Many years ago I stood at the bedside of a young father as he hovered between life and death. His distraught wife and their two children stood nearby. He took my hand in his and, with a pleading look, said, “Bishop, I know I am about to die. Tell me what happens to my spirit when I do.”
I offered a silent prayer for heavenly guidance and noticed on his bedside table a copy of the triple combination. I reached for the book and fanned the pages. Suddenly I discovered that I had, with no effort on my part, stopped at the 40th chapter of Alma in the Book of Mormon. I read these words to him:
“Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, … are taken home to that God who gave them life.
“And … the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow” (Alma 40:11–12).
I next saw the wife and children at the funeral. I think back to that night when a young man pleaded for truth and, from the Book of Mormon, heard the answer to his question.
From its pages comes the promise of “never-ending happiness” to “those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual” (Mosiah 2:41).
From its pages comes the promise that as we pray unto the Father in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, our families will be blessed (see 3 Nephi 18:21).
From a study of its pages comes the fulfillment of the prophetic promise that “there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God.”1
And from the pages of the Book of Mormon comes Moroni’s promise that through prayer, real intent, and faith in Christ, we may know the truth of these promises “by the power of the Holy Ghost” (see Moroni 10:4–5).
With other latter-day prophets, I testify of the truthfulness of this “most correct of any book on earth,”2 even the Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ. Its message spans the earth and brings its readers to a knowledge of the truth. It is my testimony that the Book of Mormon changes lives. May each of us read it and reread it. And may we joyfully share our testimonies of its precious promises with all of God’s children.