From Believing to Knowing09681_000_027
I first met Latter-day Saint missionaries at a train station when I was 19. I could tell that there was something special about these young women, and I felt an urge to talk to them. So I approached and asked what they were doing in Taiwan. They told me they were missionaries and began to talk about the gospel. Over the course of several meetings, I learned about Jesus Christ, His restored gospel, and the Book of Mormon. It was the last of these topics—the Book of Mormon—that caused me to join the Church.
I can still remember my experience praying about the book. After reading from it one night, I closed the book, knelt down, and asked my Heavenly Father if it were true. I felt a blanket of warmth surround me, something I had never felt in the Buddhist temples I had attended all my life. This feeling was different. I knew someone was listening. In that moment I went from believing the Church was true to knowing it was true, and I decided to be baptized.
The Book of Mormon has continued to bless my life since then. It blessed me when I served as a missionary.
It has also blessed me in my callings. While serving as an institute teacher, I learned that the Book of Mormon was written for our day. 1 But in preparing my lessons, I found that statement is not only generally true, but it’s true for specific people in specific situations at specific times. For instance, sometimes as I prepared to teach, one of my student’s faces would come into my mind, and I would recognize something particular I needed to teach for that person’s benefit. Such promptings occurred frequently and were confirmed when a student would talk to me after class to let me know the lesson was exactly what he or she needed.
Finally, and perhaps most meaningfully, the Book of Mormon has guided my personal life. I remember turning to the scriptures when I was about to end a dating relationship. I felt a great deal of anguish. But a verse I read, 2 Nephi 10:20, spoke directly to my heart and gave me a calm feeling: “Now, my beloved brethren, seeing that our merciful God has given us so great knowledge concerning these things, let us remember him, and lay aside our sins, and not hang down our heads, for we are not cast off; nevertheless, we have been driven out of the land of our inheritance; but we have been led to a better land, for the Lord has made the sea our path, and we are upon an isle of the sea.”
Remembering the Lord, as that verse suggests, gave me courage and hope. I could rely on the “great knowledge” of the gospel that God had given me, and I could be assured that I was not “cast off.” There were good things ahead.
It was a great blessing to believe the missionaries’ words as I investigated the Church. It is far greater to know the truthfulness of the gospel, particularly the validity of the Book of Mormon, for myself. I know that God lives and that He teaches us directly and personally through the scriptures.
Photograph © IRI
See Ezra Taft Benson, “The Book of Mormon Is the Word of God,” Tambuli, May 1988, 2.