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: Reaching our Potential

This week in Book of Mormon we finished 3 Nephi and have started Mormon (which is the person for whom the Book of Mormon is named). By this time in the story, about 300 years have passed since Christ visited after His Resurrection. Enter Mormon. He’s 10 years old. At this young age, the man who oversaw the records that would become the entire Book of Mormon chose Mormon to be the next caretaker of the record (Mormon 1:2-4). At age 16, he was voted to lead the armies of the Nephites (Mormon 2:1). At around age 24, he started to write his portion of the Book of Mormon while he abridged the Nephite record.


Many people question whether it’s a good idea to send out young men and women from age 18-25 to be official ambassadors for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Many missionaries and future missionaries question whether their age/experience/maturity is enough. Mormon shows us that we can accomplish great things while we are young. 1 Timothy 4:12 reads, “Let no man despise thy youth, but be thou an example of the believers.” It’s really easy to feel inadequate, to think that “certainly there is someone more (qualified, experienced, talented).” At any age, I believe that we have purpose. At any age, I believe that we can accomplish great things, just like Mormon.

But how do we get there? How can we know how to reach our true full potential? As an oboist, I spend a lot of time reed making. I know what a good reed looks like and sounds like. I know how it’s supposed to feel when I play it and what pitches it should be able to play on its own. The unfinished reed, however, has a mind of its own. Some insist on being too stiff, warped, “shreddy,” or soft. Some will refuse to settle into a correct opening size. I know that a small piece of cane has the potential to become a beautiful instrument if it will just be willing to comply and react well to my crafting. We are the same way. Our potential is fully known by our Maker, and He knows the most effective way of getting us there. He has a plan for us, and He knows when we are ready to be instruments.

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