“How the Book of Mormon Transforms You,” New Era, Oct. 2013, 26–27
You may have already read the Book of Mormon—the whole thing from cover to cover. You’ve recognized the Spirit as you’ve read it, and you know it’s true. So now what? If you have a testimony of the Book of Mormon, you might ask why you need to keep reading it regularly on your own, especially if you already read the scriptures with your family and in seminary. Good question, to which there are some good answers. And if you haven’t yet read the Book of Mormon, take a look. You may find these same answers apply to you too. Here are three ideas for starters:
If you stop reading the Book of Mormon now, you’ll miss out on opportunities to learn the doctrines, stories, and narrative of the Book of Mormon. They’re really important to know when serving a mission or for any service you’ll give in your home and at church.
The prophets have counseled us to study the Book of Mormon.1 For example, the Prophet Joseph Smith said, “A man would get nearer to God by abiding by [The Book of Mormon’s] precepts, than by any other book” (in the introduction to the Book of Mormon).
Regular study of the Book of Mormon is one of the best ways to strengthen your faith and draw nearer to the Lord. President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, has said, “The Book of Mormon is both clear in doctrine and full of invitation to come to the Savior.”2 Your knowledge, faith, and testimony will increase as you live its principles and strive to come unto the Savior.
But there’s another much more profound reason: studying the Book of Mormon regularly will transform you.
President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) said, “There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called ‘the words of life’ (see D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance.”3
As you study the Book of Mormon with a sincere heart, you’ll become more fully converted. You’ll desire to repent and be clean, and you’ll feel the Holy Ghost. Because the Holy Ghost sanctifies us, you’ll find that feeling the Holy Ghost more prominently in your life changes you spiritually (see 3 Nephi 27:20; Moses 6:64–65). Your heartfelt study will enlighten you, broaden your mind, and enlarge your soul (see Alma 32:28–36). And as you come to understand the doctrines of the Church better, you’ll be able to resist temptation not just because you know it’s wrong, but also because your attitudes and behavior will have changed such that you have less and less desire to do wrong.4
You will feel as the Nephites did who repented as a result of King Benjamin’s teachings, “because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually” (Mosiah 5:2).
That kind of change is at the heart of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and it’s what leads to happiness. That’s a pretty good reason to study the Book of Mormon, don’t you think?