Early during my freshman year of high school, I accepted my seminary teacher’s challenge to read the Book of Mormon cover to cover. Now, a month before my 15th birthday, I knelt by my bed and took Moroni’s challenge to heart:
“I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts” (Moroni 10:3).
I began to ponder how the Lord had been merciful to me that school year and counted the many ways my life had been blessed. I had earned better grades than ever. I had developed skills in both football and track, and next year’s seasons looked promising. I had made some exceptional friends who showed me through their example the way I should try to live my life.
I pondered on all I had read about that year in the Book of Mormon—the courage of Nephi, the conversion of Alma, the faith of Helaman’s 2,000 warriors, the sorrow of Mormon as his people destroyed themselves through sin. I asked myself if I believed what I had read and concluded that I did believe and that applying what I read had helped me to have a successful freshman year.
Then I put the final part of Moroni’s promise to the test:
“And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true” (Moroni 10:4).
I prayed. In my prayer I told Heavenly Father that I had finished the Book of Mormon and that I believed it was true. I hesitated a moment and then asked the question that had weighed on my mind for weeks, “Is this book true?”
Barely after I finished expressing those words, I felt a surge of warmth and love spread through my body, beginning at my head and washing through to my toes. It was the same feeling I felt when I decided I wanted to become a missionary, when I received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and when I heard prophets testify of Christ in general conference.
Not every year of high school went as smoothly for me, but my testimony of the Book of Mormon and the experience of getting a direct answer to my prayer helped me to overcome challenges and provided a foundation of faith for the rest of my life.
The Book of Mormon is true. God answers our prayers. I pray that that testimony will always be mine.
Illustration by Amy Thompson