I had never really asked before. Now I knew I needed an answer.
Is It Really True?04251_000_018
During our last stake conference, something momentous happened for me. Our stake president asked us to read a scripture in Mosiah that was near a verse I had highlighted on the previous page. I felt prompted to turn the page back and read what I had marked:
“I pray that ye should awake to a remembrance of the awful situation of those that have fallen into transgression.
“And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it” (Mosiah 2:40–41).
The last sentence struck me. I realized I had never really received a testimony of the Book of Mormon. Since I had grown up in an LDS family, I just took for granted that it was all true and believed what people had told me. But I didn’t have that knowledge for myself. I lacked a surety that this is the true Church, that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, and that President Thomas S. Monson does receive revelation from God. But the sentence, “O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it,” made me realize it couldn’t be this way forever. I needed to find out for myself if this really was the truth. So I began to pray.
“Dear Heavenly Father, I. …”
But I didn’t get any further. I felt the Spirit so strongly within me it brought tears to my eyes. It was actually burning in my bosom, and I choked on the words. I have never felt anything so compelling and real. I had finally experienced personal revelation that the Book of Mormon was true, and I knew it. Suddenly the Spirit brought back to my memory Moroni 10:4:
“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; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.”
I began again. “Heavenly Father, I need to gain my own testimony of the truth of this book, and of this Church. I ask you, in the name of Jesus Christ, are these things true?” And once again, the Spirit confirmed truth. It was so powerful. I knew there could only be one answer, and I knew it as surely as I know 2+2=4.
The Book of Mormon is true. Joseph Smith actually was a prophet, and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ did appear to him in the Sacred Grove. President Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet, and he does receive divine guidance to lead this Church, a Church I now know for sure is true. I hope all people take the advice Moroni gave us and pray in the name of Christ, with a sincere heart, real intent, and faith, and ask if these things are true. I know the answer will be “Yes. Yes, it is.” I hope we all will “remember, remember that these things are true, for the Lord God hath spoken it.”
Illustration by Sheri Lynn Boyer Doty