Why I Say "I Know" The Book of Mormon is True

My Mom died when I was 11 years old. Several years after my Mom died, I wrote all that I could remember from that experience. "My Mom was an amazing, wonderful, caring person who loved to have fun ... but she was sick. She had a mental disorder called bipolar disorder ... My Mom stopped taking her medicine one summer ... One day she felt we needed to move on a farm ... She convinced my Dad to take the whole family searching for farm houses on sale ... The details are a little blurry, but for some reason we stopped looking. All I remember is that we were at a stop light near Hometown Buffet and my Mom opened the car door and ran away. We frantically ran to the Hometown Buffett and called 911. We stayed at my Grandma's after that. My grandparents were so helpful and loving" (January 19, 2008).

My Mom and I
My Mom and I
She really was awesome!

I believe we stayed at Grandma and Grandpa Havertz for a week or two while the search for my Mom continued. One day Grandma got a call (I assume it was from my Dad). "I remember my Grandma crying on the phone ... Before I knew it, my Grandma said she was going to take us home because it was almost time for my scout activity [Boy Scouts of America]. When we came into the house, I saw my Dad with teary eyes and our bishop on the couch. I wasn't expecting what happened next. My Dad softly told us our Mom had died. I remember bursting into tears and pacing around the house: walking up the stairs and down the stairs again and again. I guess I thought that would somehow take away the pain I felt. I cried for what seemed like hours and felt empty for what seemed like weeks, months, maybe even a couple of years" (January 19, 2008).

This experience left me broken.

Two years after my Mom passed away, when I was 13 years old, I wrote this in my journal, "I now am reading the scriptures more so I can grow a stronger testimony of this Church. I hope my testimony will grow and I hope by the next time I write in this journal I will know and I mean really truly know the Church is true" (March 14, 2006). A major motivation for gaining a more evidence and a stronger witness of what my Church taught was to really know if I would see my Mom again. I wanted to know if there was life after death, if families were forever. I wanted to know if the promises made by leaders in the Church were real.

I started reading in the Book of Mormon every night. The Book of Mormon is another witness to the Bible—another testament of Jesus Christ. I read it along with the Bible. The Book of Mormon quotes from and references stories from the Bible. If the Book of Mormon is God's word, the Bible is God's word as well. One Book of Mormon author put it this way, "Hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and He hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good" (2 Nephi 33:10).

Every night, after I had read in the Book of Mormon I would turn off the lights in my bedroom and kneel by my bed and pray. I would ask if The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was true (Jesus Christ's restored Church) and if what I was reading in the Book of Mormon was true. Every night, I would listen for an answer, but I didn't get any answers. I thought I might have been gaining a stronger testimony, but nothing ever really happened.

A boy reading the Book of Mormon
A boy reading from the Book of Mormon
This picture comes from ChurchOfJesusChrist.org

Then several weeks later, I decided to skip to the last chapter of the Book of Mormon. I read Moroni chapter ten. I thought about Moroni's promise. He said, "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost" (Moroni 10:4). 

I turned off the lights and knelt at my bed, like I had done every night previously for the past few weeks. I prayed again to know if what I was reading was true and if the Church was true. I later described the answer as "the grandest, warmest ... feeling I had ever felt. I can only describe it as a very strong spiritual warmth and joy that came over me entirely." I remember opening my eyes to see if someone had turned on the lights because I felt warm, but my room was still dark. The room may have been dark, but it was light inside my soul.

In June of that year, I wrote this in my journal, "I do have a much stronger testimony of the Church. I feel like I want to do more and more to get closer to Heavenly Father because the closer I get the better and better I feel!!"




Comments

  1. Matthew Havertz my thoughts are with you and your story is so touching. May the soul of your mom RIP. I am confident that heavenly father put in place challenges so that we can be refined.

    Challenges are one sure way that He (Heavenly Father) shapes and moulds us into better beings. You're absolutely amazing and I grateful that our paths crossed in this life.
    Keep smilingšŸ˜Š

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