During the month of March, I’ve studied the visions and spiritual experiences which are described in the Book of Mormon. I’ve tried to better understand what I need to do to gain spiritual knowledge and how I can become closer to God. I have focused on the following stories:
- Visions of Lehi and Nephi (1 Nephi 1, 8, 11-14).
- An angel delivers Nephi and Sam from Laman and Lemuel (1 Nephi 3).
- Isaiah is called as a prophet (2 Nephi 16).
- The conversions of Enos, Alma the Younger, King Lamoni, and Lamoni’s father (Enos, Mosiah 27, Alma 36, Alma 18-19, Alma 22).
- An angel teaches King Benjamin (Mosiah 3).
- Alma receives an answer to his prayer (Mosiah 26).
- Alma and Amulek are visited by angels prior to preaching in Ammonihah (Alma 8, 10).
- An angel commands Samuel the Lamanite to return and preach in Zarahemla (Helaman 13).
- Nephi and Lehi, and later a group of Lamanites, are encircled by fire (Helaman 5).
- Nephi receives the sealing power (Helaman 10-11).
- Jesus Christ ministers to the Nephites in Bountiful (3 Nephi 17, 19).
- The brother of Jared sees the Savior, who shows him all things (Ether 3-4).
Here are some of the lessons I learned, sorted by category:
Belief and Knowledge
- Desire and belief together can unlock the door to spiritual knowledge.
- When faced with difficult questions, we should begin by reviewing and affirming what we already know. We can choose to believe because of what we know.
- Overcoming unbelief can take time and effort. We should ask God for help. Also, we should be honest about the current limitations of our belief.
- There are truths we can understand which we cannot express in words.
- Besides teaching us individual facts, God can help us understand the relationships between those facts.
- Pondering can prepare the way for us to receive revelation.
- When we have received revelation from God, we would be wise to pause and ask, “Is there more?”
- Jesus Christ can fundamentally and permanently change us.
- We can pray for God to help us diminish our negative desires and increase our positive ones.
- We must repent and turn to God in order to access His power.
- By turning toward the Savior, we open the door for Him to heal us.
- We should rejoice in the good news that the gospel can bless our lives and the lives of the people we love.
The Holy Ghost
- When we humble ourselves and repent, we can enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost, which will fill us with joy.
- Even though God’s voice can be piercing, we need to pay attention and eliminate distractions in order to understand it.
- The Holy Ghost can guide us many times every day, and we may not always recognize it when He is guiding us.
- Feelings of sorrow on behalf of others can bring us closer to God.
- God’s servants are characterized by their willingness to lose themselves in service to His children.
- The gift of discernment can help us perceive the better natures of the people around us.
- We need to keep praying on behalf of people we love. Those prayers invite blessings into their lives, even when we can’t see those blessings.
- We should be grateful for the covenants God has made with us and remember that He is willing to make those covenants with all of His children.
- We shouldn’t be rushed when we pray. We need to leave space to feel closeness with Heavenly Father and recognize that the communication in prayer is not limited to words alone.
- In order to be healed, we should pray with sincerity and with real intent.
- The Lord can help us overcome our challenges in a variety of ways, depending on the circumstances. Part of having faith in Him is trusting Him even when He is responding differently than we expected.
- As we pray for spiritual growth, Heavenly Father may answer our prayers in part by sending adversity.
- When we feel discouraged, we should look for positive signs that we can overcome our challenges.
- We must be consistent in doing what is right and not allow fatigue, criticism, or pride to deter us.
- The temptations of the devil include not only enticements to do wrong but also distractions from doing right.
- We should respond immediately when we are called to serve.