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: True Conversion
This week in my Book of Mormon class, we are studying the last part of Helaman. Helaman 13:22 says: “Ye do not remember the Lord your God in the things with which he hath blessed you.” It is so easy to look at the Nephites and Lamanites and judge them. I remember thinking this week, as they were constantly being reminded that they have been forgetful, how silly they were. They have seen so many miracles and have been delivered by the Lord countless times, yet they still seem to forget what the Lord has done for them, which leads to their downfall. I started thinking, though, how many times I have doubted or been ungrateful. The Nephites and Lamanites were human just like us, and we also have times where we forget how the Lord has blessed our life or we forget the miracles we have seen that have strengthened our testimony.
As I was thinking about the many reasons we “forget,” I wondered if it was because they had not been truly converted. In class we were discussing Helaman 16 and what true conversion is. The prophet Samuel was preaching unto this people, and when many started trying to hit him with stones and arrows, the Lord protected him. Helaman 16:3 says, “And now when they saw that they could not hit him, there were many more who did believe on his words, insomuch that they went away unto Nephi to be baptized.” Brother Griffin stated that true conversion comes not from outward occurrences. Elder Richard G. Scott said, “Stated simply, true conversion is the fruit of faith, repentance and consistent obedience.” Conversion comes not from a miracle from the Lord but in recognizing that miracle and then having faith in Christ and acting on that faith. James 2:20 says: “Faith without works is dead.” We are truly converted as we see the hand of God in our lives and it inspires us to become better and to more fully follow Him.