BYU Students Share Reflections on Scripture
BYU (Brigham Young University) is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called the “Mormon Church.” BYU students take nearly a semester of spiritually uplifting, stimulating religion classes.
In this series (see below), students enrolled in scripture study classes have shared their thoughts, insights, and reflections on the Book of Mormon. We invite you to take a look at their epiphanies and discoveries as they delve into the scriptures.
In publishing these, we fulfill their desire to speak to all of us of the relevance, power and beauty of the Book of Mormon, a second witness of Jesus Christ and complement to the Bible. The Book of Mormon includes the religious history of a group of Israelites who settled in ancient America. (The names they use are those of prophets who taught the Book of Mormon peoples to look forward to the coming of Christ—Nephi, Lehi, Alma, Helaman, and other unfamiliar names. We hope those names will become more familiar to you as you read their inspiring words and feel the relevance and divinity of their messages through these reflections).
Let us know if you’d like to receive your own digital copy of the Book of Mormon, and/or if these messages encourage and assist you spiritually as well.
Book of Mormon: Personal Lessons in Faith and Trust
A few days ago I had a traumatizing experience. It was not enough to warrant a total breakdown, but it was enough to leave a memory that will not soon be forgotten. Growing up, I was always fairly athletic. I loved sports, playing outside, and had a bit of a jump rope obsession. That never changed for me, and now I love running and am always up for trying something new. On Wednesday, “something new” meant skiing.
Because I am from out of state, I had never skied before in my life. The man giving me my rentals quickly found out that I didn’t even know how to put skis on. I got on the lift with a good friend who was a beginner herself and watched my feet dangle as the lift brought us higher and higher up the mountain. After what seemed like an eternity, we slid off at the beginner’s course and began cautiously making our way down the mountain. I was not a natural. I skied back and forth, creating an embarrassing obstacle course for anyone else trying to ski or snowboard around me. Full of terror, my immediate reaction was to get out of the way. I turned my skis down and began to pick up speed, and then I realized something I hope everyone who ever skis knows before the wind is whipping past their face: I didn’t know how to stop! I shouted to my friend in front of me, but she was too far down to be able to help or come back. Images of falling off the mountain raced through my mind, and I could almost see the headline: BYU Student Dies on Mountain. So I fell. I rolled too many times to count and practically dislocated my shoulder. When I finally came to a stop, I saw that one of my skis had come off. I didn’t even know how to put the boot on. I sat on the mountain, trapped and alone and cold. I waited a few minutes, sure one of the dozens of skiers would stop to see if I was injured. No one did. I tried calling my friend with my phone, but the service was poor and I couldn’t reach her. I watched time slowly pass. The cold sunk into my bones as 37 minutes rolled by. At that point, I thought I would be trapped on the mountain forever. I couldn’t get down alone. My hands went numb, and the tears started to roll. I prayed. 40 minutes. Prayed. 48 minutes. Cried. 50 minutes. By then I couldn’t feel my face. Darkness had set in. But I continued to pray, and 11 minutes later, I was finally saved by another friend.
While reading in the Book of Mormon this week, I came across verse 21, in chapter 32, of the book of Alma (a prophet who lived in ancient America). It reads, “And now as I said concerning faith–faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.” All of us, at one point or another, have been sitting on our own mountain, scared and cold and alone. The world around us was getting dark, and we didn’t know how things would turn out or if we could ever get down. And that is the moment when we need to have faith. We will never know everything. We will never see everything. We will never have a perfect knowledge of all things or concrete proof that somehow it will all be okay. At that moment, we can only hope. We must hope and have faith that our Heavenly Father will never leave us alone; He loves us too infinitely and completely to ever do so. By building up our faith and trust in Him, we can be prepared for those times of trial and confusion. We will never be faced with anything we cannot overcome. Ever. And when we finally reach the bottom, we can look up and see how far we’ve come thanks to His guiding hand.
And what do you know. I actually love skiing. Maybe I do need that professional help after all.
If these reflections helped you, or if you have any questions, I would love to hear from you.