In my first year of high school, I made a commitment to read the New Testament from beginning to end. After school and on weekends, I retreated to the upper story of our house and read the Savior’s words and of His miracles and life.
Though my young mind often did not understand the language of the Bible, I came to know Jesus Christ. I learned that He is the Son of God and that He was sent to atone for our sins. I learned that He walked with, spoke to, and blessed ordinary, weak people—people like me.
I was sometimes confused while reading complex passages in Paul’s epistles and John’s writings in the book of Revelation, but I could always feel the truth of their teachings. I found that reading the scriptures helped me through hard days at school and gave me guidance in making important decisions.
Years later, as I prepared for a mission, I found myself questioning my motives for serving. I felt that there was nothing particularly special about my testimony or about me. I wondered if I was preparing for a mission out of obligation to my parents and my leaders, who had worked hard to teach me the gospel. I even thought the Lord might be better off without my service.
One day while I was reading the Book of Mormon, Abinadi’s words touched my heart:
“He shall be led, crucified, and slain. …
“And thus God breaketh the bands of death, having gained the victory over death. …
“And now I say unto you, who shall declare his generation?” (Mosiah 15:7–8, 10; emphasis added).
I read that last line over and over, wondering if it had been there before. By reading the New Testament, I knew of the Savior’s life and of the generation of those who had walked with Him. But those of the Savior’s generation cannot visit people today to teach of His love, His Atonement, and His Church. So how could I justify not sharing my testimony of Him?
The Lord wanted me to share the good news of the gospel I had received. I knew the gospel to be true, and I wanted to share the truths I had learned while reading the scriptures.
Soon after this experience I left on my mission. Today I can attribute the desire I had to serve to what I had learned about the Savior as a young student reading the scriptures.