Tuesday, April 15, 2008

26 Reasons to Study the Book of Mormon.

This is a recap of the reasons from Ezra Taft Benson's First Presidency Message in the January 1988 Ensign.

Why Study The Book of Mormon?

President Benson listed 26 reasons for studying the Book of Mormon (from The Book of Mormon Is The Word of God):

1. It is the word of God.
2. A man can get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than any other book.
3. It is addressed to us in our day.
4. To convince us that Jesus is the Christ.
5. It teaches us to come unto Christ and to abide by His gospel.
6. It exposes the enemies of Christ.
7. It confounds false doctrines.
8. It fortifies the humble followers of Christ against the evil designs, strategies, and doctrines of the devil in our day.
9. God expects us to read and study the Book of Mormon.
10. We are to use it as a basis for our teaching.
11. We are to liken the Book of Mormon scriptures to us, that it may be for our profit and learning.
12. We use it to handle objections to the Church.
13. It is to be used as a standard for the Lord's people, the House of Israel.
14. It testifies that Joseph Smith was a prophet.
15. It is the great finder of the golden contact.
16. It is a great sieve - it does not teach things pleasing unto the world.
17. Our missionaries are more effective by using it.
18. It makes our homes and families stronger.
19. Social, ethical, cultural, and educational converts will not survive under the heat of the day unless their taproots go down to the fullness of the gospel, which the Book of Mormon contains.
20. Church classes cannot be spirit filled unless used as a standard.
21. Our nation will degenerate unless we heed the words and teachings of the Book of Mormon.
22. To lift the church from condemnation.
23. Persuades and prepares men to go on missions.
24. Those who receive it in faith and work righteousness shall receive a crown of eternal life.
25. Those who harden their hearts in unbelief and reject it, it shall turn to their own condemnation.
26. Provides spiritual and intellectual unity in one's life.

The above list is found here, where I copied it from. However, the 26 point recap may have other sources, as I've seen it used elsewhere. So I don't know if it is original with that web page's author.

Numbeer 15, finder of the golden contact, and 17, a missionary tool, are the ones that stand out to me, as they relate to this blog. And in the context of this blog a "golden contact" doesn't necessarily mean someone who gets baptized soon, but rather someone who is willing, and often eager, to receive a free copy of the Book of Mormon in their native language.

I've basically done three things: Eat out, shop, do laundry.

I ask people three basic questions: Where are you from? What languages do you speak? Would you like a free church book in your language?

And somehow, I've run into hundreds of people, who speak over 70 languages, who are willing to receive reading material; mainly the Book of Mormon but also Gospel Fundamentals if there is no BoM in their language yet.

How does that happen? How does the Lord control "circumstances" wherein those encounters are made? All I'm doing is eating, buying stuff, doing laundry, and striking up conversations. And only occasionally, maybe only 10% of the time, is there any inspiration or whisperings of the Spirit telling me where to shop/eat/wash clothes.

In 2005 I took a Swahili BoM (among others) to Colorado, and just by chance, met a man who spoke Swahili. I think it proper to say, at least figuratively if not literally, that the Book of Mormon found that man.

I'll say "Amen" to President Benson's words. The Book of Mormon does the finding. I'm just along for the ride as driver and delivery boy.

Would you please carry a missionary copy of the Book of Mormon in your car, and see what happens?



At 4/16/2008 10:20:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wrote a poem based on this talk. I think we have focused on just one or two statements from this talk, which is actually flooded with inspired words!
enjoy-kelly miller

The Book of Mormon is the instrument
Designed by God to sweep all of the earth.
With a flood to gather out His elect
This sacred volume moves His gospel work

We need to daily read from these scriptures
It should be central in all that we preach
And not just when it rotates every four years
To learn of Jesus of whom it does teach

This Book will help man get nearer to God
If we'd learn and abide by its precepts
We testify as we hold to the rod
Never doubting a far reaching effect

The Book of Mormon is the mind of God
Here He voices to all men of His will
We must arouse men's interest and awe
It answers questions with a voice that's still

May we display it at home and at work
And display its quotes and scenes on our walls
As we hold to the rod, let no man shirk
To witness, every member has been called

I have a vision of homes alerted
Of classes alive and pulpits aflame
As the characters are richly painted
So too artists will depict the themes named

I have a vision of missionaries
Who take many passages they've memorized
Into a world that desperately needs it
As God lifts what condemnation's denied


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