Proving the Prophet’s Promise

In 1986, President Ezra Taft Benson promised the Saints that the power of the Book of Mormon would begin to flow into our lives the moment we began a serious study of the book (see Ensign, November 1986, page 7). Inspired by his promise, my wife and I decided to start reading the Book of Mormon with our family.

At the time we had four children, ages six months to six years. At first, we were able to read only one column each day. With 531 pages and twice that many columns, the book seemed like a never-ending undertaking.

Despite, or maybe because of, how slowly we read, we made every effort to read each weekday. Our children were eager to please—often waking us to start reading. Although we missed very few days, it took us more than six months to read 1 Nephi.

By this time our two oldest children were able to read a few words by themselves. As we slowly made our way through 2 Nephi, including quotations from the writings of Isaiah, we were growing as a family in spiritual as well as other ways. We added a daily devotional time and another child to the family. Dirty diapers and cries of hunger often interrupted our reading, but each day we would finish our allotted column no matter how long it seemed to take.

About the time our oldest turned 11 years old, we started reading at an accelerated pace—one page per day. As we neared the middle of that year, we received word that the Alberta Temple would be rededicated the next spring, an event our family had been looking forward to. We did some calculating and found that if we continued reading at the same pace, we would have one chapter of the Book of Mormon left to read on the day the dedication would begin. We planned to travel the 1,200 kilometers to attend this event, rise early that morning, and drive to the temple grounds to read the last chapter.

The morning of the dedication dawned bright and clear. The temple grounds were beautiful, and we sat down behind the old stone monument as we prepared to read.

The Spirit seemed to be with us more strongly than usual as we finished the chapter and concluded the volume of scripture. It had taken us about five years to complete reading it. We each took a turn praying for confirmation that the Book of Mormon was indeed the word of God. We didn’t see any angels or hear voices, but we did feel the calm, peaceful, loving presence of the Holy Ghost. Tears filled our eyes as the Spirit testified to each of us of the truthfulness and sacredness of the Book of Mormon.

We gave thanks for the opportunity we’d had to become closer to the great prophets of the Book of Mormon and for the blessings that we had received through reading their words—blessings of increased faith, strength in the face of adversity, and greater love and tranquility in our home. Indeed, we had received the blessings a prophet of God had promised us.

[illustration] Illustrated by Dikayl Dunkley