My Priceless Companion: The Book of Mormon


Since my early school days, I have had a strong interest in various religions. I attended many church services and listened to many sermons. When I was in junior high school, I began searching for a true church, just as Joseph Smith did, and prayed earnestly that I might be led to one.

One afternoon, a friend I had not seen for some time came into my classroom. In my friend’s hand, I saw my first copy of the Book of Mormon. I was curious about the front cover design showing someone blowing a horn, and asked him, “What is that?” That was how I began to learn about the Church.

The Book of Mormon became priceless to me, just as it is to many others throughout the world. It is not just an ordinary book. I found it gave me great strength. I always carried it with me so I could read it whenever I wanted to. After a while, I discovered that I could do more than just read it. I realized that there are many people around me who may be in need of the Lord’s words, just as I was.

Sometimes the Spirit prompts me to talk to a particular person. When that happens, I pray to know what to say, and then I say it. This happens quite frequently.

Because I have a personal attachment to my copy of the Book of Mormon, and I would rather not give it away, I decided to carry an extra copy with me. However, I realized that sometimes one copy is not enough, so I started to carry two copies instead.

Frustrating my mother’s wish to see me grow up a charming little lady carrying a petite purse on my arm, I began to carry copies of the Book of Mormon in a heavy shoulder bag instead. The weight of the bag reminds me that I am a Latter-day Saint with something important to share. When I am tired, I try to do my missionary work more quickly, sharing my load.

Whenever I tell someone how important the Book of Mormon is to me and how great a joy it is for me to share it, they usually accept it. They may not read it right away, but you never know when that person may stop to ponder who he is, what the purpose of this life is, and where he is going. He may then remember what I testified to him, and open the book.

Whenever I give someone a copy of the Book of Mormon, I always try to imagine their expression when they discover that the book is a second witness of Jesus Christ, which contains his teachings, including the plan of salvation and our Heavenly Father’s love for us. That discovery may change the rest of their life.

Once in a while I go to the local Church Distribution Center to buy ten copies of the Book of Mormon. As I travel home, there is always someone on the train who says to me, “Your package seems heavy. I’ll hold it on my lap for you.” Whenever that happens, I always present a copy of the Book of Mormon to that person as a token of my appreciation. At the same time, I bear my testimony that the book comes from God and I tell them how important it is to me. On one occasion, another passenger sitting next to the person holding my package watched what went on. He also offered to help me.

For me, even holding a copy of the Book of Mormon brings blessings. I always like to hold my copy when I go to sleep, and if I ever feel insecure, I can go to sleep peacefully. You can imagine how blessed I feel when I read it.

When I feel inner turmoil because of personal pride, King Benjamin (Mosiah 2:20–22, 24–26) speaks to me. When I suffer from my weaknesses, I am taught by Moroni and Nephi (Ether 12:27, and 2 Ne. 4:17–35). When I am feeling hesitant, I read about Nephi (1 Ne. 3:7). When I am afraid to bear my testimony, Abinadi, who bore his testimony at the risk of his own life, speaks to me.

I think of Amulek (Alma 15:16), rejected by those who were once his friends; the courage demonstrated by the two thousand valiant warriors (Alma 57:19–21); the Anti-Nephi-Lehis, who showed their deep repentance and strong love for their fellowmen (Alma 24); marvelous missionaries, like Alma, Ammon, Aaron, and Muleki; the humility and strong faith demonstrated by the Brother of Jared; King Lamoni, whose heart was as pure as that of a child; Moroni, and Samuel, the Lamanite prophet, who had firm convictions of their faith and courage. I wonder what Moroni thought when he was left all alone after the great battle at the Hill Cumorah, and then as he buried the golden plates.

I appreciate Joseph Smith desperately protecting those same sacred plates, and being worthy to translate them so that we may have the Book of Mormon in our day. I feel the joy and privilege of having the Book of Mormon as my companion, and I pray that I may be worthy to meet its authors someday.

[photo] Kyoko Karita, currently serving as a full-time missionary in the Tokyo North Mission. Information in this article first appeared in the local news pages of the Church’s Japanese-language magazine.

[photo] Angel Moroni photographed by Welden Andersen

[illustration] Calligraphy by Annette Horiuchi