A few weeks ago I received an email from Church Headquarters asking me to promote new materials that the church is releasing. As my first item I was sent a preview of the October Ensign and asked to preview it and then share some things with my readers.
Here is an excerpt from the Ensign:
"Welcome to This Special Issue
Few topics are worth dedicating a whole issue to, but the Book of Mormon is one of them. In this issue, prophets past and present, as well as members all over the world, testify of this unique book of scripture. Its origins are miraculous. It is tangible evidence of the Restoration. It is the keystone
of our religion. And it was written for our day—teaching the doctrine of Christ clearly and simply to build our faith and strengthen our families.
Although you won’t find many of the departments you are accustomed to having in the Ensign, the First Presidency Message (page 4) and Visiting Teaching Message (page 46) are here. These messages and all the other articles
share testimonies and teachings from the Book of Mormon.
We invite you to study this issue prayerfully, take the messages to heart, and share them—and the Book of Mormon—with others."
This issue of the Ensign is amazing and will be a great way to introduce family and friends to this magnificent book, The Book of Mormon.
This issue begins with the First Presidency Message from President Monson. In his message he shares a sweet experience from his life and then continues to talk about the promises from the Book of Mormon:
"From the Book of Mormon come other precious promises,
including promises of peace, freedom, and blessings if we “will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ” (Ether 2:12).
From its pages comes the promise of “never-ending happiness” to “those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual” (Mosiah 2:41).
From its pages comes the promise of “incomprehensible joy” to those who become “instrument[s] in the hands of God” in rescuing His precious sons and daughters (Alma 28:8; 29:9).
From its pages comes the promise that scattered Israel will be gathered—a work in which we are engaged through our great worldwide missionary efforts (see 3 Nephi 16; 21–22).
From its pages comes the promise that as we pray unto the Father in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, our families will be blessed (see 3 Nephi 18:21).
From a study of its pages comes the fulfillment of the
prophetic promise that “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.”
And from the pages of the Book of Mormon comes Moroni’s promise that through prayer, real intent, and faith in Christ, we may know the truth of these promises “by the power of the Holy Ghost” (see Moroni 10:4–5)."
What amazing promises those are.
The next article focuses on Joseph Smith and how he received, translated, and published the record now titled the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.
It is written in a sort of 'time-line' fashion.
Throughout this issue you will find several experiences/testimonies from members all over the world. Here is one:
TO KNOW IS TO KNOW LOVE
"I am a new member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and to me the Book of Mormon is not just a book. It is solid proof that Heavenly Father loves us. It is proof that earlier Saints loved us and wanted us to come home. It is proof that God’s plan of happiness exists and is perfect. To know that this book is true is to know that Heavenly Father and His Son live. It is to know that life is beautiful and eternal. It is to know that as long as you keep trying to be your best and repent when you fall, then you will always be forgiven. It is to know the true meaning of family. It is to know that you will never lose a loved one, as he or she waits for you. It is to know the blessings of Heavenly Father. It is to know the comfort that whatever storms come your way, you can face them, as they are for your benefit. It is to know the Holy Ghost is your constant companion. In essence, it is to know love in all its expressions."
Also in this issue you will see a Book of Mormon Time line,
an article on 'Who Wrote the Book of Mormon', and another article that shows that both the Bible and Book of Mormon testify of Jesus Christ and teach principles of His gospel; giving scripture references from both the Bible and Book of Mormon concerning various topics like: Loving Father in Heaven, Death and the Spirit World, Baptism and Holy Ghost, Atoned for our Sins, Prophets, and many more.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shares a wonderful article: 'How to Study the Book of Mormon'
Here is an excerpt of what he says:
"Twenty-five years ago, President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) detailed 'three great reasons why Latter-day Saints should make the study of the Book of Mormon a lifetime pursuit.'
The reasons were these:
• First, the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion—the keystone of our witness of Jesus Christ, of our doctrine, and of our testimony.
• Second, the Book of Mormon was written for our day. • Third, the Book of Mormon helps us draw nearer to God.
These reasons for studying the Book of Mormon also suggest some ways we might go about studying this unique scripture..."
Instrument of Conversion
"The Book of Mormon is an incomparable treasure and the instrument of conversion that the Lord has designed and provided for our dispensation. I recognize it as the foundation of my own testimony of Jesus Christ, of the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith, and of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as “the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth.” 4 I am happy to join my testimony with Jesus Christ’s that “as your Lord and your God liveth it is true” (D&C 17:6). May your lifelong study of the Book of Mormon deepen your conversion and lead you in a direct course to eternal life."
Elder D. Todd Christofferson
I could go on and on sharing each and every article in this special issue, but I'll leave the rest for you to see for yourself. I know you will love this issue and use it as you study the Book of Mormon.
I am going to leave you with one last quote from this issue, I loved this quote!
Quoting President Benson: “It is not just that the Book of Mormon teaches us truth, though it indeed does that. It is not just that the Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ, though it indeed does that, too. But there is something more. There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book.”
I cannot wait for this issue of the Ensign, it should be showing up in our mailboxes soon. :)
It will also be available on LDS.org on Sept. 20th.
I hope each of you will read this issue and share it with others.
Have a great weekend!