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 in the form of letters to someone they know. 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 letters.)
Let us know if you’d like to receive your own digital copy, and/or if these messages encourage and assist you spiritually as well.
Book of Mormon: The Lord is On Your Side
Letter to Maria
This week in my Book of Mormon class, we read and studied chapters 43-56 in the book of Alma. Alma was a prophet in ancient America. In the Book of Mormon, there are basically two groups of people, the Nephites and the Lamanites. All of the chapters we studied this week are pretty much about the Lamanites getting mad at and attacking the Nephites for something that happened over 400 years ago. The Nephites react and go to war to stop them from destroying their people. During one generation, a huge group of Lamanites converted and came to live with the Nephites (where the church was). Since going to battle caused them to start being wicked again, they made an oath to never use weapons and never again to fight. Consequently, the next generation, all of their children, grew up without learning how to use weapons, and how to defend themselves. When these kids grew up into their late teen years, the Lamanites started to gain power and came against the Nephites in battle. Two thousand of the young men, called the “Stripling Warriors”, took up swords for the first time to protect their cities and the oath that their parents had made not to go to battle. In a big battle against the Lamanites, all 2,000 of them survived!
Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. (Alma 56:47)
With the faith that they showed, God delivered them out of the hands of the Lamanites.
But behold, to my great joy, there had not one soul of them fallen to the earth; yea, and they had fought as if with the strength of God; yea, never were men known to have fought with such miraculous strength; and with such mighty power did they fall upon the Lamanites, that they did frighten them; and for this cause did the Lamanites deliver themselves up as prisoners of war. (Alma 56:56)
Though they were young, and inexperienced, they had God on their side and accomplished what they set out to do.
My professor said that the Lord is not afraid to use young and inexperienced people to do his work. Some people might say that letting 18 year old guys and 19 year old girls go out into the world to teach the Gospel is crazy. I’ll be leaving on my mission within the next few months, and if I didn’t know that God would make a way for me to accomplish what I’m being sent out to do, I don’t think I’d be able to go.
I invite your questions or comments, or feel free to share this with a friend.