Over the past few weeks, we have been so blessed to find an incredible amount of people to teach here in Miranda South. Because of this, I’ve been thinking a lot about the way Hermana Page and I have been approaching the Book of Mormon with investigators.
To start, here are some things that I know:
1. I KNOW that the Book of Mormon is a testament of Jesus Christ.
2. I KNOW that anyone who reads the Book of Mormon will get closer to God than they have ever been before.
3. I KNOW reading out of the Book of Mormon brings the converting power of the Holy Ghost.
4. I KNOW that anyone who reads the Book of Mormon and prays about it will know that it is true.
5. I KNOW that because of the Book of Mormon and the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith, that we know more about God and Christ than any other religion on the earth.
I know these things, and it is so important for our investigators to know them, too. But if they don’t read it, how are they going to know?
Over my mission, I have noticed that when I have asked investigators to sit down and read in the Book of Mormon starting from page 1, they never do it. They never get very far. I’ve had people read the introduction, and I’ve read the introduction with them, but whenever I have asked them to start from, “I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents…” they get no further. They don’t seem to want to read and get bogged down.
With the influx of people to teach, it has become critical for us to figure out a way to help people understand the Book of Mormon and why it is important for them to read the moment we start teaching them. During my personal study this week, I felt impressed to look at it from another angle.
As a writer, when you send a manuscript in to an agent to get published, you’ll send in what’s called a query letter. This letter describes your book, the plot, what it’s about, why it’s so special, and deserves to get published. If the query letter is good enough, the agent will request the first 50 pages. You have to be sending in your best work if you want that 50 page request to go to a full manuscript request.
It occurred to me that it’s the same with the Book of Mormon. The initial approach of the missionary is like the query letter to the agent. You get your point across in 1 paragraph (or 30 seconds) and then pray that the Spirit will touch them enough to allow you to come back. The first lesson is like that 50 page request.
That being said, this week, Hermana Page and I have been changing what we initially share in the Book of Mormon. We ALWAYS talk about how the Book of Mormon is a testament of Christ in every approach, every lesson. And yet, in the first few pages in the Book of Mormon, it isn’t obvious that it’s about Christ. It’s obvious to us as members and missionaries because we’ve studied the Book of Mormon our whole lives, and we know what it all means.
People are looking for Christ.
And there is no way you can’t feel something when you read about Christ.
I’m here to say that the lessons in which we’ve lead out in the Book of Mormon with the coming of Christ in 3 Nephi 11 have been so potent. The spirit in the room is palpable and undeniable. I can see in the investigators the desire to learn more. No one can deny that Christ is described in those pages. We talk of Christ, we preach of Christ, and we read of Christ in the Book of Mormon. I am so excited to see how this approach will bring a change in our investigators this week. I personally, have found myself more thankful and more close to my Savior than I ever had by studying for these lessons. I, myself, am feeling the converting power of Christ’s ministry in my own life.
Jesus Christ lives. I know the resurrected Christ visited the people in the Americas. I know they saw Him and I know their record of Him is true. Read the Book of Mormon and you’ll know too.
New Mexico Albuquerque Mission
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