- I have learned that one is never too young to seek and receive a personal testimony of the Book of Mormon.
He speaks of the making the Book of Mormon our personal keystone. He explains the significance of the keystone and how it applies to our personal testimony.
- In architectural terms a keystone is a main element in an arched gateway. It is the wedge-shaped stone in the very center and at the highest point of an arch. It is the most important of the stones because it keeps the sides of the arch in place, preventing collapse. And it is the structural element that ensures the gate, or opening below, is passable.
- In gospel terms it is a gift and blessing from the Lord that the keystone of our religion is something as tangible and graspable as the Book of Mormon and that you can hold it and read it. Can you see the Book of Mormon as your keystone, your spiritual center of strength?
He shares several passages from President Ezra Taft Benson that describe the significance of the Book of Mormon and how it can affect our lives.
- President Ezra Taft Benson said: “There are three ways in which the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. It is the keystone in our witness of Christ. It is the keystone of our doctrine. It is the keystone of testimony.”
- President Benson further taught: “The Book of Mormon teaches us truth [and] bears testimony of Christ. … But there is something more. There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. … You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path.”
Elder Stevenson shares a moment just a short time into his mission to Japan that he shared the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon with a lady he was teachings.
- As I offered her my testimony that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and another testament of Jesus Christ, I received the strongest impression, accompanied by a warm feeling of comfort and serenity inside my chest, which the scriptures describe as “your bosom [burning] within you.” This feeling reaffirmed to me in a powerful way that the Book of Mormon truly is the word of God. At that time my feelings were so strong that tears came to my eyes as I talked to this Japanese grandmother. I have never forgotten the special feeling of that day.
Elder Stevenson offers a challenge to each of us that if we take it, it will make a difference in how we spend our time each day.
- In order to help the Book of Mormon become the keystone of your testimony, I offer you a challenge. I recently learned that many young people spend an average of seven hours a day looking at TV, computer, and smartphone screens. With this in mind, would you make a small change? Will you replace some of that daily screen time—particularly that devoted to social media, the internet, gaming, or television—with reading the Book of Mormon? If the studies I referred to are accurate, you could easily find time for daily study of the Book of Mormon even if for only 10 minutes a day. And you can study in a way that allows you to enjoy it and understand it—either on your device or in book form. President Russell M. Nelson recently cautioned, “We should never make reading the Book of Mormon seem like an onerous duty, like the gulping of nasty medicine to be swallowed quickly and then checked off with finality.”
He concludes with a couple statements about his personal testimony of the Book of Mormon.
- I bear testimony of the Restoration of the gospel in these latter days and of the Book of Mormon as tangible evidence of that Restoration. The truths you will find there will uplift and inspire you in a similar way. They will strengthen your faith, fill your soul with light, and prepare you for a future you scarcely have the ability to comprehend.
- Within the book’s pages, you will discover the infinite love and incomprehensible grace of God. As you strive to follow the teachings you find there, your joy will expand, your understanding will increase, and the answers you seek to the many challenges mortality presents will be opened to you. As you look to the book, you look to the Lord. The Book of Mormon is the revealed word of God.
I have found in my life, that daily time in the scriptures changes my outlook on how challenges are handled. When I spend time in the Book of Mormon, I am more patient, more reserved to pass judgment, or thoughtful of other's needs, and more willing to go out of my way to make life a little easier for someone else. I am grateful for the effect it has on my life personally and I know it can have an effect on others. I like to listen to the Book of Mormon on my commute to work and home. I find it starts the day off right and makes the long day a little less stressful as I prepare to return home to my family. I want to share the link to the Podcast I listen to. This podcast gives you a chapter or two a day of the Book of Mormon for you to listen to. It starts the Book of Mormon after General Conference in April and October and ends the day before Conference. This podcast allows me to listen to the Book of Mormon between conference sessions so I complete the Book of Mormon twice a year. I encourage you to join me in listening and encourage you to look for the positive effects that it brings into your life. Here is the link in iTunes and RSS.