Friday, January 18, 2019

Elder Gary E. Stevenson on the power of the Book of Mormon

Elder Gary E. Stevenson (born August 5, 1955) was called as a Seventy in 2008, then as Presiding Bishop in 2012. He was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in October 2015.
"When you read the Book of Mormon and pray with a desire to know it is true, you too can receive the same impression in your heart that [others have] received. You may also find that as you stand and bear witness of the Book of Mormon, you will feel the same spirit of confirmation. The Holy Ghost will speak to your heart. You can also feel this same spirit of confirmation when you hear others share their testimonies of the Book of Mormon. Each of these spiritual witnesses can lead to the Book of Mormon becoming the keystone of your testimony.
"Let me explain. The Prophet Joseph Smith, who translated the Book of Mormon through 'the gift and power of God,' described the Book of Mormon as 'the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion.' (Introduction to the Book of Mormon.)
"Since the Book of Mormon’s first printing in 1830, more than 174 million copies have been published in 110 different languages, demonstrating that the Book of Mormon is still the keystone of our religion. But what does this mean for each of you?
"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?"
- Gary E. Stevenson, "Look to the Book, Look to the Lord," General Conference, October 2016
Click here to read or listen to the complete talk

Elder Stevenson teaches that a personal witness of the validity of the Book of Mormon can come differently—as we read, as we hear others teach and testify, or even as we ourselves share our feelings about the book. Gaining and strengthening our personal testimony will lead to that book taking its place as the keystone of our testimony:

It truly is a blessing to have something so "tangible and graspable" to cling to. The more we learn from the power of the Book of Mormon, the more powerfully we will know of its validity and the better equipped we will be to deal with life's challenges. It truly can be the "spiritual center of strength" for any who take advantage of its gifts.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2019)

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