You’ve Heard of This Book, But You Probably Haven’t Read It; Here Are 6 Powerful Reasons You Should
A family on a ship crossing the ocean to a new continent. Family strife resulted in the ship’s architect being tied to the mast in an extended family coup d’tat. A storm arises as the navigational system fails.
Following the takeover of their city by enemy forces, the defending army hatches a plan to re-take a city for their homeland. Surmounting all odds, they get the guards drunk, arm the prisoner hostages, and retake their lost city without loss of blood on either side.
A people habituated to thievery, idleness, and murder learn a new way of life. Many decide to bury their weapons and take a peaceful path — even if it means that others will take away their lives.
Earthquakes, fire, and storms destroy cities in a series of cataclysmic events. Out of the ashes the people receive hope and build a civilization greater than anything they had ever thought possible.
Have you read the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ? If so, you are probably familiar with the scenes painted above.
However, if you’re like most people, you only have a cursory knowledge of the book. You probably aren’t familiar with the history or backstory for the book. You probably haven’t heard of the the accounts told in the book.
You don’t know the stories of bravery, courage, heroism, and the fight for good over evil. More importantly, you haven’t found the personal spiritual power available in the book.
Here are 6 reasons you should change that.
1. Cultural awareness
Currently, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints number about 17 million throughout the world. If you’ve read Amy Chua’s book The Triple Package, you’ll know that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have made an outsized impact in business, politics, and other areas in recent years.
Have you heard of these individuals?
- J. Willard Mariott (founder of the Mariott hotel chain)
- Jon Hunstman Sr. (founder of Hunstman Corporation)
- Jon Hunstman Jr. (son of J.H. Sr. and politician)
- Steve Young (NFL player)
- Gladys Knight (R&B singer)
- Lindsey Stirling (musician)
- Mitt Romney (Republican politician)
- Harry Reed (Democratic politician)
- David Neeleman (founder of Jet Blue)
- Stephenie Meyer (author of Twilight series)
The list could go on, but that’s a good start.
You shouldn’t do something just because ‘someone famous did it.’ But it’s not a bad idea to at least consider reading part of a book that many successful people consider to be the most influential book in their lives — a book they read as a companion to the Holy Bible in their personal theological study.
Or, perhaps you know a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints personally. Are you familiar with the premise of the book that encapsulates their faith?
By reading the Book of Mormon, you can gain a greater understanding of one of the world’s major religions and of the people that adhere to its tenets.
2. Learn how to find peace in troubling times
There is no disputing that we live in interesting times. There is no doubt there will be good and bad times to come in the future. Do you wonder how you can face the troubles of life?
The Book of Mormon has lessons for those faced with problems large and small.
Family issues? The Book of Mormon can tell you about a family that struggled to journey and travel together and keep everyone united.
War and civil unrest? The Book of Mormon tells of civil war and extended warfare. It explains how to be true to your beliefs and defend religious and civil liberties in times of crisis. It teaches that your attitude through times of turmoil can make you stronger or break you down.
Personal doubts or a faith crisis? The Book of Mormon tells of a father walking a son through his own personal faith crisis and helping him find the way to get answers.
It tells of that same father when he was a young man. How he fought against faith in God and against those that did believe. How he ultimately found his own answers of truth.
It tells of the grandfather of this young man and how he overcame his doubts in the face of intense social pressure and followed the teachings he knew to be true.
A long road ahead of you? The Book of Mormon chronicles a family’s long journey from prosperity to poverty and back again. After leaving prosperous urban life, they travel in the wilderness, nearly starving at times, and ultimately find their way to a new prosperity, being led by God in unexpected ways.
3. Learn about pride and the power of humility
Today’s culture is a me-driven culture. Our culture tells us you’re good how you are and no change necessary.
Most wisdom literature in the world teaches that every individual has untapped power and potential waiting to be unleashed. The unleashing of this power, however, is dependent on learning, growth, and self-mastery derived from humility.
The Book of Mormon powerfully teaches of how individuals can unlock their personal spiritual potential through diligence, patience, and humility.
Ironically, it is not by focusing on self that leads to the greatest personal growth, but it is by looking beyond the self. By looking towards others and towards a higher power individuals can gain powerful learning and development. By being in a humble, teachable state, you become prepared to unleash your individual power through the lessons taught by God and his master teachers.
Here are few brief teachings about humility in the book.
One Book of Mormon teacher asks:
Have ye walked, keeping yourself blameless before God? Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble?…Are ye stripped of pride?
Another young man in the Book of Mormon had a chance to learn from an angelic teacher. He was asked a question, to which he responded,
I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things
In another place we learn about a group of people who “did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility”
We also learn about the leader of a people who taught them in this manner:
Behold, ye have called me your king; and if I, whom ye call your king, do labor to serve you, then ought not ye to labor to serve one another?
