Working in my father’s blacksmith shop as a young boy, I was given a small steel bar drilled with three holes to use as a pattern. Carefully I began drilling the three holes in several blank bars. Anxious to please my father, I drilled each hole with exactness. He came over to inspect my work, measuring the holes. Looking at me a bit puzzled, he said, “Son, these holes are not as accurate as they should be. Show me what you are doing.” Picking up a blank bar of steel, I placed it under another bar in which I had already drilled three holes, matching the edges precisely. At that moment my father said, “Son, I know where the problem is. You must always drill through the original pattern I gave you.”
Even being as careful as possible, unless I used the original pattern given to me by my father, the holes became a little more distorted each time a different pattern was used.
The Savior tells of an original pattern, a timeless pattern, prepared in love, which gives instruction on how to return to our Father in Heaven. In his own words the Savior said, “The Book of Mormon … contains the truth and the word of God—which is my word” (D&C 19:26–27). The Lord, speaking in direct revelation to the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, said, “As your Lord and your God liveth it is true” (D&C 17:6). This original pattern is a gift from a most loving Father in Heaven through his Son, Jesus Christ, to his children so that they might know how to return to him.
Physical laws, such as the law of gravity, never change; but we change our definitions of them as the scientific community learns more about their operation. Spiritual laws also never change, and we orchestrate our lives according to where we are in our understanding of those truths. Hopefully, as we read or hear of a truth from the Book of Mormon and other sources, it will prick our minds to the point that we will desire to make that truth a part of our lives. In time, as described in Alma 32, we partake of the promised fruit and feel the love of God. We will then know it is a true principle, which has become part of our being.
If we have changed our lives to conform to the original pattern, we are reaping the blessings that the Doctrine and Covenants tells us are irrevocably decreed (see D&C 130:20–21). Man may try to write his own code of actions; but the original pattern, with its eternal laws and subsequent blessings, will never change. Until we conform to those eternal truths, our lives will reap the effects, just as we do when we ignore the physical laws of not eating or sleeping.
I promise you, each time you study the Book of Mormon you will learn something, and it will probably relate directly to the challenges you are facing at the moment. I invite you to open your mind and your heart. Let the Spirit communicate with you and teach you. The Savior came into the world for one of the same reasons we are here, to learn. He learned and overcame the same way we do, line upon line, precept upon precept. And his gospel is given to us in his testament, the Book of Mormon.