This past conference had a strong focus on the Book of Mormon with at least two talks devoted to its importance. I’ve noticed that certain themes are cyclical in conference. Talks about the Book of Mormon seem to, not surprisingly, come up with greater frequency while the Book of Mormon is being studied in Sunday School. As I’ve studied the Book of Mormon this year I’ve also been inspired to share my testimony of that inspired book.
Elder Stevenson reiterated many of the themes from President Benson’s famous talk about the Book of Mormon as Keystone of our religion. But his emphasis was directed towards youth urging them to gain a witness of the Book. And so he shared the story of Mary Elizabeth Rollins as she gained a witness of the Book. I really love how this young girl nevertheless felt the power of the scriptures. And as she read, the story of Nephi resonated with her. As a teacher of 12-13 year olds, I wish I could help each of them have an experience with the Book of Mormon like the one Mary Rollins experienced. I hope that they could come to see the people in the Book as real figures who struggled with similar trials and challenges.
I also hope to share with them the Book’s powerful witness of the savior:
“You will pore through the passages of this precious book and encounter your beloved Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, on nearly every page. It is estimated that some form of His name is used an average of once every 1.7 verses. Even Christ Himself testified of its truthfulness in these the latter days, stating, ‘As your Lord and your God liveth it is true.'”
Finally, I hope to encourage my students to appreciate how precious a present the Book of Mormon is and how blessed we are to have the Book.
“Do you realize that the Book of Mormon was written for you–and for your day? This book is one of the blessings of living in what we call the dispensation of the fulness of times. Although the Book of Mormon was written by inspired, ancient authors–many of whom were prophets–they and the people of their day did not have the benefit of possessing the whole book. You now have easily within your reach the sacred record that prophets, priests, and kings treasured, embraced, and preserved!”