Your Testimony and the Book of Mormon

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Three stories from youth about how the Book of Mormon has changed their lives.

young man reading scriptures

Joseph Smith said that the Book of Mormon is “the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” (introduction to the Book of Mormon). The Book of Mormon is a powerful witness of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel. Knowing that it is true changes everything.

The people who wrote the following testimonies became converted to Jesus Christ and His gospel because of their experiences reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. Sincerely reading and praying about the Book of Mormon can change your life too.

The Blessing of a Persistent Challenge

One Sunday morning during our priests quorum meeting, my teacher, Brother Allen, asked me, “Brother Davis, do you have a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ?” I told him I did. He asked me how I knew it was true. I told him my parents had taught me it was true, and I believed them.

He explained that I could not rely on my parents’ testimony forever—I needed to obtain my own. He told me that if I read from the Book of Mormon and prayed to Heavenly Father, He would answer my prayer, and I would know for myself that the gospel of Jesus Christ was true. He asked me to do that during the week and return next Sunday to report.

The next Sunday, Brother Allen asked for my report when class started. At first, I didn’t even remember the previous week’s lesson. I told him I had no report for him. He smiled at me and explained that sometimes it takes some work. After renewing his challenge, he told me he would ask about it next week.

During the following week, I read from the Book of Mormon for several days, and I said some heartfelt prayers. Soon it was Sunday again. I went to my quorum meeting with some trepidation. I hoped that Brother Allen would simply forget about his challenge.

When Brother Allen asked me about it again, I told him that I had read and prayed but had nothing more to report. He renewed his challenge and encouraged me to ask in faith. He then promised me that Heavenly Father would answer my prayers.

During the next week, I read several chapters of the Book of Mormon every night. I prayed earnestly for a testimony of its truthfulness. But by Saturday night, I was unsettled because I still had no answer.

That night, I read a chapter in the Book of Mormon, knelt by my bedside, and prayed like I had never prayed before. I begged my Heavenly Father for a knowledge of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and that the Church was true. After my prayer, I lay in bed. My mind and my heart were filled with a message from the Holy Ghost. It was not a voice but a feeling; yet specific words were given to me. These are the words that filled my soul: “My son, you know the Book of Mormon is true. You know the Church is true. You have felt it in your heart since you were young. The Holy Ghost has testified to you that it is true. Of course it is true.” I was reminded of several specific spiritual experiences in my life when I had felt the undeniable influence of the Holy Ghost.

The next morning, I was up early and ready for church, excited for Brother Allen to ask for my report. As we assembled in our classroom, Brother Allen began teaching the lesson. He didn’t ask for the report as he had done the last two weeks. I raised my hand. He was startled, but he realized immediately that I was now ready to share my experience. I then told Brother Allen and my priests quorum that I had a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, that I knew the Book of Mormon is true, and that Heavenly Father had answered my prayer. In my 16-year-old language, I tried to share the magnitude of my discovery, though my words were insufficient.

I will always be grateful to Brother Allen for his persistence and his love as I gained my own testimony. I know that God lives and answers my prayers. ■

Accepting a Prophet’s Challenge

young woman reading scriptures

My family moved to America from the Philippines when I was 11 years old. At first, I had a hard time fitting in. But once I learned how to speak English, I quickly adopted the popular culture. I loved listening to pop music, trying different hairstyles, and wearing faddish clothing. I did not have a testimony. Instead, I had a rebellious attitude.

My life turned around when I decided to accept the prophet’s challenge to seriously read and study the Book of Mormon. I read the book from cover to cover. It felt good and wonderful, but I still wasn’t sure whether it was true.

Nervously, I tried Moroni’s promise in Moroni 10:4–5. I expected angels to appear, but nothing happened. I thought, “That was it?”

In spite of my disappointment, I continued studying the book. One night I had a dream about the Book of Mormon. When I woke up, I felt a burning in my heart, peace of mind, and assurance. I thought, “This is it. This is my answer.”

After that experience, my confidence soared. I did better in my studies, attended more school activities, and, most importantly, became very active in the Church. I continue to study the Book of Mormon and apply its teachings to my life. The experiences I had while reading the Book of Mormon became anchors to me in my life.

The Book That Saved My Life

My family and I joined the Church when I was 12. At the time, I had no idea of the magnitude of that gift. I didn’t even know if the Church was true, but my father and mother were impressed with the message the missionaries carried. I liked the missionaries too but didn’t fully understand what they were saying. Eventually they invited us to be baptized, and my family decided we would join as a family or not at all. I agreed and was baptized without ever being converted.

I attended church and seminary, but my family later fell away. I had friends at church and went to seminary and Mutual to be with them. I didn’t care about the gospel or the teachings and thought church was generally boring. My life grew troubled as I began to engage in activities such as shoplifting and vandalism. My father became abusive, and I thought about suicide.

However, suicide was never an option. I couldn’t do that to my mother, whom I loved deeply. So I was left to find an answer. I looked around and saw my friends from church. The one thing they had that I didn’t was a testimony. So at the age of 16, four years after my baptism, I sat down to read the Book of Mormon for the first time.

It was difficult, and it took me nearly two years. As I read in 3 Nephi about the Savior’s visit to the Nephites after His Resurrection, where He blesses their children and angels descend from heaven and encircle them, it was as though I stood among the Nephites and saw with my own eyes that miraculous event. The Holy Ghost bore witness of that great moment.

I could not read any more, as my eyes blurred with tears. When I regained my composure, I continued reading. A few more weeks passed, and I finished the book, knelt, and prayed to know if it was true. But I got no answer.

Days passed with me kneeling regularly and pleading to know if the book was true, if the Church was true, but still I got no answer. Despairing, weeks after I’d finished reading, I knelt one more time and asked, “Heavenly Father, is the Book of Mormon true?” The answer that came was not what I expected: “I have already told you. You know it is.”

I had gained my testimony weeks before, when I read about Christ blessing the children. I knew that this Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is the kingdom of God on earth, restored by a prophet and led by a prophet, as in days of old.

It is no exaggeration to say that the Book of Mormon saved my life, but it would be more accurate to say the restored gospel saved me and continues to renew me and nourish me each day. It is my most precious possession.

You Can Know for Yourself

Whether you already have a testimony of the Book of Mormon or you want to gain that witness for yourself, reading and praying about the Book of Mormon will deepen your conversion.

The Book of Mormon helps all of us draw closer to Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon will help you know that Jesus is the Christ, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God’s true Church on the earth. Open your heart as you open its pages, and you will see how your life can change for the better.