BYU (Brigham Young University) is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called the “Mormon Church.”  As part of their undergraduate coursework, BYU students take multiple semesters 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 of the Book of Mormon, and/or if these messages encourage and assist you spiritually as well.

About Mormons: Growing Closer to God

Letter to my friend Chelsea

In my Book of Mormon class this week, we were studying the war chapters in Alma. Personally, every time I read those chapters I do not feel like I get much out of it, and I feel bad about that. However, my teacher touched on some really great points that helped me get a lot out of the chapters, and I would like to share with you some of the things that I learned. Alma 50 has a great point that I would like to touch on, specifically verses 11-16. Here Moroni is in charge of this army and he decides to fortify all the weak points of their fortresses. They may have fewer numbers than the Lamanites, but since they are more intelligent they use body armor and fortify their weak points. In class we talked about how we all have weak points in our lives and that we need to strengthen them so that the enemy cannot get in. I remember one time we were talking and we were both discouraged because we keep falling into bad habits. We feel like we are really good at certain things, but then we always get attacked in our weak areas. Well, doesn’t that make sense? If you were to attack something, you would go for its weak point. That’s exactly how Satan works with us. He knows us well and is very good at attacking our weaknesses. He will repeatedly attack them unless we make changes and work to make our weaknesses strengths. I love this scripture with that. It is very well known, but I’ll share it with you anyway. It’s Ether 12:27:

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

Isn’t that great? If we but have faith in the Lord, I know He will help us overcome our weaknesses. It does take faith, though. If we do not believe in ourselves, or if we do not believe that the Lord can help us, then He literally cannot.

So what are some things we can do to strengthen our weaknesses, you ask? Well, I was just talking with my bishop the other day and he gave me some great points. There are two ways of dealing with the adversary and his darkness. We can either repel it by sort of “shielding” ourselves from it and resisting it as best we can, or we can take a different approach. I like this suggestion. Fill our lives with light! And how do we do that? Well, we read the scriptures daily, but not just read them to read them. We need to read and ponder them, think about how they apply to us and our current circumstances. We need to pray daily, and multiple times throughout the day. We need to be righteous and do our best. I know that as we do these things, as we fill our lives with light, it will automatically push the darkness out because both cannot be in the same place. I know it takes effort, but I know that as you and I do this more faithfully, we will be much happier people and we will be close to the Lord.

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