Elder Michael T. Ringwood, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, began his devotional March 15 by saying he sought help from the Spirit to know what he should share with the attendees.
“I am grateful for inspiration that came in the early morning hours back in December, to speak to you today about the power of The Book of Mormon,” Elder Ringwood said.
Elder Ringwood said he had an experience when he was serving as the stake president of a student married ward in Salt Lake City. He was participating with the ward one busy night in the temple.
“We experienced a delay that allowed us to sit quiet and ponder,” Elder Ringwood said. “I found myself thinking of an experience in The Book of Mormon.”
He said he was reminded of the account of Nephi when he is sent back to Jerusalem to retrieve the brass plates with his three other brothers.
“Scholars estimate it was around a 500-mile round trip,” Elder Ringwood said. “It was a hard thing, and they were not excited about making the journey back home.”
Elder Ringwood said the sacrifice Lehi’s sons made to reach Jerusalem, as well as the very controversial commandment Nephi received and followed to slay Laban to get the plates, were essential to the birth of Christianity in the Americas. He said they were also essential to the recordings known as The Book of Mormon and even the restoration of the gospel.
Elder Ringwood said as people study The Book of Mormon, they will be guided as were Lehi and his posterity.
“I desire to impress upon you today the power The Book of Mormon can provide in the journey to your promised land,” Elder Ringwood said.
Elder Ringwood said as people study closely the scriptures and especially The Book of Mormon, they will have a stronger faith in Jesus Christ, and they will have our sights on God.
“It will teach us the right way,” Elder Ringwood said. “That is worth knowing.”
Elder Ringwood said it is very important that people are experiencing the converting power of The Book of Mormon firsthand through study and prayer instead of vicariously through posts on social media and other places.
“We might spend more time what is written there than read the source document,” Elder Ringwood said. “It is a book, after all, that comes with a promise.”
Elder Ringwood said when Jesus visited the Americas after his resurrection, the account depicts Jesus letting all who were there to touch his hands. He patiently let everyone have the experience.
“He did that because he knows we need to experience it for ourselves,” Elder Ringwood said. “We must know for ourselves that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.”
Elder Ringwood said a testimony on The Book of Mormon should not and cannot be founded upon archeological or scientific evidence, though these things might eventually prove its validity. He said people must come to believe through genuine and faithful study of its pages.
“If you have not had a lifelong commitment to read the scriptures, I invite you to start today,” Elder Ringwood said. “The evidence for the truth and validity of the testament lies in the testament itself.”