(September 17, 2013)
Rather than devote too much time and attention to what is in this Section (while valuable), I instead want to spend a few moments appreciating this Section. After all, this is the Section that I was reading when I first received my testimony of the Book of Mormon. I had been reading in the Book of Mormon for some time and had managed to make it nearly to the end of Alma in the course of a couple of months. Nothing like the diligence that I read with now, but I was only a Freshman in college at the time.
I figured that I had read far enough in that I could put Moroni's challenge to the test. I knelt in prayer in my dorm room and asked the Lord to confirm for me that the Book of Mormon was true. And I waited for the angels. Or the vision. Or...something.
When nothing happened, I was crushed. I thought that I had been deceived, and my whole world was falling down around my ears. The next day or so was traumatic for me, and I was seriously rethinking some life decisions that I would need to make in the near future. That next night, however, I felt like I needed to read something in the scriptures. I turned to this Section, and I was drawn to verse 23 – "Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?"
At that moment, I was flooded with a feeling of peace. I remembered the feeling that I had when I prayed the night before. The very language of the scripture – "cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things" seemed to have been written for me. And I knew that I had felt the peaceful feelings of the Holy Ghost the night before when I prayed. Once I acknowledged and recognized that fact, the Spirit came to me even stronger.
This formed the basis of my testimony. It has grown over the intervening years, but I still feel fondness (and the Spirit) as I think of that night praying in the dorms and the scripture that I was led to the following day. For that reason, this Section will always hold a special place in my heart.