Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Scripture Power

Today I read and listened to:

Because My Father Read the Book of Mormon
by Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis Of the Seventy

In it, he tells the story of his father's conversion:

I admire the courage my father had to be baptized into the Church in spite of
the circumstances he faced at the time. It was not easy for him. His wife did
not get baptized with him. The vices of drinking alcohol and smoking were strong
temptations for him. He was poor. His mother was against his joining the Church,
and she told him that if he were baptized, she would no longer consider him her
son. With fewer than 300 members in Brazil, the Church did not have a single
chapel there. I am truly astonished by my father’s determination and
How could he make such a decision in the face of so many unfavorable
circumstances? The answer is simple: it was because my father read the Book of
Mormon. When he read it, he came to know of the truthfulness of the message of
the Restoration. The Book of Mormon is a proof that The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints is true. Preach My Gospel teaches that “the Book of Mormon, combined
with the Spirit, is [the] most powerful resource in conversion” ([2004],
President Gordon B. Hinckley declared: “Those who have read [the Book
of Mormon] prayerfully, be they rich or poor, learned or unlearned, have grown
under its power. . . .
“. . . Without
reservation I promise you that if you will prayerfully read the Book of Mormon,
regardless of how many times you previously have read it, there will come into
your hearts . . . the Spirit of the Lord. There will come a
strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to his commandments, and there will
come a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God” ( “The Power of the Book of Mormon,” Ensign, June 1988, 6; see
also “The Book of Mormon,” Tambuli, Oct. 1988, 7).
These promises came true
for my father and for my family. In accordance with what we have been taught, we
read the scriptures as a family every day. We have done so for many years. We
have read the Book of Mormon several times in our home, and we will continue to
do so. As promised, the Spirit of the Lord has come into the heart of our
family, and we have felt a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His
commandments and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God.

While I was serving as a missionary, myself, I found a consistent pattern with those individuals whom we taught. After each lesson, we would ask those we were teaching, to read, or continue reading the Book of Mormon.

In absolutely EVERY case, those individuals who continued their investigation of the church's doctrines, and chose to be baptized, were consistent in reading the Book of Mormon.

In absolutely EVERY case, those individuals who chose to stop meeting with us, first stopped reading the Book of Mormon.

Why does this happen? Simple. The Book of Mormon is about Christ. The prophet Nephi says it this way, "We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ and we write according to our prophesies.." As we study Jesus Christ, our faith in Him increases. And when that happens, a lot of things happen.

I think of this in my own life, and the life of my children. I know that staying close to Christ is an ongoing process, not a conversion that happens only once, but rather over and over, everyday our conversion can be strengthened or weakened. Just like the people who continued to progress toward baptism, were those who consistently read the Book of Mormon, I know that personally, for me to continue to progress toward Christ, I need to read the scriptures consistently. What a great talk this was, a good reminder for me of the blessings that come to my life from my study of the scriptures.

My kid's favorite song is Scripture Power. I haven't learned how to You Tube myself, so I found someone else's kid's singing it: Scripture Power.

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