My First Exposure to the Book of Mormon

I was eight or nine years old, and I was watching something on TV that I can’t even remember.  I’d never heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I’d never heard the term Mormon.  I had never seen a Book of Mormon in my life.  As a commercial rolled across the screen, I became mesmerized.

The commercial showed a Bible and images of the Savior.  The narrator’s voice said something like…

“Jesus Christ, Savior of the world.  Every word he spoke was precious.  We study the Bible to learn of him and his words.  But what if there was more…?”

My heart jumped.  I loved the words of Jesus Christ.  As a child, I would seek out the words printed in red in my father’s Bible, in a desire to read His words.  Now this commercial said there might be more written, more to study, more to understand.  Could it be possible?

The narrator continued, “There is more.  The Savior had other sheep.  He visited them and we have a record of his teachings.  The Book of Mormon.”

A blue soft-covered book was on the screen.

There were tears of joy in my eyes as I rushed to find a pen and paper to write down the telephone number at the bottom of the screen.  I had to get this book.  I thought of how excited my entire family would be to read this book with more of the words of our Savior in it.

I scrawled down the number in pen on my hand and ran into the kitchen where my mother was getting an early start on dinner.

“Mommy, mommy, you’re not going to believe this.  It’s amazing.  We have to call Daddy.  We have to call everyone.” I was out of breath and excited all at once.

My mother turned patiently to me and said, “What is it, dear?”

“There’s another book.  The Savior, he wrote more.  There’s more for us to read.  I wrote down the number.  We have to call and get the book.  He has more to say to us.”  The words came out in a rush.

My mother looked at me, confused.

I explained more, “Mommy, it’s called the Book of Mormon.  We have to get it.  Can you please call right now?”

My mother’s expression turned to understanding.  “Oh, honey”, she said patiently, “That’s not a real book.  It’s just the Book of Mormon.”

I was crushed.  It wasn’t real?  But it had seemed so real.  I’d wanted to hear more from my Savior.  I was sad.  I was disappointed.  I felt a little foolish. and I also felt a deep sense of loss.  I couldn’t help but wish that it was real.

It would take more than ten years for me to have my second exposure to the Book of Mormon.  I didn’t even remember that first encounter as I first read a friend’s brown leather-bound copy of the Book of Mormon, carefully inscribed with his name.  I didn’t remember even as I prayed to know of the truth of the words that I had read, and received a shockingly powerful confirmation that overwhelmed me with love and warmth.  It wasn’t until an initial missionary discussion, that an Elder, unloading some items from his backpack, pulled out a blue-covered soft-bound copy of  The Book of Mormon. 

My voice caught in my throat, “What is that?”, I asked as recognition dawned over me.

Surprised, he answered, “It’s the Book of Mormon.”

I couldn’t help the tears that fell from my eyes.  All of those same feelings of joy and wonder at the thought of more of the Savior’s words came back to me.  It was the book.  The book I had so desperately wanted to read.  The one that had been discounted and forgotten.  Yet, here it was.  Here I was. Though I hadn’t recognized it, I had already read it.  I knew it was true.  And though, I was terrified of a very new and different path in front of me, I felt a singularly loving comfort descend on me.

The Savior had said more, and now I had found it.

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One Response

  1. What a great story!….thanks for sharing it.

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