The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the church that Jesus Christ himself established according to the pattern he has always used: revelation and leadership through prophets and apostles. The fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ is found in the doctrines and ordinances of his church. Continuing revelation from God the Eternal Father is given to his appointed servant on the earth today–the president and prophet of the church.
The Book of Mormon is the word of God recorded by ancient prophets on the American continent for the people of this day as a guide and a divine direction for their lives. The book truly is “a marvelous work and a wonder” (2 Nephi 25:17; 27:26) that gives meaning and clarity to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon is a true book of scripture and is a companion volume to the Holy Bible. Each child of God can receive his or her own personal witness of its truthfulness by following the promise found in Moroni 10:3-4. There, Moroni outlines the sure way to gain a testimony of the true Church of Jesus Christ.
I am a person of common emotions. I love my wife and children beyond my ability to express. The love I have for them gives me the strength to make whatever sacrifice is necessary for their well-being. Like any responsible father, I want the best for them–not just “until death do us part,” but for all time and eternity. I acknowledge and witness that God, our Heavenly Father, lives. His Son Jesus Christ made it possible, by his infinite atonement, for me to enjoy happiness in this life and hope for an eternity with my loved ones.
Since 1971 I have been an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know it is the true church of Jesus Christ upon the earth. The authority to administer the holy ordinances has been restored in our day, and each person may qualify for eternal blessings by obedience to the teachings of the Savior. As a worthy priesthood holder, I can bless my wife and my children. Through the gift of the Holy Ghost bestowed upon them after their baptisms, they can be directed to do good and to serve their fellow beings, and thus be in the service of their Father in Heaven.
Knowing what I know, I can confidently teach my children important principles of life. I can be a guide to them as they face real moral and ethical issues on which the world is confused and frustrated. I can counsel them to spend their lives learning everything they can about the gospel of Jesus Christ as it was taught anciently and as it has been restored through a prophet of God in our day. I can also encourage them to learn as much as they like about any other truth, knowing that by so doing they can only increase in their love of the Savior. The truth of ancient times is the truth of today and forever.
Both these blessings and assurances and countless others are available to all people on condition of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, sincere repentance for transgressions, baptism by immersion by one having authority, and receipt of the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. This is the “strait and narrow path” (2 Nephi 31:18-20) leading back to a glorious reunion with our God and with our families in the eternal kingdom of heaven.
There are many who would block or obscure our progress, hoping to make us stumble and fall by the wayside. Some will counsel that we cannot depend on spiritual promptings because the Lord will not speak to us in this day. Those who teach such doctrines mislead and keep many from eternal blessings. Listen to the voice and light of the Lord Jesus Christ within you as you proceed in your personal quest for truth, as Jacob, a Book of Mormon prophet, encouraged:
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I beseech of you in words of soberness that ye would repent, and come with full purpose of heart, and cleave unto God as he cleaveth unto you. And while his arm of mercy is extended towards you in the light of the day, harden not your hearts. …For behold, after ye have been nourished by the good word of God all the day long, will ye bring forth evil fruit, that ye must be hewn down and cast into the fire? Behold, will ye reject these words? Will ye reject the words of the prophets; and will ye reject all the words which have been spoken concerning Christ, after so many have spoken concerning him; and deny the good word of Christ, and the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and quench the Holy Spirit, and make a mock of the great plan of redemption, which hath been laid for you? Know ye not that if ye will do these things, that the power of the redemption and the resurrection, which is in Christ, will bring you to stand with shame and awful guilt before the bar of God? And according to the power of justice, for justice cannot be denied, ye must go away into that lake of fire and brimstone, whose flames are unquenchable, and whose smoke ascendeth up forever and ever, which lake of fire and brimstone is endless torment. O then, my beloved brethren, repent ye, and enter in at the strait gate, and continue in the way which is narrow, until ye shall obtain eternal life. O be wise; what can I say more? (Jacob 6:5-12)
Just as the young Joseph Smith sought wisdom through prayer as directed by the Holy Bible, each of us can find truth in the God’s appointed way. As we draw closer to Him in our actions and thoughts, and as we humbly strive to seek His will, we can have the assurance of knowing in an undeniable way that we are on the right path. Through the Holy Ghost we can realize that we are moving toward an eternity of happiness and joy through the goodness and grace of our Savior, Jesus Christ. As we press forward and receive sacred promises through our obedience to the commandments, we will grow in wisdom, understanding and appreciation for our Heavenly Father’s plan. There is no other way.