BYU Students Share Letters & 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.” 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 copy of the Book of Mormon, and/or if these messages encourage and assist you spiritually as well.
Mormon Reflections on the Word: They Began
This past week I started reading Mormon. And it’s just sad. Nearly everyone is wicked. They’ve forgotten the Savior we read about only a few pages ago. In Chapter 6 of Mormon, 230,000 people die in one battle, and God doesn’t save them because they’ve forgotten Him. In Chapter 2, Mormon recorded that “strength of the Lord was not with us, we were left to ourselves.” It is just heartbreaking.
Typically, in the Book of Mormon, every time the people start to be wicked, the pattern goes something like this: The people turn wicked. Then the Lord stops blessing them. The people realize they were being idiots and become humble and repent. The Lord blesses them and things are happy again.
Here’s why the people never recovered from their wickedness this time: “The Nephites began to repent of their iniquity…there began to be a mourning…but behold…their sorrowing was not unto repentance…but rather it was the sorrowing of the damned, because the Lord would not always suffer them to take happiness in sin” (Mormon 2:10-13).
They weren’t sincere. They only “began” to repent. They weren’t willing to forsake their sins. They weren’t crying unto the Lord because they were sorry, they were crying unto Him because they knew that they weren’t willing to do all that was asked of them.
My take-home thoughts? I don’t want to be just a “beginner.” I don’t want to “begin” to be a good missionary. I don’t want to “begin” to study the scriptures like I know I should. I don’t want to “begin” to be a good student. No, I want to become a good missionary. I want to be someone who studies the scriptures. I want to be a hard worker in my studies. I want to be a “becomer.”