I know it's true!
i think heavenly father dedicated this week to "Help Sister Allen's Testimony Grow Week"! i had so many amazing lessons taught to me this past week and I know that Heavenly Father was answering my prayers.I have been praying for a stronger testimony of the Book of Mormon. Because I have never fully read the Book of Mormon before coming out here, I always just assumed it was true, but I really desired to know for myself. For the first couple of weeks out here on the mission I wouldn't testify or ask someone to pray about the Book of Mormon, because I didn't want to be a hypocrite. I would allow my companions to do that part and this week, I feel SO strongly that I KNOW its true! I know that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. On Wednesday night is when I truly got my answer. We were over at the Myers home and started the first New Member lesson with Vaughn. The members are supposed to teach the new member lessons after baptism and we are just supposed to be there at the first couple of lessons for support. Bro Myers taught the in-depth, mind blowing version of the Restoration. Seriously, i sat there the whole entire lesson with my jaw dropped. I wanted to share some of the things that I learned from him about the evidences of the Book of Mormon.
1. Ezekiel 37: 15-17 talks about the Stick of Judah and Stick of Joseph. I have always known about the Stick of Judah representing the Holy Bible and how the Stick of Joseph represents the Book of Mormon...but I never knew where that evidence was supported. Bro Myers showed us that in 1 Nephi 5:14 says, "And it came to pass that my father, Lehi, also found upon the aplates of brass a bgenealogy of his cfathers; wherefore he knew that he was a descendant of dJoseph; yea, even that Joseph who was the son of eJacob, who was fsold into Egypt, and who was gpreserved by the hand of the Lord, that he might preserve his father, Jacob, and all his household from perishing with famine." Right in this scripture it says that Lehi and his family were descendants of Joseph of Egypt. and we see this again in 1 Nephi 6:2 "For it sufficeth me to say that we are descendants of aJoseph." That is why the Book of Mormon is known to be the Stick of Joseph. All of those who prophesied or wrote in the Book of Mormon were descendants of Joseph of Egypt.
2. In Daniel 2:44, it talks about Nebuchadnezzar's dream and prophecies he saw. "44 And in the adays of these bkings shall the God of heaven cset up a dkingdom, which shall never be edestroyed: and the fkingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall gbreak in pieces and hconsume all these ikingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." This scripture prophesies of the destruction of the kingdoms and that one day God will set up His kingdom and it shall never be destroyed. We often refer to the church as the kingdom of God on the earth today, which is exactly what it is. On April 6, 1830 the church was completely and legally restored to the earth. That same spring of 1830, the French kingdom fell. It was the first kingdom to fall and since that time 8 of the 10 reigning kingdoms have fallen. That means that there are only 2 more kingdoms or hierarchy's that need to fall before the Second Coming. We are closer than we think and the prophesy of the Resoration of "God's Kingdom" has been fulfilled.
3. A lot of people say that the Book of Mormon is written by men. What they dont understand is that the Book of Mormon was written the same way that the Bible was, by revelation through prophets. In Revelations 22: 18 it says, "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall aadd unto these things, God shall add unto him the bplagues that are written in this book:" People use this scripture against us all the time to tell us that we have false writings and that the Book of Mormon cant be a word of God. The thing that they don't know is that it also says this similar thing in the Old Testament, which would mean that they could claim the New Testament false as well.
Anyways, these are 3 of the things that Bro Myers taught to us and as I was sitting there going over these things, I thought to myself, "Lexis, you've always known that the Book of Mormon is true." I realized that I really have always known that the Book of Mormon is the word of god, but I just needed someone to remind me of that. I finally got the answer that I have been praying for and I know without a doubt that the Book of Mormon is TRUE!!
Sister Bundy sent me a copy of the August Ensign last week and I read the whole entire thing, cover to cover. It was exactly what I needed to hear/learn. It had so many amazing articles about receiving true revelation and I would suggest all of you read it, if you haven't yet. If you dont have that much time, then at least make it a priority to read the article titled, "Opening Our Heart's to Revelation". Such a good one!
I have been slowly making my way through the Book of Mormon and am in Mosiah. Chapters 1-5, when King Benjamin is speaking to the people before he steps down from King, are amazing! Read them over again if its been a while. Mosiah 5: 7-9 are my ultimate favorite scriptures. They read:
7 And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the achildren of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are bchanged through faith on his name; therefore, ye are cborn of him and have become his dsons and his daughters.
8 And under this head ye are made afree, and there is bno other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other cname given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should dtake upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives.
9 And it shall come to pass that whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ.
When we are baptized, we literally take upon ourselves the name of Christ. I put in the margin of my scriptures, "Lexis Christ". It helps me remember that we are all a representative of Him and we have promised that when we made the covenants at baptism.
We have started riding bikes on some days throughout the week to save on gas and car miles. Not going to lie, it was super awkward at first. Two girls in skirts on bikes and we are wobbling the whole way because our bikes are unbalanced from our bag FULL of books of mormon. Uhh yeah. Haha. We decided to bike twice last week. Once on Thursday and again on Saturday! I look completely ridiculous in a helmet, by the way. Safety first though, right? Its actually really enjoyable on bikes now that the weather has cooled down and we are seen by everyone. You dont hear anyone say, "Oh yeah, we saw those missionaries in that car the other day..." Its always the missionaries on bikes that people see. Plus, we can talk and wave at every single person we pass. Gives us lots more opportunity to share the gospel.
We have five baptisms coming up at the end of September. Sista Mac and I have started teaching the Durfey/Shore kids. Kendra, Klayton, and Katie are all planning on getting baptized together on September 28th. These kids are AMAZING! Kendra gives THE best prayers and has such strong faith. She has been waiting for a long time to be baptized and she wants it so bad. We met with them almost every day last week and are going through the Book of Mormon. We have been using the Childrens picture Book of Mormon and it has been working very well. We even took them all on a bike ride to the park and read the Book of Mormon there together. They are definitely prepared and we can't wait to see them all in white together. :) Our other investigator, Brad, the guy from the Air Force, is finally returning home from his month long vacation on Wednesday. He is still set on the 28th for his baptism and we cant wait for him to be back so we can actually have lessons with him. He is still a little unsure on some things, but it has been hard to teach him anything because our only contact with him has been via text message. Elizabeth is the other person with a baptismal date. We were at her house and knew that we needed to commit her to a specific date. She had already committed her to baptism, but needed a specific date. Sister MacDonald picked the perfect time to ask her to be baptized, but she committed her to the 28th too! HAHA. So, I guess now we have 5 baptisms on the 28th of September. It's just going to be one big spiritual party in the font that day! We can't wait! :)
I am starting to fall in love with the California sunsets. They are unreal EVERY single night. I wish you all could see. :)
One last thought, the lesson in Relief Society was on the Priesthood. We are so blessed to have the priesthood in our lives. It is an amazing power and blessing from God. As woman, we need to be constantly striving to support and uplift the priesthood holders around us. We should always help them remain worthy of that honor. There is a Mormon Message video here: http://www.mormonchannel.org/video/mormon-messages?v=1370500727001that you should all take a chance to watch. It shows the amazing responsibility that comes when a young 12 year old is given the blessing of the Aaronic Priesthood. "Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord." Remain always worthy of the priesthood, both men and women.
I am so blessed to see the Lord working through other people to answer my prayers. I know he is there watching out for every single one of us and I know he loves each of us individually. He wants to bless us and if we humble ourselves before him, he will pour out the blessings of heaven upon us and make us strong.
I love you all!