Monday, November 19, 2012

Hefting my testimony

In the introductory pages to the Book of Mormon, the testimony of its divinity is given by not only Joseph Smith but also by 11 other witnesses who either met the Angel Moroni or who saw the plates before they were taken back to heaven.  What's interesting to me is that while many of these witnesses eventually left the church, some never to return, none of them ever recanted this testimony they gave of the Book of Mormon and its origins.

Right now, in addition to a few other things I'm working on, I'm trying to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. I've read it a few times before and prayed and pondered over it. I've had good feelings about the book, but nothing as equivocal as Jeffrey R. Holland's testimony of it given in his October 2009 conference address, wherein he said "...I want it absolutely clear when I stand before the judgment bar of God that I declared to the world, in the most straightforward language I could summon, that the Book of Mormon is true..."

One thing I found interesting as I started reading from the beginning last night was the word choice the eight witnesses of the gold plates used.  They said, "And this we bear record with words of soberness, that the said Smith has shown unto us, for we have seen and hefted, and know of a surety that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken" (The Testimony of Eight Witnesses, emphasis added).  They saw the plates and they hefted them. I imagine them holding the plates in their hands and doing a light bounce with their arms to measure the weight of the plates, tracing the engravings and playing with the rings with which they're bound and running their fingers on the thick gauges of gold.

That's what I did last night. The plates weighed on my mind.  I felt them with my heart and I gave them a gentle shake to feel the gravity and truth of the words they contain.

Good word, eh?

1 comment:

  1. I love the Book of Mormon! I've read it through several times over, and each time, I get something new from it. My favorite story, one that I identify with personally as a man who has learned to bear the burden of same sex attraction with grace, is the story of the followers of Alma. They ended up in the hands of the Lamanites and persecuted under the leadership of an apostate Nephite, Amulon. Amulon goaded the Lamanites to heap grievous burdens on the people of Alma. Alma's people prayed for relief, and the Lord promised them eventual relief from their bondage, but in the meantime He made their burdens seem light, so that they could not feel the weight of their loads. I believe that the Lord has done that for me, and I'm so grateful for that. (See Mosiah 20:14)


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