As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the “Mormon Church” by friends of other faiths), I follow the counsel of our Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, to read the scriptures every day. Mormons believe the scriptures to include the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price; as well as words of the living prophets. These sacred texts can be applied to our lives in a very personal way—thus lifting us towards God in a most gratifying manner. Every day I read them, I can find a new truth that helps me in what ever situation I am currently in. They truly are a never-ending source of learning.
In a book titled, Be Not Afraid—Only Believe, written by Ted L. Gibbons, and published in 2009 by Cedar Fort, Inc.we read of some precious examples of how these truths can be realized:
When I departed from Logan, Utah for my mission in Brazil, I took my father’s scriptures with me. Dad passed away when I was seventeen and I inherited his quadruple combination. Often, as I studied in the mission field, I came across passages neatly marked in red pencil, with marginal notes printed in my father’s unique handwriting. Those messages and markings were precious to me, not alone for the understanding they provided, but because they carried to my heart an awareness of my loving father. All scriptures can do that for us. As we open those books, our eyes flow across pages and our hearts absorb words written in the spirit of prophecy and revelation. The words we read are His words, teaching us gospel principles and reminding us of the awareness of a loving Father, a Father who is showing us the way to go and ever
reminding us of His willingness to help. He has, in fact, promised to help us, and the scriptures are filled with those promises. In every volume, in fact in almost every chapter, careful students can find the promises of the Lord to His children, either hidden in stories and events, or offered with such clarity that they cannot be misunderstood. Those promises will always be kept when the conditions are met.
Of course some of the promises are given for particular people in special circumstances. Not every leper who bathes seven times in Jordan will be cleansed (2 Kings 5:9–14). Not every blind man who washes in the pool of Siloam should expect to see (John 9:7). But most of the promises are universal and as reliable as the rock from which they come.
As we search and begin to discover these promises in the scrip- tures, we must apply them to ourselves. As the Spirit whispers that certain promises are meant for us, we can trust in the Lord and wait on Him with confidence. “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same” (D&C 1:38).
As I mentioned earlier, I once served as a branch president at the Missionary Training Center. Hundreds of the best young people on the planet came to my office for interviews. One young man came for his first interview with an aching heart. His father, whom he said was his “very best friend in the whole world,” was not a member of the Church, although he supported his son in his desire to serve a mission. He drove his boy from their home in Texas to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, so that they could enjoy an extended farewell. As they parked in front of the MTC and began to unload luggage, the father broke down and pled with his son to put his bags back in the car and go home with him.
In a letter to me about this experience, the son wrote: “For the first time in my life I saw my Dad cry—as he said goodbye. Picking up my luggage and turning away from my father was undoubtedly the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.”
But this elder found a promise in the scriptures. “Behold, verily I say unto you, go from [your family] only for a little time, and declare my word, and I will prepare a place for them” (D&C 31:6). That promise was made to Thomas Marsh, but this missionary soon learned that it was also for him. He wrote, “My first week at the MTC, I thought I was going to die . . . I read [that verse] time and time again.”
During his eighth week at the MTC, he got a letter telling him his father had been baptized, and by the time he departed from the Missionary Training Center, his father had been ordained a priest. In a letter to his son announcing his ordination, the father said, “Hey, this is alright. Why didn’t someone tell me about it sooner?” (pages 133-145)
Learn more about how Christ’s words can bless you by reading, pondering, and praying about the Book of Mormon, and meet with Mormon missionaries to discuss ways that you and your family can become more like the Savior. I know that Jesus is the Christ. I love Him. I know He loves me. And I know He loves you. I learned these truths through studying the word of God. Elder Robert D. Hales, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, of the Church of Jesus Christ, has said,
“…when we want to speak to God, we pray. And when we want Him to speak to us, we search the scriptures; for His words are spoken through His prophets. He will then teach us as we listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit” (“Holy Scriptures: The Power of God unto Our Salvation,” Ensign, November 2006).
Ashley Bell is a 22-year old wife, mother, BYU graduate, and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ashley loves to run, cook, garden, read, and most of all spend time with family and friends.