“And now I bid unto all, farewell. I soon go to rest in the paradise of God.” (Moroni 10:34)
“And I say good-bye to all, as we soon embark upon our summer break.” (Bob 7:11)
With but a week and a half left of Seminary, I have thought back, and am very thankful for the greater understanding of the Book of Mormon which I have gained over these past nine months. The most important lesson upon which I have thrived, is one that I hope came across for others as well in this forum…A 100th Part. It all started out as a way to reach out to one of our students who was unable to attend class with us; a way to keep her involved in our program of study of the Book of Mormon. Silently, more readers joined in, and we averaged 50-70 weekly readers throughout the course of study. I have certainly discovered for myself that this specific teaching of the prophet Nephi works – “For I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning.” (1 Nephi 19:23) These thirty-five posts have been illustrations from my heart and mind to help us all see how we certainly can “liken all scriptures unto us.” I hope that you have found some practicality in what I have written and shared with you week after week. I feel guilty, because the writing was very self-therapeutic for me, and I think that I was often writing for myself more than for others.
Some of you have asked me what I’m going to do for next year’s course of study (Church History and the Doctrine & Covenants), but I don’t know yet what the answer is. I will think about it over the summer, and see if anything seems like it could be valuable to our students and their families. This “blog” wasn’t as successful as I would have liked it to be in getting the attention of the students. Maybe I’ll have to venture into FaceBook or Twitter to get more of their audience? I’m sure that there’s some avenue that I can find and reach more of them…more often.
In closing this final chapter, I would like to reflect upon some of Moroni’s last words to us, “And I, Moroni, will not deny the Christ.” (Moroni 1:3) Studying the Book of Mormon has certainly brought me closer to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I, like Moroni, cannot deny the Christ; nor the power of His atonement in my life; nor His eternal love for me; nor His patience and understanding with me. If there actually is someone out there that truly doesn’t believe that the LDS Church or the Book of Mormon is not Christian, I would challenge him or her to simply pick up a copy of the book, and open its pages…to any page…and just read for fifteen minutes, and see for yourself. Again, citing the words of Nephi, “And now, my beloved brethren…hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ.” (2 Nephi 33:10) The Spirit of Christ illuminates each and every page of this wonderful book, and we can all draw from this important Light simply by reading and pondering upon its pages.
My final thought also comes from Moroni, something for us all to do when we read these pages:
“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. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” (Moroni 10:4-5)
Your parents can’t convince you that this book is true; nor can your friends or teachers; nor can your church leaders – no matter what faith. But the beauty of it all is that you can draw upon the power of the Holy Ghost to know for yourself that it is indeed true. Your testimony depends solely upon you! Read…ponder…pray. That’s all you have to do! Oh yeah, don’t forget the part about doing so with a sincere heart and real intent. May you find solace in the words of Moroni, and the other prophets that have written for us in the Book of Mormon. Readers, adieu!