The acquisition of understanding and enthusiasm for the Lord comes from following simple rules.
One of those rules is to read the word of the Lord. I know that with the demands of your studies there is little time to read anything else. But I promise you that if you will read the words of that writing which we call scripture, there will come into your heart an understanding and a warmth that will be pleasing to experience. Let the Lord speak for Himself to you, and His words will come with a quiet conviction that will make the words of His critics meaningless (from Improvement Era, June 1966, 531).
While we read math and physics and chemistry, we need to read also the Gospels of the New Testament and the testament of the New World, the Book of Mormon, which was brought forth by the power of God “to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ” (Title page, Book of Mormon).
As we pursue our secular studies, let us also add to our lives the cultivation of the Spirit. If we do so, God will bless us with that peace and those blessings which come from Him alone (from Ensign, Aug. 1988, 5).
The Doctrine and Covenants is a glorious book filled with words of heavenly wisdom. It contains the word of God to us of this generation.
The standard works are all indispensable to our understanding of the things of God. The Bible provides the foundation of our faith: The Old Testament gives the word of Jehovah through His ancient prophets; the New Testament sets forth, in language beautiful and moving, the matchless life and sacrifice of the Savior of mankind.
The Book of Mormon stands as an added testament of Jesus Christ. Through its pages march the testimonies of prophets of the New World. Majestic in its sweep of history, its chapters are filled with the tragedy of war, with divine warnings, and with God-given promises. The Pearl of Great Price supplies fascinating details missing from the book of Genesis in the Old Testament and from Matthew 24 in the New Testament. It also contains the remarkable and moving account of early events in the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith (from Ensign, Jan. 1989, 2).
The New Testament has served as the foundation of the faith of uncounted millions across the world into whose hearts there has come the witness of the Holy Spirit that it is true. They have lived by this testimony, and they have died by it. When the dark shadow of death has crossed their paths, when hope normally would have fled, there has come the reassurance that “as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22). In such hours of darkness there has shown forth a light, steady and certain, to sustain and comfort and bless.
But if that is not enough, there is another testament. This Book of Mormon, this scripture of the New World, is before us as an added witness of the divinity and reality of the Lord Jesus Christ, of the encompassing beneficence of His Atonement, and of His coming forth from the darkness of the grave. The testimony is here to handle; it is here to be read; it is here to be pondered; it is here to be prayed over with a promise that he who prays shall know by the power of the Holy Ghost of its truth and validity (see Moro. 10:3–5) (from Ensign, May 1994, 72).
Each time we encourage others to read the Book of Mormon, we do them a favor. If they read it prayerfully and with a sincere desire to know the truth, they will know by the power of the Holy Ghost that the book is true.
From that knowledge there will flow a conviction of the truth of many other things. For if the Book of Mormon is true, then God lives. Testimony upon testimony runs through its pages of the solemn fact that our Father is real, that He is personal, that He loves His children and seeks their happiness.
If the Book of Mormon is true, then Jesus is verily our Redeemer, the Savior of the world. The great purpose of its preservation and coming forth, according to its own statement, is “to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations” (Title page, Book of Mormon).
If the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, for he was the instrument in the hands of God in bringing to light this testimony of the divinity of our Lord.
If the Book of Mormon is true, the Church is true, for the same authority under which this sacred record came to light is present and manifest among us today. It is a restoration of the Church set up by the Savior in Palestine. It is a restoration of the Church set up by the Savior when He visited this continent as set forth in this sacred record.
If the Book of Mormon is true, the Bible is true. Here is a voice that has touched the hearts of men and women in many lands. Those who have read it prayerfully, be they rich or poor, learned or unlearned, have grown under its power.
Brothers and sisters, without reservation I promise you that if you will prayerfully read the Book of Mormon, regardless of how many times you previously have read it, there will come into your hearts an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord. There will come a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and there will come a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God (from Ensign, June 1988, 6).
I thank the Almighty for my testimony of the Book of Mormon, this wonderful companion to the Holy Bible. The test of the book is in its reading. I speak as one who has read it again and again and tasted of its beauty and depth and power.
I have read again and again the closing testimony of Moroni, including these challenging words:
“And I exhort you to remember these things; for the time speedily cometh that ye shall know that I lie not, for ye shall see me at the bar of God; and the Lord God will say unto you: Did I not declare my words unto you, which were written by this man, like as one crying from the dead, yea, even as one speaking out of the dust? …
“And God shall show unto you, that that which I have written is true” (Moro. 10:27, 29).
I thank the Lord, my brethren, that I will not have to wait to meet Moroni before I know the truth of his words. I know this now and have known it for a long time by the power of the Holy Ghost (from Ensign, Nov. 1993, 51–52).