This weekend I joined the Mormon force in watching General Conference from home. This is a two day affair, starting on Saturday and ending Sunday afternoon. We listen to speakers from our church leadership, as well as music from the Mormon Tabernacle choir. I have to say, the whole weekend was really nice. Chup even made us fancy breakfast this morning consisting of eggs, hash browns, cracked wheat toast, hot chocolate, orange juice and sausage. His hash browns were really salty. So we made up a song called, "Salty Hash browns On My Plate" . . . and where am I going with this?
After Elder Holland's rousing testimony of the Book of Mormon, I felt like recording my testimony too. The Book of Mormon is one of my lifelines. In fact, I cannot go for long without reading and studying from its pages. Whenever I am gloomy of heart Chup has been trained to ask, "How long has it been since you studied?" If my mind is not elevated at least once a day to better thoughts, bigger inspirations and quiet revelations my spirit starves. I become horrid. The Book of Mormon is an important part of who I am.
To be sure, I am not a finely tuned saint. I lack in many virtues, but I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know. I know. I know.
And this is how I know:
Twelve years ago I moved to Salt Lake City to attend the University of Utah. I was twenty years old. I felt like I was at a crossroads in my life, mostly because I was bored. I was self absorbed. I had no real convictions or passions. I was apathetic and probably pathetic too.
The crossing roads presented to me were testimony or doubt. Standing in this critical intersection I decided I should at least read the Book of Mormon, cover to cover, something I had never done before. I was a Mormon who had never read the Book of Mormon, this needed to change.
To save money, I started taking the bus up 13th east everyday to school. In the back of the bus I'd read my navy blue Book of Mormon. When I approached my stop I'd stick in my bookmark and pick it back up eight hours later on my way home. This is when I'd like to add, there were some scary times on that bus. Crazy people and awkward public displays. So good for me.
One day on my way home I became enraptured with a story being told in the book. I can't remember which story it was, but when I arrived at my apartment I unloaded my backpack, coat, scarf, hat, gloves, socks and boots and sunk my body into the couch, book in hand. I couldn't put it down. I read all night and the next day. The book had me captured with stories, testimonies, dreams and declarations.
That weekend I went with my family to our cabin in Wallsburg, Utah. I spent the hours nearing the end of the book. On the last morning of our stay I finished the reading. The Book of Mormon contains a promise in the last chapter, which invites the reader to know the truth of the book by praying. At that point I already knew the book contained the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, so instead I got on my knees and thanked my Heavenly Father for teaching me. For the whole experience. For helping me find my passion again.
Then I left school, went on a mission, and oh boy that is another post entirely.
In the Mormon spirit, I'd like to invite anyone anywhere to do the same, to read The Book of Mormon. Especially if you are down, gloomy, confused, frustrated, lonely or hopeless. If read sincerely, the words will speak to your spirit and teach you some beautiful truths--truths that transcend this sphere. For me, when I read the Book of Mormon I am reminded to replace my fears with faith (which is why I need it every day--fear loves me, has an obsession with my soul).
Gosh, I could write on and on about this subject, but those salty hash browns have given me a salty headache. (Don't tell Chup.) (Too late I already told Chup.)