Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Reading the Book of Mormon Backwards

On Sunday, I received a lovely email from a reader named Tessa, expressing her interest in joining The Book of Mormon Forum.  She said this:

"I just wanted to share with you a little bit about me and my story, and the tender mercies I have received in the last two days since I started this Book of Mormon "challenge".

For the past year I have been questioning the gospel--the past six months have been serious.

I was at the point where I was going to leave and never come back, or I was going to commit my life to it.  I didn't want to sit on the fence anymore.  I was leaning towards leaving, but by the grace of God, my husband took me to the temple where I received a special confirmation that I knew the church was true. 

I was really frustrated at this, because I knew that I would have to work really hard at building my testimony from scratch.  I didn't want the church to be true, and I knew that that confirmation meant that I needed to commit myself to the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

I haven't read my scriptures on a regular basis in three years, and I haven't read The Book of Mormon in six.  I began reading the Book of Mormon for the first time last night. 

I decided on a whim to read Moroni chapter 10 and go backwards from there, because normally, one might start with the introduction and the testimonies of the witnesses. 

I read four verses and came across Moroni's promise, and I instantly felt the spirit. 

And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would aask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not btrue; and if ye shall ask with a csincere heart, with dreal intent, having efaith in Christ, he will fmanifest the gtruthof it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

My mind was taken back to the time the missionaries came into my home and challenged me as a teenager to take Moroni's promise. I took their challenge and I remember the feelings I had as I knelt down in my bedroom to ask the Lord if the Book of Mormon was true. 

That day, I received a confirming witness and the sweetest of feelings about the Book of Mormon.  As I read it again last night, I remembered this experience, and could feel the love of my Savior pouring out over me. 

This memory was a most special gift and it had come at a most needed time.  I can build on the testimony I had then, because I know that those feelings came from my Heavenly Father.

It blew me away that today, in Elder Henry B. Eyring's talk, he quoted from Moroni chapter 10.  This was a sweet feeling that came to my heart, to know that the Lord was preparing me to listen to his Apostles by inspiring me to start the Book of Mormon Backwards!"

I just loved Tessa's testimony and was so happy that she shared it with the rest of us in The Forum.  Her experience reminded me of what President Uchtdorf said this weekend.  Her thoughts were further testament to the fact that we are "not invisible to our Heavenly Father."  If you'd like to read more from Tessa as she studies the Book of Mormon "backwards" this month, you can find her at her blog.

The Book of Mormon Forum

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  1. I have read the BM backwards several times and it is so much more enjoyable, altho not traditional. I think finding the results first and then the actions to be a great reminder of the blessings or cursings people get and why. It all to easy to read and say, oh, I know this story. Much better to read the blessings and/or cursings and then say, Oh....I do that, or this...or I'd better wise up.

    Everyone ought to read the BM backwards at least once...backwards by chapters, in case someone gets really technical.

  2. Hi Jocelyn ... I just found your blog and it's sweet and inspiring. So happy to be your newest follower! What a sweet testimony from Tessa. Conference was magnificent and I appreciate reading bits and pieces here at your blog. Here's to a new blog-friendship!

  3. What a sweet testimony of the truthfulness of the book of mormon.

    I find that the longer I go between readings, the more doubts creep into my mind. It is so very important to keep reading our scriptures and praying about them.

    This was beautiful. Thank you Tessa for sharing such a personal experience.

  4. Wow, I'm so happy for you Tessa. I really believe the Book of Mormon is true. Thank you for sharing your story.

  5. Thanks for sharing your testimony Tessa! Keep reading and rekindling that testimony!
    Just wondering too...do you read backward by verses or chapters?

  6. I just started over again from the front, but next time I will read from the back because I like the idea.

    Beautiful post, and I thank her for allowing you to share her thoughts and experience with us.


  7. Such a beautiful testimony! Thank you for sharing.

  8. Love, love, love this. I remember being in a similar place in my life many years ago as a teenager. I truly believe that once you have a testimony of the Gospel, there's little room for fence sitting. When you have that knowledge it compels you to act. Thanks for a beautiful post! ♥

  9. a touching sharing today...we all need to continue to strengthen our testimonies daily in many ways...

  10. Love, love, love this!! We are never invisible (even when we think we want to be!)

  11. This is a wonderful story! I love that Tessa is brave enough to admit that she "didn't want it to be true" because that would mean such a big change on her part. This is a great reminder for me not to take my testimony for granted, to nurture it every day, and to remember that the Lord's work really is a blessing, not a burden. Thank you for sharing this, Tessa (and Jocelyn!), I'm so happy you had this experience!

  12. I read the BOM backwards once too! I read each book in reverse order, and I really appreciated the relationship between generations, and how the traditions and teachings (or lack thereof) of the fathers affected the children.