When I was a teenager, I read the Book of Mormon. The book contains a promise that if we read it and ask Heavenly Father whether it is true, he will reveal to us that it is true. I put that promise to the test. I knelt down and prayed about the book, and Heavenly Father answered my prayer. I know that it is true. Over the years, I have felt the Holy Ghost many times as I have read the Book of Mormon. My understanding and appreciation of the book have continued to grow over time. The book testifies that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, teaches many other important gospel truths, and shows that living the gospel is the path to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come.
When I was 19-21 years old, I served a mission in Italy for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My faith and testimony grew as I taught the restored gospel to others. The opportunity to serve a mission and teach the gospel was one of the greatest privileges and blessings of my life.
At BYU Law School, I teach Professional Responsibility, or legal ethics, among other subjects. Some gospel teachings correspond to important ethical principles, such as honesty, integrity, hard work, service, and treating others as we would like to be treated. These true principles help people to get along together and to make the world a better place. They also help us to grow personally and to have more peace in our lives. The principles of the gospel are consistent with the highest ethical standards.
As I have studied, taught, and written about the law, I have been impressed that true religious and ethical principles foster better relationships among people and improve the quality of our lives. I have seen the positive effects as people strive to live these truths. The Savior said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). The gospel of Jesus Christ gives purpose and meaning to life, and it increases our happiness and joy.
I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the world, and that the gospel is true. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
James D. Gordon III is Marion B. and Rulon A. Earl Professor of Law at the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. He received a B.A. in Political Science at Brigham Young University and a J.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. He clerked for a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and then practiced law in Salt Lake City. He has served as an Associate Academic Vice President for Faculty at BYU, and as an Associate Dean and Interim Dean of the J. Reuben Clark Law School. He has published in numerous law journals, including the California Law Review, Cornell Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Stanford Law Review, Texas Law Review, Vanderbilt Law Review, and Yale Law Journal.
Posted December 2009