Thursday, October 5, 2017

President Russell M. Nelson on enhancing our study of the Book of Mormon

President Russell M. Nelson (b. Sept 9, 1924) was an internationally-renowned heart surgeon when he was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1984. He was set apart as president of the Quorum of Twelve on July 15, 2015.
"My brothers and sisters, how precious is the Book of Mormon to you? If you were offered diamonds or rubies or the Book of Mormon, which would you choose? Honestly, which is of greater worth to you? ...
"Something powerful happens when a child of God seeks to know more about Him and His Beloved Son. Nowhere are those truths taught more clearly and powerfully than in the Book of Mormon.
"Since President Monson’s challenge six months ago, I have tried to follow his counsel. Among other things, I’ve made lists of what the Book of Mormon is, what it affirms, what it refutes, what it fulfills, what it clarifies, and what it reveals. Looking at the Book of Mormon through these lenses has been an insightful and inspiring exercise! I recommend it to each of you....
"When I think of the Book of Mormon, I think of the word power. The truths of the Book of Mormon have the power to heal, comfort, restore, succor, strengthen, console, and cheer our souls."
- Russell M. Nelson, "The Book of Mormon: What Would Your Life Be Like without It?," General Conference October 2017
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

I find it inspiring and instructive to know that the leaders of the Church not only listen to, but act upon, the counsel they hear from each other in general conference. Last April, President Monson gave a relatively simple challenge to the Church (in what may prove to be his final spoken address to the Church), that every member begin "to prayerfully study and ponder the Book of Mormon each day." Now, six months later, President Nelson demonstrated to us how seriously he took that challenge by sharing his insights and witnesses in this wonderful talk. He shared how he expanded his personal study in a very insightful way:

By adding his invitation that we each consider a course of study similar to his, President Nelson has expanded the challenge given by President Monson with some specific and insightful suggestions that will bless our personal study. And he shares his witness of the Book of Mormon's "power to heal, comfort, restore, succor, strengthen, console, and cheer our souls." What a great promise!

Incidentally, attached at the end of the printed copy of President Nelson's talk (see link above) are at least some of his personal insights in researching the questions he suggests about the Book of Mormon. That material might be helpful for those who plan to undertake their own similar studies.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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