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: Come unto Me as a Little Child
Professor Griffin’s Book of Mormon class has opened my eyes to a new way of reading the scriptures. Never in my reading have I really given thought to how the people being talked about actually felt, what they saw, or how they reacted to these things.
After reading 3 Nephi 8, which talks about the great destructions in the Americas at the death of the Savior and the thick darkness which prevailed for three days, Professor Griffin posed the question, “Where do you think the children were at this time?”
I know that if I had been young at this time in history, I would have made every effort possible to stay close to my parents. Unable to see through the thick darkness, I would have been reaching out for a piece of fabric, for a shoulder, a wrist, an index finger–anything that I could hold onto so that I could feel safe. Knowing that I was with my parents would help me to feel protected because I know that they would do anything for me. In reverse, I know that my mom and dad love me so much that they would be reaching out to me. They would have held onto me so tightly the minute the destruction began and they would make every effort to keep me safe throughout it.
So, when the Nephites heard the words “whoso . . . cometh unto me as a little child” (3 Nephi 9:22), how did they react? Did they look down at the child they held in their hands, the child frightened and confused, clinging to them for dear life? It makes sense to me.
So then, one way to interpret the Savior’s words “as a little child” is to realize that in order to inherit the kingdom of God we must cling to the Savior. In other words we must pray fervently and with faith knowing that He will hear our prayers and that it is ONLY through Him that we can be saved or that we can survive our latest trial. We must feast upon the words of Christ (the scriptures) with ferocious hunger. We must be steadfast and immovable in keeping the commandments and in serving our God. Our testimonies must be strong in this day. Satan’s power is strong, but with Christ we cannot fail.
As I have been preparing for my mission (a voluntary service for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, usually spanning from 18 months to 2 years), I have realized the importance of these things. It is not enough to go through the motions of reading my scriptures and saying my prayers, but when I do these things with full purpose of heart, there is no power strong enough to break my testimony.