Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Neil L. Andersen on the blessings of reading the Book of Mormon

Elder Neil L. Andersen (b. 1951) served as a Seventy beginning in 1993, and was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2009.
"In the commotion, busyness, and uncertainty of our lives, our families yearn for peace. We need our homes to be places of refuge, places of calm, places of truth.
"President Gordon B. Hinckley has given a beautiful promise as we read the Book of Mormon: 'Without reservation I promise you... there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God' (Ensign, Aug. 2005, 6). Surely these are promises of great peace that we need in our families.
"The Book of Mormon is a remarkable spiritual history. The words of prophets were passed down through the centuries from father to son, guarded and preserved through difficulty and war, brought together and summarized, and then laid to rest for centuries, finally to come forth in this dispensation of the fulness of times. Is it any wonder that the Spirit of the Lord, transcending all languages and cultures, is found in such abundance in this holy book?
"The promise of comfort and peace is nestled in every chapter and verse of the Book of Mormon. We need only approach this book prayerfully and with faith, and the Savior's peace will permeate our searching."
- Neil L. Andersen, "The Book of Mormon: The Great Purveyor of the Savior's Peace," Ensign, January 2008, p. 34
Click here to read the full talk

In offering encouragement to help us have our homes be "places of refuge, places of calm, places of truth," Elder Andersen draws on a promise given by President Hinckley in August 2005 when he challenged all members of the Church to re-read the Book of Mormon before the end of that year. I remember it being a remarkable time, seeing people carrying their Books and reading in public settings in order to complete the challenge. It created a unique sense of unity in the Church, joining individuals together in a great purpose. And so many realized the promises President Hinckley offered:

Of course, that promise applies not just to a Church-wide reading program but to our individual, ongoing programs of scripture study. The promises are real. As Elder Andersen says, "Surely these are promises of great peace that we need in our families."

And Elder Andersen offers his own promise:

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