“Finding Answers in the Book of Mormon,” Liahona, Jan. 2012, 16–19
Our journey on earth can be challenging, but our loving Heavenly Father did not send us here to handle the storms of life alone. One of the greatest helps He gave us is the Book of Mormon. It not only teaches the fulness of the gospel but also guides us through the problems we encounter. As we search the Book of Mormon, the Spirit will help us find answers to our problems and questions.
Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles testified:
“The Book of Mormon, above all other books that I know of, is the greatest source we have for answers to real-life problems. …
“How many times peace has come into the lives of those who are struggling with real problems when they read the Book of Mormon! The examples of spiritual guidance that emanate from the book are without number.”1
In the following accounts, members share how they found in the Book of Mormon the answers they sought.
Although he learned the gospel while young, Greg Larsen (name has been changed) of California, USA, later fell away. He became involved with drugs and crime and soon found himself in prison. He wanted to turn his life around but was not sure how.
“Men from the local ward taught Sunday School in the prison,” wrote Greg. “One of them told me my life would get better if I read the Book of Mormon. And that is what I did.
“When I got out of prison, I went back to church, but I still had the urge to revert back to my old habits. As I continued to read the Book of Mormon, I learned about the people of King Lamoni in Alma 19:33, whose ‘hearts had been changed; that they had no more desire to do evil.’ I began to pray for this change of heart.”
Greg found the answer to his prayer in Helaman 15:7, which teaches that “faith and repentance bringeth a change of heart.”
“As I read those words, tears streamed down my face. The Spirit testified that my Heavenly Father loved me and would help me. I felt that if I had enough faith to speak to my bishop, it would be enough. As I laid my sins at the Savior’s feet, I received a true change of heart.”
Laura Swenson from Idaho, USA, came home one day frustrated and in tears. She was not married, and her plans for college and the career she had dreamed of were falling apart. “I wondered if I was even going anywhere,” she wrote.
“I was prompted to turn to the Book of Mormon. In the first four verses of 1 Nephi 18, I found an answer to my concerns. These verses describe the ship that Nephi built to carry his family to the promised land. It was ‘of curious workmanship’ and not built ‘after the manner of men’; rather, it was built ‘after the manner which the Lord had shown’ (verses 1–2). Nephi consulted with the Lord often while building the ship. When the ship was finished, ‘it was good, and … the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine’ (verse 4).
“I realized that my own journey was of ‘curious workmanship.’ It didn’t fit the patterns of men but would get me where I needed to go if I sought the Lord’s guidance. These verses were a beacon of light in a dark moment. My problems didn’t end overnight, but I found the perspective that I needed. I am now in a rewarding career for which I had never planned.”
As a young man, Adrián Paz Zambrano of Honduras wondered why the Bible mentions only the area around Jerusalem and wondered if Jesus Christ visited other nations.
“Years later two missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came to my house,” wrote Adrián. “They showed me the Book of Mormon and invited me to read in 3 Nephi, which tells about Christ visiting the Americas.
“As I read, I remembered the questions I had when I was young. I had found the answers. Because of the Book of Mormon, I learned that Jesus Christ visited the Americas after His Resurrection. I was filled with joy because I knew that God loved all His children regardless of location or circumstance.”
Adrián and his wife prayed together to know if the Church was true, and both received a testimony. They were baptized and confirmed, and one year later their family was sealed in the temple.
At age 30, Eric James of New Mexico, USA, was diagnosed with a kidney disease. As a young father, he was devastated and wondered if he would be able to provide for his family.
He read in the Book of Mormon that Nephi wondered the same thing when he broke his bow made of fine steel. But after making a bow out of wood, Nephi was again able to feed his family. (See 1 Nephi 16:18–23, 30–32.)
“Nephi’s story filled my soul like a brilliant light,” Eric said. “The health I had enjoyed up until that point was like Nephi’s steel bow. When my health failed, it was like my bow had broken. But I realized that the Lord had blessed me with a wooden bow in the form of a kidney transplant. The transplant would give me the strength to care for my family. This gave me hope. Almost 10 years later, I continue to provide for my family and serve the Lord the best I can.”
When his children were young, Juan José Resanovich of Argentina turned to the Book of Mormon when he had questions about how to teach and raise his children. “My wife and I searched its pages for inspiration for our children, and we always found answers,” he wrote.
The Resanoviches taught their children obedience by pointing them to Nephi’s example in 1 Nephi 3:5–6:
“Thy brothers murmur, saying it is a hard thing which I have required of them; but behold I have not required it of them, but it is a commandment of the Lord.
“Therefore go, my son, and thou shalt be favored of the Lord, because thou hast not murmured.”
“We taught our children that Nephi respected his earthly parents and the things of God,” wrote Juan. “We made a goal that as a family we would have Nephi’s attitude of respect and obedience.
“Each of our children served a mission. We did not have to convince them to serve. They have been good students, good friends, and good children. Our family has a lot to improve, but the Book of Mormon is a tremendous help in reaching our goals.”
While battling an addiction to food, Susan Lunt of Utah, USA, prayed for help. She turned to the Book of Mormon and read that Nephi was delivered from bands his brothers had tied around his hands and feet:
“O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me … ; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound.
“And it came to pass that … the bands were loosed” (1 Nephi 7:17–18).
“This scripture described exactly how I felt—bound with bands of addiction,” Susan wrote. “Nephi’s tangible bands were immediately loosed when he asked for deliverance. My bands were intangible and I didn’t overcome my addiction in a moment, but as I read those words, I felt something shift inside me. I felt as if the bands around my heart, mind, and body had been loosened, and I knew that I could overcome my addiction.”
Susan has made great progress and, because of the inspiration she found in the Book of Mormon, has been able to break other habits that held her bound, including anger, selfishness, and pride. “I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God,” she explained, “and that the answer to any of life’s questions can be found within the pages of that book.”