"I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance."
- 1 Nephi 1:20
When Nephi wrote these words; I believe he was trying to share with us one of the purposes for his record: "I will show unto you...the tender mercies of the Lord...even unto the power of deliverance."
Nephi knew that his record would be a testimony and a witness. A witness that we would be able to ponder; study and pray about.
There have been many witnesses that have testified of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon contains powerful witnesses of prophets like Nephi and Moroni. These prophets were commanded to write and preserve a record of their people. Moroni saw our day and he described the conditions of our day. He was inspired to write about principles that would help us; using examples from his day.
President Benson taught: "The Book of Mormon... was written for our day. The Nephites never had the book; neither did the Lamanites of ancient times. It was meant for us....Each of the major writers of the Book of Mormon testified that he wrote for future generations....If they saw our day and chose those things which would be of greatest worth to us, is not that how we should study the Book of Mormon? We should constantly ask ourselves, 'Why did the Lord inspire Mormon (or Moroni or Alma) to include that in his record? What lesson can I learn from that to help me live iin this day and age?'" (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 5; or Ensign, Nov 1986, 6).
If the Lord did not love us; why would he have commanded his prophets to instruct us and provide us with the information we need to return to Him? The tender mercies of the Lord are manifest in every word written for us. Nephi knew that we are loved by Heavenly Father. As a parent, it would be difficult to send my child out into the world without all the knowledge, talent and skills that I felt necessary to help him or her to be successful. Heavenly Father's tender feelings for His children are the same. The Book of Mormon contains every thing we need to be successful in this life.
The Book of Mormon provides for us another witness of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon was written for the purpose of convincing all people that Jesus is the Christ, manifesting Himself to all nations. The Book of Mormon is powerful evidence of the divinity of Christ.
The Book of Mormon also contains the fulness of doctrine. President Ezra Taft Benson said: "The Lord Himself has stated that the Book of Mormon contains the 'fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.' (D&C 20:9 [;27:5]).... In the Book of Mormon we will find the fulness of those doctrines required for our salvation. And they are taught plainly and simply so that even children can learn the ways of salvation and exaltation."
The Message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; The Plan of Salvation; The Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Commandments; Laws and Ordinances are examples of the teachings found in the Book of Mormon.
I am especially grateful this year that we are studying the Book of Mormon in Gospel Doctrine. Each prophet since the restoration of the Gospel has instructed members of the church to study and ponder the words contained in the Book of Mormon.
President Gordon B Hinkley declared: "Those who have read [the Book of Mormon] prayerfully, be they rich or poor, learned or unlearned, have grown under its power....Without reservation I promise you that if you will prayerfully read the Book of Mormon, regardless of how many times you previously have read it, there will come into your hearts...the Spirit of the Lord. There will come a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to his commandments, and there will come a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God" ("The Power of the Book of Mormon," Ensign, June 1988, 6).
Elder Bednar shared with us his testimony:
"I am thankful for the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith and for the knowledge we have today about the Lord’s tender mercies. Our desires, faithfulness, and obedience invite and help us to discern His mercies in our lives. As one of His servants, I declare my witness that Jesus is the Christ, our Redeemer and our Savior. I know that He lives and that His tender mercies are available to all of us. Each of us can have eyes to see clearly and ears to hear distinctly the tender mercies of the Lord as they strengthen and assist us in these latter days. May our hearts always be filled with gratitude for His abundant and tender mercies. In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen."
I wish to all that this year is full of the tender mercies the Lord wishes to pour out upon his children.
Happy New Year!
“the Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works” (Ps. 145:9).