Personal Response by Lance
I have known for a long time that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, but only in the last couple of years, while serving as a Mormon missionary, was I finally able to put into words the way that my answer came. There is a promise given by Moroni at the end of the Book of Mormon that if a person reads, ponders, and prays to know the Book of Mormon is true, the truth will be manifest to them by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3-5)I read the Book of Mormon a few times growing up and I always felt that it was true, but I could never clearly express how I had come to that knowledge. I could honestly say that I knew by the power of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, but I couldn’t describe what that meant. It was more than just a simple feeling. It was a strong conviction.
As a missionary I came across people who had highly varying beliefs about the Holy Ghost and the way that the Holy Ghost affects us. This caused me to search even more to find a way to clearly explain how I had received a testimony that the Book of Mormon is true. I was reading in the Book of Mormon one day and I found my answer.
In the beginning of the book of Mosiah there is an account of a prophet and king named Benjamin. Just before he died he preached a powerful sermon to all the people of his kingdom. At the end of this sermon he asked the people if they believed his words. Their response, exactly what I had been searching for, is given in Mosiah 5:2: “And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.”
The people of King Benjamin testified that they knew his words were true because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, or in other words, by the power of the Holy Ghost. The part of this verse that stuck out to me was that they described the effect that the Holy Ghost had on them. They said that the Spirit “wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.”
As I read this verse I realized how I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that the Book of Mormon is true because when I read it my heart is changed by the Holy Ghost. I don’t simply feel that it is true. It motivates me to change and to be more Christlike. I want to be a better person. My very desires are changed. My desire to sin is removed and I am given a greater desire to serve my Father in Heaven and my fellowmen.
I invite anyone who may read this to read the Book of Mormon along with the Bible. I can promise, just as the prophet Moroni promises, that anyone who sincerely reads and ponders the Book of Mormon and asks God in faith to know that it is true will know by the power of the Holy Ghost that it is true. This can’t be just a simple prayer of interest either. We must ask “with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ” (Moroni 10:4). Real intent means that we are willing to act on the answer that we receive. God will only let us know of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon if we intend to follow His teachings. The Holy Ghost will change your heart and guide you to live a more Christlike life. Living the teachings of the Lord in the Book of Mormon as well as in the Bible has brought so much joy to my life and will do the same for everyone who follows the same course.