I am the Stake Institute teacher, and this school year (we started in September), we started studying the Book of Mormon. I’ve read the Book of Mormon lots in my time in the church, but I’ve never gotten more out of it than I have this time. It has been fantastic.
This past Sunday, I also taught a High Priest lesson about the Book of Mormon.
With those two things in mind, I wanted to post the famous quote by Parley P Pratt about how he first came across the Book of Mormon and how it made him feel.
We visited an old Baptist deacon by the name of Hamlin. After hearing of our appointment for evening, he began to tell of a book, a STRANGE BOOK, a VERY STRANGE BOOK! in his possession, which had been just published. This book, he said, purported to have been originally written on plates either of gold or brass, by a branch of the [p.19 consists of pictures.] tribes of Israel; and to have been discovered and translated by a young man near Palmyra, in the State of New York, by the aid of visions, or the ministry of angels. I inquired of him how or where the book was to be obtained. He promised me the perusal of it, at his house the next day, if I would call. I felt a strange interest in the book. I preached that evening to a small audience, who appeared to be interested in the truths which I endeavored to unfold to them in a clear and lucid manner from the Scriptures. Next morning I called at his house, where, for the first time, my eyes beheld the “BOOK OF MORMON” that book of books-that record which reveals the antiquities of the “New World” back to the remotest ages, and which unfolds the destiny of its people and the world for all time to come; that Book which contains the fulness of the gospel of a crucified and risen Redeemer; that Book which reveals a lost remnant of Joseph, and which was the principal means, in the hands of God, of directing the entire course of my future life.
I opened it with eagerness, and read its title page. I then read the testimony of several witnesses in relation to the manner of its being found and translated. After this I commenced its contents by course. I read all day; eating was a burden, I had no desire for food; sleep was a burden when the night came, for I preferred reading to sleep.
As I read, the spirit of the Lord was upon me, and I knew and comprehended that the book was true, as plainly and manifestly as a man comprehends and knows that he exists. My joy was now full…
Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, ed. Parley P. Pratt Jr. (1938), 36–37.
That is a fantastic quote. It makes you think about so much… Do I feel that way about the Book of Mormon? Has anything in the church ever made me feel like sleep was a burden? Does my knowledge of the Book of Mormon make me feel that my joy is full? I feel strong in the gospel, but I still have a long way to go!