I warned you all that the purpose for this blog is to share my testimony.
I recently began re-reading the Book of Mormon and would like to share some insight, especially for you youth out there. Right from the very beginning there is an experience that Nephi shares that is often overlooked yet carries with it the key to unlocking not only the Book of Mormon but the gospel of Jesus Christ.
"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore, I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers. But, behold, Laman and Lemuel would not hearken unto my words..." (1Nephi 2:16,17, bold added)
Nephi first desired to know the truth, then prayed to the Father, had his heart softened, and did believe. The story continues and we learn of Nephi returning to Jerusalem twice to get the Brass plates (1 Nephi 3&4) and Ishmael's family(1Nephi 7), build a ship (1Nephi 17), cross the ocean and settle the promised land (1Nephi 18) all the while being contested by his older brothers Laman and Lemuel. He was able to do all of these things and more because of his testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ that he received through the power of prayer.
Laman and Lemuel did not pray. In the 15th chapter of 1Nephi we read that Nephi, upon returning from prayer, and an amazing vision, he found his brothers, "...disputing one with another concerning the things which my father had spoken unto them. And I said unto them: Have ye inquired of the Lord? And they said unto me: We have not..." (1Nephi 15:2, 8-9)
Laman and Lemuel literally saw an Angel of the Lord (1Nephi 3:29-31), saw the power of the Lord manifest through Nephi on several occasions (1Nephi 4, 7, 17, 18), and even heard the voice of the Lord (1Nephi 16:39). Yet, because they refused to humble themselves and seek out the Lord in prayer as Nephi had done, they consistently hardened their hearts against the truth and rebelled against their father Lehi, their brother Nephi, and, ultimately, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I have taught and testified of many things to many people in two different languages. But there is nothing I can teach that is more important than the humble action of prayer, that God hears and answers our prayers, softens our hearts, and allow us to know truth. That through prayer we can come to know whether or not the Book of Mormon is true, which allows us to fully understand the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that through his prophet Joseph Smith, He restored the truthfulness of His gospel in these latter days which is found within His Church.
I have prayed and come to know for myself of the veracity of these things and it is my greatest desire that all who read this blog do the same!