with this wonderful book.”
I thanked her and took my luggage to my room. Once there I saw a maroon paperback titled the Book of Mormon on the nightstand.
I casually opened the book near the center and read a few verses, but my mind went blank. I did not understand anything. Disappointed, I put down the book and left my room, feeling empty. I drove around until I found a bar—a dark, ugly place. I went inside and instantly felt miserable, lonely, and hopeless. I stood there for a few minutes and then turned around and strode out, determined to never again waste a moment of my life in any bar.
Invigorated, I returned to my motel room and picked up the Book of Mormon. I knelt before the Lord, whom I knew little about, and pleaded with Him to have mercy on me. I asked Him to forgive me for the mess I had made of my life and to help me to understand what I read in the Book of Mormon, to know if Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and to know if the Mormon Church was for me.
I opened the book reverently and read the first verse I saw: “I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell” (2 Nephi 33:6). My heart burned and my tears fell. The words stood out with a wonderful light of hope—a light of Jesus Christ beckoning me to come unto Him.
Weeping, I again knelt in prayer, begging the Lord to lead on. Then I opened the book again and began reading the first chapter of 1 Nephi. I was filled with awe at the unmatched power, purity, and truth of the words and testimony of Nephi. I read until 2:00 the next morning, the Lord opening my understanding as I read.
Six months later I was baptized a member of this wonderful, true Church. I know the Lord blessed me to find and read the Book of Mormon—the book that established my faith and testimony in Jesus Christ.