Although I’m not sure exactly what I expected, I was pleasantly surprised by the experience as a whole. The cast members were friendly and kind from the moment they stepped off the bus and through the doors of the site. A laid-back, but not disrespectful, attitude was common throughout the group. There was an obvious camaraderie as they teased one another and discussed shared experiences. Several of them took the time to get to know more about my companion and I, asking us about our families, things we missed from home and what we enjoyed most about New York.
I realized they were just like anyone else — trying to find happiness, make friends and provide for themselves and their families.
We ended in a gallery of paintings depicting events from the Book of Mormon. On one wall hangs Tom Lovell’s portrayal of Moroni hiding the plates in a snowy Hill Cumorah, his warm breath visible in the cold air as he offers a prayer. I had stared at that painting who knows how many times before, but that day it was different.
My companion asked a member of the group to read Moroni’s promise in Moroni 10:4: “And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.”
The words reverberated in my ears.
All Moroni wanted, all he was pleading us to do, was to simply read and ask. Written in the last chapter of the Book of Mormon, the words seemed to be Moroni’s dying words.
Before I knew it, I was punctuating my companion’s testimony — and Moroni’s — with my own. I can't recount exactly what I said, but I remember speaking more boldly than I ever had before. It felt as if the words coming out of my mouth weren’t mine at all, but were the Spirit’s.
I don't know if any of the cast members gave the experience a second thought. Perhaps they won’t remember a word my companion or I said.
What I do know, however, is the Spirit was there. I felt it, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to stand tall with conviction and declare, “I know the Book of Mormon is true."
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