If you were the last writer in the scriptures, what would you want to say to the world? What would you want the world to know about what you had written? How would you convince the world to believe what you had written?
The last writer in the Book of Mormon was a man named Moroni. He faced these same questions, and his answer was to issue a sort of challenge. In the last chapter of the Book of Mormon, Moroni reminds us that as Elder Boyd K. Packer taught, "No message appears in scripture more times, in more ways than 'Ask, and ye shall receive.'" (in Conference Report, Oct. 1991, 26) Moroni calls upon us to remember that the Lord throughout time has been merciful to those who plead unto Him.
3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. Moroni 10:3
But the Lord requires more of us than just faith. He requires action. In this verse, Moroni mentions two actions that are required to know the truth of the Book of Mormon. One is to "read", and the other is to "ponder it in your hearts". Many people skim through the Book of Mormon without really reading it. Many people read the Book of Mormon without pondering it in their hearts.
Moroni goes on to say,
"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.
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." Moroni 10:4,5
Here he gives us one more important action that we need to follow to know truth. He exhorts us to pray and ask God if the things we have read are true. Moroni teaches us that by the power of the Holy Ghost, we can know the truth of all things. Part of the mission of the Holy Ghost is to testify of truth. "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." John 14:26 Many people read the Book of Mormon without praying to know if it is true.
There are those who will discount the Book of Mormon without reading it. There are those who will discount the Book of Mormon without pondering about it in their hearts. There are those who will discount the Book of Mormon without praying to God to know if it is true. In addition, Moroni counsels us to "ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ." To me this means in part that we should be honestly seeking to know if it is true, and have an open mind. How can the Lord reveal a truth to us if we have a closed mind?
So my challenge to you today is to take Moroni's challenge. I want to testify to you that I have taken the challenge and I have received an answer that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and a second witness of Jesus Christ. You may not accept my testimony, but I encourage you to try this challenge yourself and find out once and for all for yourself if the Book of Mormon is true. If you follow the steps that Moroni outlined: read, ponder, and ask God with a sincere heart and real intent, I know that you will receive an answer. The Lord pleads often with us in the scriptures to "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened" Matt. 7:7,8
Take the challenge! Then come back and tell me how it went!