Liebe Familie und Freunde:
I have been reading and studying and experiencing a lot about the Book of Mormon recently. Zone Conference is this coming Friday, and Chapter 5 of Preach My Gospel is the main focus for it. I love the Book of Mormon! Here are a few reasons why:
1. It is full of simple explanations of how to live, that anyone can understand. For example:
· 2 Nephi 31:5, " And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!"
· Mosiah 2:17, "And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellowbeings ye are only in the service of your God."
· Moroni 10:5, 23 " And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may aknow the btruth of all things"..." And Christ truly said unto our fathers: If ye have faith ye can do all things which are expedient unto me."
2. It is a witness that Jesus Christ lives. For example:
- 3 Nephi 11: 8-10, "And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descendingout of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeared unto them. And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying: Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world."
3. It is a witness of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For example:
- 3 Nephi 21:2,7, "And behold, this is the thing which I will give unto you for a sign—for verily I say unto you that when these things which I declare unto you, and which I shall declare unto you hereafter of myself, and by the power of the Holy Ghost which shall be given unto you of the Father, shall be made known unto the Gentiles...it shall be a sign unto them, that they may know that the work of the Father hath already commenced unto the fulfilling of the covenant which he hath made unto the people who are of the house of Israel."
- That covenant being fulfilled is the gathering of Israel, the fulfilling of the Abrahamic covenant, and the establishing of Zion, the New Jerusalem again on the Earth.
4. It has a power that changes people. For example:
· I remember back to Antonia and Jürgen, to the Rode Familie, to Guang, countless others, to me, when we read the Book of Mormon and felt the power of it. There is something indescribable about the feelings of the Book of Mormon. But through it all, the feelings are good and positive. Those are the feelings of God. I remember when I gained my testimony that the Book of Mormon was true- I will always remember that day, and that prayer I said, and the feeling and answer I received. That has been a guiding force for my service here in Germany. To help others experience that same feeling, and feel that which I felt. It is the power of change, the power of truth, the power of God. This morning, I was reading in 2 Nephi 19.. Isaiah was talking about wars and battles and other things I wasn't sure about.... and I was reading in German, so couldn't quite see where all this was going... and then, this verse popped out, and really suprised me, I nearly exclaimed out loud! "For unto us a achild is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (2 Ne. 19:6, Isaiah 9:6). It was such a neat feeling when I read these scriptures- I am not as familiar yet with the German scriptures as the English, so it really was a neat surprise of peace and joy when I read this verse in German in the midst of the war and other big things that Isaiah was talking about. This morning was another witness to me that the Book of Mormon has power- because it is a testimony of Jesus Christ, and we cam feel that every time we read the testimony of a prophet in the book about the divinity of the Son of God.
I really look forward to Zone Conference this week, a time to learn about how to more effectively use the Book of Mormon in teaching and inviting others to come unto Christ. I also studied the words of prophets and apostles in the General Conferences- what great men and great words of truth! It was also neat that many of the testimonies yesterday at church were about the Book of Mormon and how members had used that to share the gospel and bring more joy and peace into lives of their friends and families.
This week, Kathir decided to be baptised! His story is a very special and personal story, but the answer he got was the same that others receive when they know it's true- that it's true! He wants to be baptized in September. We will talk with him tonight at Family Home Evening. Christian was at church and bore a powerful testimony, that he, too, knows this church is true, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I get strengthen so much every time I experience people discover the power and truth of the Book of Mormon.
On Saturday night, the sisters in Dortmund went with us to a contact that they wanted us to teach. He wasn't there, and we were on the sidewalk, us four, talking and waiting for the bus. Then this man from England comes by and asks if we are from England. Leide, nicht! But he began talking to us and asked what in the worl we were doing here in Germany- once he found out, he couldn't believe it! We ended up talking with him for 30 minutes on the sidewalk, him asking our belief on God and way of living. He was amazed that missionaries all over the world take this time out to further the cause of their God and finance it themselves. He said he is an athiest, and believes that UFO's destroyed the ancient civilizations of the past, and will be here to end the world in December. We testified of the God we know, One who loves, knows us individually, and has a plan for each of us to reach our potential. We testified of Joseph Smith seeing God and Christ and being called as a prophet to restore His truth and church and priesthood to the earth. At the end of all that spirit and testifying, he asked what on earth made us like this... what on earth could make us young kids so firm in the belief and do all that we do... we asked if he wanted an honest answer.. he did! So we pulled out a copy of the Book of Mormon and invited him to find out for himself. Something changed in his eyes when I handed it over to him- a glitter of hope, even a twinkle of light. The Spirit was there. He tried to give me €5 for the Book, but we said we would meet with him for 15 minutes this week instead of €5. He agreed! That is the power of the Book of Mormon- it really has changed us, and the living of the teachings have made us who we are- and living the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, of which the Book of Mormon witnesses and proves, and I know it can change this man, too, if he lets it.There is power in those 531 pages. There is real power and truth. I wish I could just tell everyone in the whole world of the miracle that is the Restoration of the Gospel and the coming forth of the truth from the earth, even the Book of Mormon! I'll do the best I can here in Dortmund!
And one of my all time favorite scriptures about the Book of Mormon: "And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem." (Moses 7:62)
This work is true. The Book of Mormon is true. Christ lives, this is His Church. This is His Kingdom that we are building and strengthening all over the wold! This is an eternal work- it's the kingdom of God, or nothing.
Love you all! Thanks for your prayers and support.
Elder Nathan D. Garlick
German Frankfurt Mission
"Shall we not go on in so great a cause?" D&C 128:22