There is wisdom in humility. Strength in meekness. Power in service.
4. Learn how to pray powerfully
Have you every prayed and felt like your prayers were hitting the ceiling. Would you like your prayers to ascend to heaven?
The Book of Mormon describes a people of a certain city who prayed in a repetitious manner. Once a week they would congregate, and one person would climb to the top of a high stand. The person praying would stand with hands upraised and thank God that they were better than other people. The person would express gratitude that they were so much better than everyone else. They would then go their way, not speaking of God for the rest of the week.
Did they find power in their prayers?
The rich and learned in this city found power in money and religious dominion. But they lacked personal spiritual power. The common people found themselves powerless in all aspects. The lowest classes were not even allowed to worship publicly — they were disenfranchised from gathering with the rich and praying atop the stand.
In course of time, a group of spiritual teachers came and brought a message to the city. They taught the people that they could pray powerfully whenever and wherever. These teachers taught the people that they could:
- Pray for mercy and grace any time
- Pray in their fields, their workplace, and pray for their work
- Pray in their homes, and pray for their families
- Pray for relief from those that would bring them down
- Pray in secret, in their closets
- Pray in their hearts, even when they weren’t in a place to formally pray
- Pray about the Son of God and find power from him
Those that found themselves learning these lessons became freed from those who held them in mental and spiritual bondage. They gained personal spiritual power despite the fact that they were at the bottom of their society.
When we learn to pray like this, we too invite the power and presence of God into our daily lives. We can free ourselves from addiction, habit, and powerlessness.
5. Learn how to learn about God
More important than learning something is learning how to learn. Many people learn about God from other people, but don’t learn how to connect directly to God to learn about him. Would you like to learn how to learn about God?
One powerful story in the Book of Mormon tells of a man who lived in a culture where the concept of God was vague at best. Most people lived and did according to their own self-interest.
This man also happened to be the king, so he was accustomed to getting his way.
We don’t know much about his past, but murder and thievery were common practices in his culture. It also seems that capital punishment was meted out fairly liberally.
However, through a series of circumstances, this man found himself at the end of a sword — a sword held by a man of God. The king had tried to take this man’s life on the offensive, but ended up on the defensive.
He begged and pleaded for his life and offered half his kingdom. He was surprised to be granted mercy on easy conditions. Not conditions of lands and power, but for religious freedom, peace, and tolerance.
The king was astonished and after much reflection found that he needed to learn more. His world had been turned upside down.
Later he was visited by another man of God, named Aaron. The king learned from Aaron about the nature of God. However, the king needed to learn some things for himself. He was not sure there was a God, but he needed to know.
He bowed down and prayed:
O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee.
His words are humbling and instructive. If you don’t know there is a God, you can ask him if he is there.
If you are willing to be sincere and act upon what you know, you can be given knowledge of things beyond the five senses.
In the final chapter of the Book of Mormon there is a simple formula given to know the truth and to learn about God. The final author of the Book of Mormon writes:
Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things…that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been…and ponder it in your hearts.
I would exhort you that ye would ask God…in the name of Christ if these things are not true
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
And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things
This is the formula to know the veracity of the Book of Mormon, the Bible or any other teaching about God. It is the formula to come to know God himself and what he expects of you.
6. Learn about Jesus Christ and his love for all of God’s children
The Book of Mormon subtitle is “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.” In the Bible, at the close of the Gospel of John, the author states:
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.
Would you like to know more about the things which Jesus did?
The climax of the Book of Mormon tells of the visit of Jesus Christ to the people in the New World following his death and resurrection in the Old World.
Near the end of the Book of Mormon, the people in the New World are visited with destruction, upheaval, storms, earthquakes, and then darkness. After three days in the darkness, they hear a voice from heaven. They later see a person descending from heaven and hear a voice:
Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name — hear ye him.
The people listen to Jesus Christ teach and feel the wounds in his hands and feet. They learn what he would have them do. They hear him pray for them.
And when he had said these words, he himself also knelt upon the earth; and behold he prayed unto the Father, and the things which he prayed cannot be written, and the multitude did bear record who heard him.
And after this manner do they bear record: The eye hath never seen, neither hath the ear heard, before, so great and marvelous things as we saw and heard Jesus speak unto the Father;
The people went on to learn from the resurrected Jesus Christ, change their ways, and live happily and peacefully for a time. They enjoyed remarkable prosperity as an entire civilization learned to follow the Master Teacher.
But this message is not for just the select few on the earth that have talked personally with Jesus Christ.
We learn from the Book of Mormon that:
He inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female…and all are alike unto God
God loves all of his children and he sent his Son to serve all of them. Not just in one location around the world, but in all areas where the people were ready to receive him. Not just at one time, but for all people at all times.
This is the great promise of the Book of Mormon. There is great spiritual power and healing available for you.
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