Sunday, January 30, 2011

February Focus: Preach My Gospel, Chapter 5

In the Chile, Santiago East Mission, during the month of February we decided to focus together on Chapter 5 of Preach My Gospel, "What is the Role of the Book of Mormon?" We invited family, friends, investigators and others to study along with us with the hope of finishing the entire Book of Mormon by Easter (April 24th). We began a study of the Book of Mormon where we each took a clean copy of the Book of Mormon and began marking it as we read, focusing one color on each reference to Jesus Christ (any of His names or pronouns referring to Him), one color on His words (spoken by Him or by prophets when they say, "thus saith the Lord") and one color on His attributes (PMG p. 114). It is interesting to note that Elder Holland told us that he and his missionary companion, Elder Cook, read and marked the Book of Mormon in this way while serving together as young missionaries in England. We were excited to begin this spiritual adventure together. We knew that focusing on the Book of Mormon would help us become better missionaries. Preach My Gospel says that "the Book of Mormon combined with the Spirit is our most powerful resource in conversion." (PMG p. 104).

Doctrine: WHY? The Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the Doctrine of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. "The Lord Himself has stated that the Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ." (D&C 20:9). In the Book of Mormon, we find the fulness of the Doctrines required for salvation, taught plainly and simply so that even children can learn the ways of salvation and exaltation.

Principle: WHAT? The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our Religion. "Take away the Book of Mormon and the revelations, and where is our Religion? We have none." (History of the Church, 2:52). Joseph Smith called the Book of Mormon the "keystone of our Religion." He taught that the Book of Mormon holds our Religion together. President Ezra Taft Benson explained that the Book of Mormon is the keystone in three important ways: (1) witness of Jesus Christ; (2) fulness of doctrine; and (3) foundation of testimony. (PMG p. 104).

Application: HOW? The central purpose of the Book of Mormon is to convince all people that Jesus is the Christ (see title page of the Book of Mormon). It affirms the reality of His life, mission, and power. It teaches true doctrine concerning the Atonement. We used the Book of Mormon in every possible teaching opportunity to testify of the reality of Jesus Christ and the restoration of His true church. We did this by using the Book of Mormon to answer the great questions of the Soul. In the words of President Boyd K. Packer, "In a world ever more dangerous...the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ has the nourishing power to heal starving spirits of the world." (Ensign, November 2001, 64).

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