Church News and Events

Elder Larry Echo Hawk Invites All to Read the Book of Mormon

  • 06 October, 2012

The Book of Mormon is sacred scripture, declared Elder Larry Echo Hawk of the Seventy.

Speaking about an experience in the Marine Corps, Elder Echo Hawk talked about first meeting his drill instructor who ridiculed each recruit, using foul language. When he came to recruit Echo Hawk's bunk, he dumped out his bag and pulled out the Book of Mormon. Leaning in close, the drill instructor whispered, “Are you a Mormon?” Recuit Echo Hawk yelled back, “Yes, Sergeant Instructor.” In a quiet voice the instructor said, “Do you believe in this book?” The recruit shouted, “Yes, Sergeant Instructor.”

The sergeant walked back to the bunk, carefully laid down the book and continued on.

Elder Echo Hawk said always wondered why he was spared ridicule but was glad he said without hesitation that he was a member of the Church, and knew the Book of Mormon was true.

At age 17, Elder Echo Hawk was challenged by his priest quorum adviser to read the Book of Mormon. He accepted the challenge and read every night until he finished.

“On the title page I read that it is 'written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the House of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile.' ... As I read the Book of Mormon, it seemed to me that it was about my American Indian ancestors.”

Elder Echo Hawk explained his great-grandfather was a Pawnee Indian. In 1874, his people were marched several hundred miles to a reservation in Oklahoma. The population of the Pawnee declined from more than 12,000 to fewer than 700 and they, like other tribes, had been scattered, smitten and nearly destroyed.

“The Book of Mormon has a special message to the descendants of the remnant of the House of Israel,” said Elder Echo Hawk. He said that, as he read the Book of Mormon the first time he knelt in prayer as admonished (Moroni 10:4) and received testimony that the Book of Mormon is true. “That witness has helped me chart my course through life.

”I exhort all people to read the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ,“ said Elder Echo Hawk. He especially asked ”the descendants of the people of the Book of Mormon“ to read and re-read it.