Book of Mormon Story
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“Book of Mormon Story,” New Era, Jan. 2003, 27

Scripture Lifeline:

Book of Mormon Story

I was feeling alone and mixed up. But when I cried out to the Lord for guidance, a gentle but insistent voice told me to read a book I had already given away once. Still, I had asked for help. Could I ignore the answer?

It was not a good time. Questions swirled in my head that seemingly didn’t have answers. For months I had been struggling with who I was and what direction my life was taking. To remedy this problem I began attending many different churches, searching for the truth. But it seemed I always ended up at the church my family went to. Somehow, though, it never felt quite right. As I thought about my feelings, I just assumed I felt this way because my life was so mixed up. I was also associating with the wrong crowd and allowing these people to influence my life, which didn’t help matters. Deep inside, all I felt was utter loneliness.

I realized I needed to change my life. I stopped hanging around with people who were a bad influence on me, and I stopped putting myself in situations that would force me to choose between God and my friends. Even with these changes, I didn’t feel like I was receiving any answers or encouragement from God, and I sometimes wondered if He really was there.

In December I graduated from college, and I decided to move back in with my family in Utah. Those plans changed when my dad took a job in another state. Since I had already accepted an internship in St. George, Utah, I decided to stay. In St. George, I began going to my church, but once again felt alone and desolate. It was as if part of me were dead or missing.

One night in my room, I cried out to the Lord and asked Him for guidance and direction. I started to tremble and cry because I so desired to have Him in my life.

At that moment, I heard something or someone say, “Read the Book of Mormon.” It wasn’t a booming voice; it was gentle, quiet, and peaceful. This prompting confused me. I had been exposed to the LDS Church before and had no desire to learn about it. In fact, a high school friend had given me a copy of the Book of Mormon, and I had given it away.

I tried to brush off the voice, but it came again: “Read the Book of Mormon.”

“Why would I want to read the Book of Mormon?” I thought. The prompting came again. “It’s the perfect time. You’re on your own now.” As crazy as this seemed, I suddenly felt a strong desire to get a copy of this book, and I figured the visitors’ center at the St. George Utah Temple was a good place to start. I went on a tour with Sister Pang, a missionary serving in the center, and afterward we watched a movie and talked. The feeling of a presence—a holy presence—was so apparent that I had to fight back tears. It was like I was on the verge of discovering something wonderful. Sister Pang gave me a Book of Mormon as I left.

I went straight home and immediately began reading. As I studied 2 Nephi 27, I began to feel very tired. I almost closed the book, but again I knew I had to press on. I said a prayer that I would be able to understand what I was reading, and I continued. As I re-read the passage I decided to compare it to Isaiah 29 and 30. For me, these scriptures were the key that unlocked knowledge and understanding of the gospel. I knew then without a doubt that the words in the Book of Mormon were true. They were another testimony of Jesus Christ.

I rushed out of my room and told my roommates the Book of Mormon was true. To see the shock and excitement on their faces was great. I rushed to the visitors’ center, but Sister Pang wasn’t there. So I met Sister Taylor, and we talked for hours about the gospel. I asked the missionaries to teach me the discussions, and I set a baptism date after the first discussion.

It wasn’t all easy after that. For the next couple of weeks I received letters and phone calls from my family and friends telling me what to do—and what not to do. I didn’t mind giving up my friends and my lifestyle. But my family’s dislike of my decision made this time in my life very difficult. I decided to stop taking the discussions, to stop praying, and to stop reading. For a week I turned away from everything. I felt so alone and confused. Then one day I called my dad and told him I was determined to be baptized. He told me he loved me and then he hung up the phone.

The joy and peace I felt at that moment cast out everything else. I immediately prayed that Heavenly Father would comfort my family. I began the discussions again, and soon I received a letter from my father. He again told me he loved me no matter what, and I would always be his daughter.

The Lord had taken care of my family and led me to a new life. I’m so thankful for the missionaries, and I’m thankful for my friends who strived to live the gospel principles. Mostly, though, I’m grateful to be a child of God. Every day I’m amazed at the love and the comfort the Lord brings to me. To be recognized by Heavenly Father is so precious.

Illustrated by Scott Snow