Wednesday, November 23, 2005
The End is Just the Beginning
I really enjoyed reading the Book of Mormon. I want to continue with my reading and move on into the Doctrine and Covenants, but my sloth-monkey ways have crept back. I'm still overwhelmed by lack of energy since the flu and new job. I have a 75 minute commute in the morning and a 1 hour return commute in the afternoon, so I have to get up at 5:30 am. My job is only 25 kilometers away, but such is the daily traffic of Sharjah/Dubai. And that's on a good day. One day we spent two hours getting to work. It's a very hard adjustment for someone who hasn't had a regular fulltime job in 6 years.
Today is Thanksgiving and I'd just like to say how grateful I am for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Salvation offered by my Savior, Jesus Christ and my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Every other good thing in my life stands on the foundation of these great blessings.
I want to close with my testimony of the Book of Mormon and what prompted me to read it and pray about it the first time many years ago.
At the age of 20 tender years, I was an inactive member of the LDS church, and an under-age alcoholic. While setting at a singles bar in Chicago a few days before St. Patrick's day a Catholic man and I were discussing the religious aspects of the holiday. He asked me what my faith was and I about choked on my drink. I embarrassingly admitted I was a Mormon, but not a "good" one since Mormons don't drink.
That night I went home and got out my long neglected B of M and determined to read it for the first time. I wanted to rid myself of the guilt of being a drinking Mormon. I planned to read the book to disprove it, rid myself of the church and get on with my alcohol based social life. I had even planned my future response to the question of my faith by saying I was a non-denominational Christian.
I took the book and read Moroni's promise, (Moroni 10:4-5) which was printed on the first page of the edition I had and decided to put it to the test and pray about it as I read.
I hadn't read very far, and I didn't have any "Ah ha!" kind of moment, but within the first hundred pages I was convinced that it was truly the word of God and I needed to change my life, repent and restore myself to the faith of my childhood.
It wasn't easy, but I did it with the help of kind church leaders and have never regretted the decision, now thirty years past.
Each time I reread that great book, I am deeply touched by God's love for his children.
So much labor and effort were spent to write, preserve, translate and publish this book by prophets both ancient and modern, that I know Father in Heaven loves us to provide us with this guidance and warning and a call to come unto Christ.
I hope my simple testimony will encourage you to pray about the book as you read it and have the courage to follow the prompting of your heart. Even though I've finished my current reading of the B of M, I'm looking forward to checking back on your comments.
I encourage you to read this special book, pray about it and put it to the test in your life.
May it bless your life and bring your closer to your Savior, Jesus Christ as it did me.