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12-31-23. Dear Family and Friends: A Ministering Message. The Book of Mormon and Prayer

Updated: Jan 3

Dear Family and Friends. I hope and pray that each of you had a wonderful Christmas. I hope that it was filled with peace and love. I especially hope that each of you felt a stronger love for family, friends, and most of all for the Savior Jesus Christ.

I’m feeling the impression to spend a little bit of time on the Book of Mormon and prayer. But, to get started I invite you to listen to this special message from several of current and past leaders of the church.

This is on a continuous playback, you will have to stop it when you have heard it.

Following is a very wise quote by Elder D. Todd Christofferson

“Slow down. Make up your mind and settle it in your heart that you choose God. Find the quiet time when you can kneel down in a private place and say to your Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, that you are His, that you are committed, body and soul, to Him, His Son, and the gospel path. Then follow where He leads, now and for the rest of your life. Don’t hesitate or hold back any longer but get on with your purpose and mission in life. Mortality is so short. Make this time count so that your eternity will be one of joy, not regret. Do you not feel the Spirit telling you that this is right? And go forward with confidence.”

~ Elder D. Todd Christofferson

Book of Mormon Stories. About 3.5 minutes

3. Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

4. 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.

5. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

Moroni 10:3-5

The Books in the Book of Mormon about 25 seconds

A Childs Prayer about 4 minutes

Following are quotes from President Nelson, Marion G. Romney, Ezra Taft Benson, Gordon B. Hinkley. All about the importance of the Book of Mormon

“I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” -Joseph Smith, (History of the Church,4:461.)

You will find that the daily reading of the Book of Mormon will lift your spirit, draw you nearer to your Savior, and help you to be a student of the gospel who can share great truths with others.” – President Ezra Taft Benson, (GC, Oct. 1989, “To the Elderly in the Church”)

“It is not just that the Book of Mormon teaches us truth, though it indeed does that. It is not just that the Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ, though it indeed does that, too. But there is something more. There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called “the words of life” (D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance.” – President Ezra Taft Benson, (GC, Oct. 1986, “The Book of Mormon – Keystone of Our Religion”)

“We…should know the Book of Mormon better than any other book. Not only should we know what history and faith-promoting stories it contains, but we should understand its teachings. If we really do our homework and approach the Book of Mormon doctrinally, we can expose the errors and find the truths to combat many of the current false theories and philosophies of men. I have noted within the Church a difference in discernment, insight, conviction, and spirit between those who know and love the Book of Mormon and those who do not. That book is a great sifter” -President Ezra Taft Benson, (Ensign,Dec. 1988, pg. 4, “Jesus Christ—Gifts and Expectations”).

“I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity—the pure love of Christ—will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness” – President Marion G. Romney, (Ensign,May 1980, p. 67).

“Every Latter-day Saint should make the study of this book a lifetime pursuit. Otherwise he is placing his soul in jeopardy and neglecting that which could give spiritual and intellectual unity to his whole life. There is a difference between a convert who is built on the rock of Christ through the Book of Mormon and stays hold of that iron rod, and one who is not” – President Ezra Taft Benson, (Ensign,May 1975, p. 65).

“Brothers and sisters, 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 an added measure of 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.” – President Gordon B. Hinckley, (June 1988 Ensign, “The Power of the Book of Mormon”)

“I implore each of us to prayerfully study and ponder the Book of Mormon each day. As we do so, we will be in a position to hear the voice of the spirit, to resist temptation, to overcome doubt and fear, and to receive heaven’s help in our lives.” – President Thomas S. Monson (GC, April 2017, “The Power of the Book of Mormon”)

“Young men, the Book of Mormon will change your life. It will fortify you against the evils of our day. It will bring a spirituality into your life that no other book will. It will be the most important book you will read in preparation for a mission and for life. A young man who knows and loves the Book of Mormon, who has read it several times, who has an abiding testimony of its truthfulness, and who applies its teachings will be able to stand against the wiles of the devil and will be a mighty tool in the hands of the Lord.” – President Ezra Taft Benson, (GC April 1986, Priesthood Session, “To the Youth of the Noble Birthright”)

Russell M. Nelson: “study of the Book of Mormon is most rewarding when one focuses on itsprimarypurpose—to testify of Jesus Christ. By comparison, all other issues are incidental.” – President Russell M. Nelson, (GC October 1999, “A Testimony of the Book of Mormon”)

Testimony of the Book of Mormon. Elder Holland. About 4.5 minutes

Read the entire talk:

But, without doing as Moroni promised in Moroni 10:3-5 one must pray and ask Our Heavenly Father if it is a true book or is it false? Every single person must pay the personal price of asking to find the truthfulness. One cannot maintain a belief in someone else testimony.

Oh How Lovely Was the Morning. About 6.5 minutes

Prayer is the Soul’s Sincere Desire. About 3 minutes

Are You Really There? About 3.5 minutes

Pray Always. David A. Bednar. About 16.5 minutes

I hope that you don’t mind but I just want to share a few things I found on Face Book

Did You Think to Pray. Tennessee Ernie Ford. About 4 minutes


Christmas day has now come and gone for another year. The time is soon coming when, for many, the decorations will come down, clean-up and recovery from all the celebrations and festivities will occur, and life will begin to return to normal.

As I was pondering and praying this morning, the following verses of scripture came to mind, and the Lord seemed to be asking me the question He asked those of old:

"From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

Then said Jesus unto (Eric), Will ye also go away?" - John 6:66-67

It caused me to pause and contemplate my heart, and ask:

Will I simply return to my former self? My former routines and patterns of life?

Or will my celebrations of the Savior's birth and life result in increased levels of consecration, commitment, and discipleship?

Will I continue to seek after and follow Him, every day desiring to come closer to worhsipping at His feet?

Without the lights and decorations and vacations, will my focus still be centered upon following Him, even if that means picking up and carrying a new and unfamiliar (and pehaps more uncomfortable) cross in the year ahead?

The holiday of Christmas is over, but Christ ever remains and reigns!

"Will we also turn away?"

Or will we follow Him, no matter what the hazard or cost of discipleship?

In whatever difficulties (personal and worldwide) which may lie ahead before His glorious Second Coming, will the challenges lead us towards Judas, or will our hearts be like John the Beloved who remained with Him at the foot of the cross, and tending to the needs of others at His request, even if we don't fully understand why things are happening?

A new day and a New Year are now nearly upon us.

May each day of it continue to lead us ever closer and more fully devoted to the CHRIST of Christmas, and not returning to more comfortable complacency.

What becomes of us in the days after Christmas is up to each of us to decide.

We witness to each of you. Jesus is the Christ ! He is the Son of God. The Book of Mormon yes, tells us a history, but ever so much more. It teaches us of Jesus Christ. We learn of his visit to the Americas. We learn that the Book of Mormon teaches us our own future,, except we repent and as a Nation follow and worship Jesus Christ.

God our Heavenly Father lives, HE loves each of us as does Jesus Christ.

We are blessed to have a living Prophet to guide us back to Jesus Christ. It is my hope and prayer that we each individually will become converted to Jesus Christ. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Debbie and I express our love to each of you. You are in our thoughts and prayers. May God bless you and your families.

Debbie & Steve Larsen

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