Missionaries taught my family the gospel in our home in Singapore. My father did not join the Church, but my mother did. She taught us of Jesus Christ and of His gospel. Even as a child, I proudly told my friends that I was a Latter-day Saint.
I always trusted my mother’s teachings. But when I became a young adult, a missionary asked me how many times I had read the Book of Mormon. I had been asked this question before, but this time I realized that because I had not read the Book of Mormon, I did not know whether it was true.
An Undeniable Fact
I could no longer dodge an undeniable fact: the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon are intertwined. If the gospel is true, then the Book of Mormon is true. Since I didn’t know whether the Book of Mormon was true, I now felt uncertain of everything I had grown to believe in. Confusion filled my mind, and the question—“Is the Book of Mormon true?”—remained in my heart.
My growing relationship with the Savior, Jesus Christ, also led me to a desire for the truth. The day I realized that I could not learn enough about Jesus Christ without seriously reading the Book of Mormon was the day I profoundly desired to know whether it was true.
Called as a Teacher
I prayed for guidance. During this time, my branch president called me to teach about the Book of Mormon in the Gospel Doctrine class. I accepted the calling because I felt it might be the Lord’s answer to help me know the truth of the Book of Mormon and to draw closer to the Savior.
Teaching was hard. After the first few Sundays, I knew that I would never be effective until I believed in the Book of Mormon.
Stories Unfolded Chapter by Chapter
I began studying the Book of Mormon each week and soon found joy in my reading. The stories in the Book of Mormon unfolded chapter by chapter and drew me closer to Jesus Christ.
I read of Christ’s birth, which Nephi saw in a vision:
“And I beheld the city of Nazareth; and in the city of Nazareth I beheld a virgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white. …
“And [the angel] said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh” (1 Nephi 11:13, 18).
I read of the plan of happiness and learned that faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for our salvation. Amulek taught:
“I do know that Christ shall come among the children of men, to take upon him the transgressions of his people, and that he shall atone for the sins of the world; for the Lord God hath spoken it.
“… For according to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish” (Alma 34:8, 9).
I read of Jesus Christ ministering to His other sheep in ancient America, and I knew that He is the God of all nations. He told the Nephites: “Ye are they of whom I said: Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd” (3 Nephi 15:21).
My Testimony Came Little by Little
As I read the Book of Mormon, my faith in Jesus Christ brightened and my understanding of His plan expanded (see Alma 32:28).
I testify that the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. The Holy Ghost has revealed to me that Joseph Smith is a true prophet who restored the Church of God upon the earth and who translated the Book of Mormon from the gold plates. The Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ and works hand in hand with the Bible. Together they testify that Jesus Christ is truly the Son of God and that He is the God of all nations, not just one.
The Keystone of Our Religion
“Just as the arch crumbles if the keystone is removed, so does all the Church stand or fall with the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. … If the Book of Mormon be true—and millions have now testified that they have the witness of the Spirit that it is indeed true—then one must accept the claims of the Restoration and all that accompanies it.”
President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994), in Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service (2004), 104.