GCBC Week 16: “The Book of Mormon—a Book from God” by Elder Tad R. Callister

I love my scriptures like a friend.  If they were ever lost, I would be devastated.  I know that other scriptures without all my notes in the margins would be true too, but still.  I have not committed as much time to that friendship as I’d like, and I’ve been feeling stirrings in my soul to really go back to the Book of Mormon and rekindle that love for the word of God.  Those of us who have The Book of Mormon and love it often take for granted how valuable it is.  So much that we understand about God’s plan for his children and the doctrine of Jesus Christ are formed and founded upon the words of the Book of Mormon.  Together with the Holy Bible, it trumpets out the reality of a living Christ who has provided a way for us to be perfected in Him, and to return to our Father’s presence.  So mostly this talk by Elder Callister helped me to remember something again:  I know the Book of Mormon is true.  I’m so grateful for its teachings and how it is a conduit (for me) to the Holy Ghost and personal inspiration.

The Book of Mormon—a Book from God by Elder Tad R. Callister

“[The Book of Mormon] is either the word of God as professed, or it is a total fraud. This book does not merely claim to be a moral treatise or theological commentary or collection of insightful writings. It claims to be the word of God—every sentence, every verse, every page. . . .

Together with the Bible, the Book of Mormon is an indispensable witness of the doctrines of Christ and His divinity. Together with the Bible, it “teach[es] all men that they should do good” (2 Nephi 33:10). And together with the Bible, it brings us to “one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” That is why the Book of Mormon is so crucial in our lives.”

What stood out to you as you studied this talk? What did the message make you want to do or change?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

To anyone who is checking out GCBC for the first time, the goal is to read one General Conference talk a week and discuss it together as an on-line “book club.” If you want to learn more, go here, and join the discussion here each week.

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19 thoughts on “GCBC Week 16: “The Book of Mormon—a Book from God” by Elder Tad R. Callister

  1. Together with the Bible
    The Book of Mormon teaches us
    How to live the gospel-
    Having love for man and Jesus

    I want to have more confidence
    That He might speak through me
    I want that grand experience
    Of gathering His sheep

    I lost my scriptures which had notes from cover to cover-
    all my years of institute! Hope they went into good hands. I MISS them!

  2. I love that it’s so simple- it’s true or it’s not. I know it’s true. I like the part of his talk where he talks about having “emblazoned on your soul an undeniable witness”.. regarding the atonement, when you read the Book of Mormon. That’s motivation for me to keep reading.
    It also motivates me that his grandfather read it twice in 10 days. It seems to take me forever. I really want to start over and be reading with the Sunday lessons.. but I’m still in Alma. So I’m determined to finish it this week.

    • If you can finish the Book of Mormon this week and you are in Alma, I can certainly finish it – I am in 3 Nephi and I wanted to start over at the beginning of the year so I could read it all in one year, but I failed miserably finishing in December (although I did make a lot of progress!) so I am trying to finish it soon. The end of the week would be a great goal :) I think I’ll try to finish with you!

      Let me know how you do!

    • Read both where you are at and start again with Sunday lessons. Two places at once – a member of my bishopric talked about the great benefits of doing this.

  3. I love math (and geometry – gasp!), and so I really appreciated his comparison with the points and lines. It made a lot of sense to me, and I don’t think I had ever really thought to apply that principle to the Book of Mormon and the Bible.

    I know the Book of Mormon is true because each page I read seems to pull me toward the Savior. It’s almost like reading the Book of Mormon draws me to the Savior without me even realizing it. Anything that draws us closer to the Savior must be of Him – which he said himself (and Elder Callister mentioned in his talk) – something that testifies of the Savior can’t be from anywhere else but God, because a kingdom divided will fall, so Satan cannot persuade us to believe in the Savior, or he would be dividing his own kingdom.

    I love logic applied to the gospel. But I also understand that the ultimate testifier of truth is the Holy Spirit.

    More thoughts over at My Soul Delighteth

  4. Is it from God or of the devil? I know it comes from God and am so thankful that I have a testimony of the Book of Mormon. I love this book of scripture – how a scripture I’ve read a hundred times somehow takes on the meaning I need to solve a problem, how I am comforted by familiar stories and impressed with courageous acts. I never get tired of Nephi’s story, Sariah’s testimony, Alma, Moroni, Amulek, Mosiah, King Benjamin, etc, etc. and on and on. It is my favorite book. And I love that every year on my Good Reads book list – I can mark that I read it again ;)

  5. I love the Book of Mormon. I think my love for it started my first year of early morning Seminary when that was our course of study. Our teacher challenged us to read every day so it would become a habit. I did and it did become a habit. The BofM is just as Nephi said, “plain and precious”. The doctrine and truths taught in there are laid out simply and directly. If anyone doubts we believe in Christ, they should read the Book of Mormon. The Savior is in there from cover to cover.

  6. This is my ward’s next Sunday RS lesson so I read it yesterday to prepare for next Sunday.

    What touched me was the references to the Atonement.

