As I’ve contemplated writing a book I find myself thinking similar thoughts as Moroni when he wrote: “the Gentiles will mock at these things, because of our weakness in writing” (Ether 12:23). I am aware of my weakness in writing. Nevertheless, I am persuaded by an undeniable desire to testify of the necessity of “repentance and remission of sins through faith on the Lord Jesus Christ” (3 Nephi 7:16).
My reason for writing a book is not academic, a church calling, or monetary. I am writing because of the tender mercies of the Lord I’ve experienced. I’ve learned God is no respecter of persons, answers prayer, forgives sin, provides the gift of the Holy Ghost with the attending gifts of the spirit to all those who love him and keep his commandments, and those that seeketh so to do.
The apostle Peter said, “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you…” 1 Peter 3:15. With Paul’s admonition in mind, I desire to do what I can (with the hope that is in me) to encourage church members in their efforts to heed the counsel of Moroni when he declared, “I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written…” Ether 12:41. This book is about seeking Jesus Christ.
As I’ve thought about writing a book, I recalled the account of Alma and the four sons of Mosiah. The Book of Mormon describes them as the vilest of sinners (Mosiah 28:4) on one page, and a few pages later refers to them as holy prophets of God (Alma 10:7, Alma 20:15). They experienced a miraculous conversion because of the faith of the Lord’s servants, especially Alma’s father (Mosiah 27:14). Afterwards, they traveled “about through all the land, publishing to all the people” the sacred things they experienced (Mosiah 27:32, Alma 11:31). When they went among the Lamanites, they again testified of their sacred experiences (Alma 21:5).
I think it is safe to say the Lord provides sacred experiences to confirm and increase the faith of his followers. Alma and the four sons of Mosiah testified of their sacred experiences to open the hearts of those they taught. Sacred experiences need to be shared in meekness always remembering, “that which cometh from above is sacred, and must be spoken with care, and by constraint of the Spirit…” (D&C 63:64).
With that in mind, I have written an account of some of the sacred experiences I’ve been given. I do so with the hope that those who read this book will be motivated to seek to know the Savior in greater measure. The scriptures invite those who have entered into the baptism covenant to “come unto Christ…and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption…” (Omni 1:26). I know by my own experience that this invitation is genuine and is available to the least among us as well as the greatest.
It’s About the Savior
This book is about the Savior, it’s not about me. I’m a typical member of the church. The Lord hasn’t called me to important leadership positions in my ward or stake. I’ve learned that being close to the Lord comes from making and keeping covenants; not from receiving high profile church callings. In other words, a clerk can be as close to the Lord as those who are called to Bishoprics, Stake Presidencies, and even General Authorities.
The Lord has told His followers He is “no respecter of persons”, but most don’t believe it. There is a natural tendency among church members to look at those who are called to high positions and assume they are more important to the Lord than the average member. There is only one problem with this, it is not true.
If this book is ever published, I plan to do it using a pen name. Any royalties will go to the church, I don’t want anyone to entertain the idea I am writing a book to make money or gain notoriety. I have nothing against authors making money publishing church books, but for the kind of book I am writing, I don’t feel it is appropriate.
A Promise and a Warning
In the last years of the prophet Moroni’s life, he recorded some of the most practical scriptural teachings we have. On one hand, he taught about the efficacy of prayer. On the other hand, he provided a warning about the potential of dwindling in unbelief.
First, on the efficacy of prayer:
Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you. Moroni 7:26
This verse contains a wonderful promise about prayer. Whom did Mormon have in mind when he taught these things? Mormon said that he was speaking to those “who have obtained a sufficient hope by which ye can enter into the rest of the Lord” (verse 4). He is writing to those who have grown and matured in their discipleship. This promise gives church members something to work towards if they’re not already experiencing this dimension of prayer.
Now to Moroni’s warning:
“And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief…” (Mormon 9:20).
This verse warns that unbelief has power, just as belief does. I’ve observed the power that unbelief has on church members. That’s why I’ve decided to write this book. The purpose of my book is to help church members experience the efficacy of prayer. When they do, unbelief gives way to belief and their faith flourishes and miracles occur.
The choice is ours; we can follow the path that leads to power in prayer or the path that leads to dwindling belief. I’ve traveled the path of faith far enough to know of myself the words of Moroni are true: “Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you.” The key to experiencing this kind of prayer is available to those who make and keep covenants.
The first covenant church members make is in the waters of baptism followed by confirmation where they’re told to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (D&C 35:6). Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost is the first order of business for church members. This gift doesn’t come automatically, we need to diligently seek, hungering and thirsting after righteousness (1 Nephi 10:17, 3 Nephi 12:6).
Earlier, I wrote that this book is about seeking Jesus Christ. We do that by receiving the gift Holy Ghost. I repeat, “we come unto Christ” by receiving the gift of the Holy ghost.