Fiction or Nonfiction?


And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things (Moroni 10:5).

Usually Jennifer loved library time at school, but today she was confused about something the librarian said. Mrs. Miller said that books like biographies and science books are nonfiction, while adventure stories and fairy tales are fiction. Jennifer had never thought about the difference between fiction and nonfiction.

“But shouldn’t writing something that isn’t true be illegal?” Jennifer’s classmate Adam asked.

Mrs. Miller smiled. “No, Adam. We have lots of books that aren’t true that we all love—like all your favorite novels and storybooks.”

After school, Jennifer was still puzzled. She knew that a lot of the stories and fairy tales she loved were make-believe, but it was still fun to pretend they were real. As Jennifer thought about fiction and nonfiction books, she wondered where the Book of Mormon would be shelved. Was it really true, or was it just a nice story that was fun to believe was true?

Jennifer thought a lot about the Book of Mormon over the next several days. She spent a lot of time reading it too. If people could invent enough stories to fill up the large fiction section of the library, was it also possible that someone could have made up the Book of Mormon? Jennifer wasn’t sure how she ever would know the truth.

When Sunday came, Jennifer was still worried about whether or not the Book of Mormon was a true book. She was worried that she was even asking the question. Everyone else at church seemed to know the Book of Mormon was true. How could they feel so certain when she felt so unsure?

During the sacrament, Jennifer said a silent prayer. It felt good to pray. Jennifer felt warm inside. She felt like Heavenly Father was telling her it was OK that she wanted to know about what was true.

As Jennifer took the sacrament, she started thinking about her baptism. She thought about how happy she had felt. She thought about how taking the sacrament renewed her promise to Heavenly Father to keep His commandments. She thought about how the feelings in her heart let her know that Jesus lives, even though she had never seen Him.

Then Jennifer began thinking about the Prophet Joseph Smith, and she had that same warm, peaceful feeling. It was the same way she felt as she read the Book of Mormon. She knew that Heavenly Father was telling her through the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon was true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet.

Sacrament meeting went on as usual that day, but Jennifer felt different. She felt grateful that Heavenly Father was willing to answer her questions, and that she knew for herself that the Book of Mormon was true.

Elder Robert D. Hales

“Gaining a testimony and becoming converted begins with study and prayer, then living the gospel with patience and persistence and inviting and waiting upon the Spirit.”1

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

  •   1.

    “Receiving a Testimony of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Ensign, Nov. 2003, 28.