The Convincing and Converting powers of the Book of Mormon
“Have I felt the Convincing and Converting PowerS of the Book of Mormon in my life? And do I feel them today?”
Is the Convincing power enough?
In the Introduction, we read a Promise that “A man would get nearer to God by abiding by the Precepts [of the Book of Mormon] than by any other book”
When I read the testimony of the “Three Witnesses” I cannot help but feel the convincing power of the Book of Mormon as Oliver Cowdry, David Whitmer and Martin Harris declare these words, “Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who came from the tower of which hath been spoken. And we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true.” Introduction
Their powerful testimonies endured till their death although each of them had fallen away or been excommunicated from the church even after they had seen the plates. I don’t personally know these men, and I don’t judge them even in the smallest way, but It seems to me that they had indeed experienced the CONVINCING POWER of the Book of Mormon, but hadn’t felt the lasting Converting power of the Book, in full.
Many of those who I taught in Ohio for two years felt the convincing power of the Book of Mormon immediately as we explained it’s divine origin and read a few passages with them. Like the three witnesses, many of these brothers and sisters would never deny the truthfulness of the Book, nor could they deny that Joseph Smith was really a Prophet. However, the Converting power contained in the sacred pages text…sits on the shelf or on the coffee table, or under the ash-tray, or on the study desk or on their phone, and has yet to reach their hearts and convert them.
It is not enough to feel the convincing power of the Book of Mormon alone we must let our hearts be open to the converting power if we are to be truly converted.
I had many opportunities to witness a brother or sister experience both the Convincing and Converting powers of the Book of Mormon. One brother, we will call him John, had to stand up in front of his Best Friends to defend the Book of Mormon as they mocked his beliefs. Although he had only investigated the Gospel for a few weeks– He told them that he didn’t know everything, but that Maybe God didn’t want Joseph Smith to show everyone in town these plates he had found because someone could have thrown a rock at the plates and damaged them? Gold is very malleable and would be damaged easy? Who knows? Maybe he is right? But either way, John had to step out of his comfort zone, become vulnerable for a moment, and show his testimony to God in order to really feel the converting power of the Book of Mormon. I just chatted with John a few days ago as he related to me his experience of witnessing his Best friend getting baptized…. And how later, both were baptized in the temple for deceased ancestors.
Another Man’s experience.
President Hinckley wrote about a man wrote him a letter, saying, “I am in a federal prison. I recently came across a copy of the Book of Mormon in the prison library. I have read it, and when I read Mormon’s lamentation over his fallen people—‘O ye fair ones, how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord! O ye fair ones, how could ye have rejected that Jesus, who stood with open arms to receive you! Behold, if ye had not done this, ye would not have fallen’ (Morm. 6:17, 18)—I felt that Mormon was talking to me. Can I get a copy of that book?”
We sent him a copy. Some time later, he walked into my office a changed man. He was touched by the spirit of the Book of Mormon and today is a successful man, rehabilitated, earning a living honestly for himself and his family.
Such is the power of this great book in the lives of those who read it prayerfully.
President Hinckley also made this promise that if “you will prayerfully read the Book of Mormon, regardless of how many times you previously have read it, there will come into your hearts an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord. There will come a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to his commandments, and there will come a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God.”
The Last invitation recorded in the Book of Mormon is this—“ Yea, Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
I testify that as we let the Power of the Book of Mormon fill our hearts, our minds, our muscles and our life– that we will come “closer to God…than by any other Book” we will feel the convincing and converting power of the Book of Mormon that will fundamentally Change (OR CONVERT) US Forever, perhaps more importantly, it will change our life today! I know, and have felt the Convincing and Converting powers of the Book of Mormon, and so I can declare with everything that is in me that Joseph Smith is the Prophet of the Restoration, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.