One day as I was looking through books in the Deseret Industries thrift store near my home, I decided to buy a copy of the Book of Mormon to give to a friend on Easter morning. I found a nice used copy, put it into my cart, and continued to browse. I soon came upon another copy that looked even nicer, so I exchanged it for the one in my cart and headed to the cashier.
Upon arriving home, I slipped the Book of Mormon into my desk to save it for Easter. When Easter arrived, I pulled it out and decided to write my testimony inside.
Imagine my surprise when, as I opened the book, I saw a picture of my family taken 25 years before. Beneath the picture was a testimony written by my father. He had recently passed away, and tears sprang to my eyes as I read his testimony and felt his presence.
I remembered that when I was a youth, President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) had challenged families to personalize copies of the Book of Mormon with their pictures and testimonies and then send them to Church headquarters to be distributed to missions throughout the world.1 When I found this copy of the Book of Mormon, I lived several hundred miles away from where my family had lived when we first had the book.
After adding my testimony to my father’s testimony, I gave the Book of Mormon to my friend. I then thanked my Heavenly Father for the blessing that the former Book of Mormon project had given to both my friend and me. My friend felt especially touched by my father’s testimony and the special “coincidence” that had occurred. She eventually gained her own testimony of the Book of Mormon and entered the waters of baptism.
My testimony was strengthened as I was touched by President Benson’s inspiration and by the blessing of that Book of Mormon finding its way back into my hands after 25 years.