The Book of Mormon remains the primary tool for teaching investigators and helping them experience true conversion.
That was the central message from Bishop W. Christopher Waddell, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, during his presentation at the 2017 Seminar for New MTC Presidents and Visitors’ Center Directors held Jan. 10-12.
Bishop Waddell focused on three aspects of the “converting power of the Book of Mormon.”
1. The Book of Mormon was written for our day.
Jesus Christ, he said, declared that the Book of Mormon was given “as a standard for us to live by in our day. The Book of Mormon [exists] to assist us.”
The prophet-authors of the Book of Mormon knew their words were not being written for their contemporaries. “They could see us. They knew us. They knew what we would need in our day in order for the Lord’s words to be able to come to us.”
When the Angel Moroni appeared to young Joseph Smith in 1823, he said the Book of Mormon contained “the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” It would usher in the Restoration and allow the Christ’s latter-day church to be organized.
The Book of Mormon, he added, is the tool the Lord uses, through His missionaries and servants, to gather Israel.
2. The Book of Mormon helps us to remember Jesus Christ.
Bishop Waddell taught that the Book of Mormon is primarily designed to help people remember that Jesus is the Christ and the Atoner.
The sacred ordinances performed in temples and each Sunday during sacrament meeting help worshippers remember the Lord. But it’s impossible to go to the temple every day — and the sacrament is administered on Sundays. The Book of Mormon, however, allows people to focus on the Savior every day.
“An essential part of conversion is receiving a witness from the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true,” he said.
3. The Book of Mormon brings the Spirit.
The combination of the Spirit and the Book of Mormon makes for a powerful converting tool. When the Spirit teaches the heart, the heart changes.
A “changed heart,” concluded Bishop Waddell, is a correct term for conversion.
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