    “Would you like to have emblazoned on your soul an undeniable witness that the Savior descended beneath your sins and that there is no sin, no mortal plight outside the merciful reach of His Atonement … Then read the Book of Mormon.”

    I have read the Book of Mormon and I know it is true!

  7. My favorite part about his talk was his quoting CS Lewis about how those who refer to Christ as a master teacher–not taking Him at His own proclamation of being the Son of God. Christ never left His identity in question or a mystery. He claimed His Divinity. It is the same as the BoM–it is proclaimed as the word of God. Nothing less.

  8. I also enjoyed his illustration with the dots and lines. I am also enjoying taking my time and reading one chapter a day and marking it with my almost 12 year old daughter. We are having some great discussions and bonding!

    • Michelle, one of my favorite times reading the Book of Mormon was with my daughter Michelle when she was about 9 and President Hinckley issued the challenge to read it by the end of the year. We, too, read a chapter a day and it was a wonderful experience. (We also combined it with Elder Bednar’s challenges to look for “tender mercies” as we read.)

  9. I, too, love my scriptures. I did lose them once, and it was an awful feeling. Fortunately, I was able to find them again quickly. As Elder Scott mentioned, they really are my friends, and I’m grateful for that.

    My favorite part from Elder Callister’s talk was the point and line discussion proving the need for a second witness. I loved that visual!

    Although I’m teaching a CTR class in Primary, I am aware that the adults are studying the Book of Mormon in Sunday School this year. And so I’m trying to stay caught up a bit with that as well. It was nice to review this talk and be reminded of the importance of the Book of Mormon. He’s so right that it’s either from God or the devil; there is no middle ground. And I’m grateful for my testimony that it’s from God.

  10. I chime in here so late each week that I doubt anyone sees my comments. That’s OK. Your book club encourages me to study each of these talks in depth each week. I use the talks in the kitchen each morning as my a timer. Great dawdler that I am; I can drag out my chores indefinitely. A ten to twenty minute talk during kitchen cleanup keeps my on track in more ways than one. Then I write my thoughts on my blog on Friday or Saturday. Works for me. Thanks again.

    “That is the genius of the Book of Mormon—there is no middle ground. It is either the word of God as professed, or it is a total fraud.” Tad Callister

    “C. S. Lewis spoke of a similar dilemma faced by someone who must choose whether to accept or reject the Savior’s divinity—where there is likewise no middle ground: ‘I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. … You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. … But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.’”

    All through this beloved gift, Jesus speaks to me to do better, to be better, to strive to be like Him. How could this book possibly be from any other source than my Savior, Jesus Christ? I am somewhat of a numbers geek. Elder Callister’s points and lines geometry reference made perfect sense to me. Although, using logic to explain things of the Spirit is unnecessary to those, who receive witness from the Holy Ghost, it is still interesting and thought provoking. Like Elder Callister, I have read every page of the Book of Mormon many times. Each page encourages me to emulate the Savior and has ‘emblazoned on my soul an undeniable witness’ of its Godly truthfulness! I want to do better and be better, because it has strengthened my testimony of all His words and His mission.

  11. I too liked the points on a circle visual. What a simple and clear way to put it. Also, it made me think of last weeks talk (I think) about sharing the gospel with others. This would be a great way to help others see how we view the BofM and it’s importants to our religion.

  12. I especially loved what he said about how we can gain a sure testimony of the atonement through the Book of Mormon. We were asked in Gospel Doctrine why it is so important to us personally to have the Book of Mormon as well as the Bible. If I had a chance to respond, I would have said that there are certain verses that I read when I am feeling down, scared, need to feel more of the Spirit, etc. Many of these verses are from the Bible (especially the New Testament), but so many of them are from the Book of Mormon, and I am so grateful to have both of these witnesses of Christ. Many of my favorite verses in the Book of Mormon talk about the atonement and add to my testimony whenever I read them.

  13. There is no sitting on the fence – either we believe in Christ or we don’t, either we believe in the Book of Mormon or we don’t.

    His analogy with the lines was very clear. That is one I want to remember to share with my children when they are a little older.

    My Stake Presidency challenged us to read the Book of Mormon this year. I’m taking the challenge — and also searching for “joy” and “happiness” as I read. I think this quote from Elder Callister’s talk is great motivation to read: “Would you like to have emblazoned on your soul an undeniable witness that the Savior descended beneath your sins and that there is no sin, no mortal plight outside the merciful reach of His Atonement—that for each of your struggles He has a remedy of superior healing power? Then read the Book of Mormon.”

    I loved that he closed with the 14-year-old girl’s testimony of the Book of Mormon. Good for her. I bet that made her day to hear her talk quoted in conference. And what an inspiration to young women around the world!

  14. This is such a cool idea! I love that we can discuss stuff like this like a “book club”. I also like the cut-and-dry approach to the Book of Mormon: either it’s the word of God, or it’s a bundle of lies. Plain and simple. I think it helps to put it into those terms, because then you don’t have to be stuck in that “Maybe? I guess? Sorta?” territory. You just take it for what it is and make a choice, allowing you to move forward with your testimony.

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