My dearest friends,
Many people are still not exactly sure why I am serving a mission or what I will be doing. For me, a mission is the opportunity to share and teach about the light that Jesus Christ offers to everyone. We all have the opportunity to return to live with Him and our Father in Heaven again. As a missionary, we teach people about how this possible. We teach them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the joy it can bring into their lives. We teach from the Bible and the Book of Mormon and from the words of Latter-day Prophets. We teach by the spirit and through faithful prayer and preparation. It is hard work but it is work that is meaningful and of eternal significance. Yet, in order to be successful in doing this, missionaries need a testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel for themselves .I would like to share my testimony specifically on the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.
When I was 14 years old, I attended a church camp, EFY, for a week. We were challenged to read the Book of Mormon from the front cover to the back cover. I never had read the Book of Mormon. I attended church every Sunday, was a baptized member of the church and was actively involved in the activities and events that our ward (this is basically the people within your proximity that attend church at the same time and the same location as you) but I had never even read the Book of Mormon all the way through. I realized there was something wrong with that. So I decided to do something about it. I began to read the Book of Mormon. It may have taken me 9 months but I did it. At the end of the Book of Mormon, there are 3 verses, known as Moroni’s challenge, which asks the reader to ponder and ask our Father in Heaven if the Book of Mormon is true.
3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
I took Moroni’s challenge and prayed to my Father in Heaven. It was not an answer I received immediately but it took time and patience. During a testimony meeting (where people testify of what they know to be true), I felt so overwhelmed to bear my testimony. I did and I began to cry tears of joy as I talked about my experience of reading the Book of Mormon. This may seem simple but the joy that I felt was my answer. This type of joy, everlasting joy, can only come from God. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. It was translated by the Prophet Joseph Smith through the power of God and its coming forth has restored the true church of Jesus Christ on the Earth today. I am so grateful for this knowledge and the joy it brings into my life and I cannot wait to share it with the people of Retalhuleu! In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
If you have more questions about missionaries and the church, check out this site!
This is Hermana Natalie Merrill! We will be serving in Guatemala together as Sister Missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.