Just recently, maybe a couple of weeks ago, as I was laying down to bed I had some strong thoughts/impressions come into my mind surrounding my experience praying about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I wanted to share them, but you'll need a little background info first.
Like most converts to the LDS church I was baptized at the age of eight. And like most converts, during my journey to conversion, I faced a time of extreme doubt and spiritual trial. It just so happens that during this time of doubt I was also living the farthest away from the lifestyle that Heavenly Father had instructed me to lead; funny how those things go hand in hand.
I was mostly raised in the church and had many spiritual experiences by the time I was 17, but I had also developed some deep-seated doubts. My doubts ran right to the heart of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or as you may reference it, the keystone of the religion. I doubted the reality of Joseph Smith's vision and prophetic calling; I doubted that he translated the Book of Mormon and the book's truthfulness. Although I would never have denied my belief in Jesus Christ, I probably would not have put up much of an argument if someone had denied His reality. Like I said, my doubts went straight to the heart of the religion itself.
During this time I continued to read scriptures every day, attend church every, and do my seminary homework. I was certainly 'going through the motions' with these activities but I know now that they helped to prepare my heart to take the right steps in resolving my doubts.
After being forced to attend EFY in Provo, Utah (Mom's are always key in one's conversion), I was challenged by my counselor to pray to know that the Book of Mormon was true. I had heard people's accounts from the pulpit during testimony meetings throughout my whole life, but I had never considered doing it myself. When the challenge was made, I knew in my heart that if I asked I would receive. I prepared myself throughout the week with devotionals, talks, personal scripture study, reading Moroni's challenge, and praying each day that on the day I asked the question, I would get the answer I desired.
Finally the day came. I imagine myself kneeling there with this great question, a hunger and thirst for knowledge. I see my family members that have passed on (all my relatives who don't have the gospel), my future children, and my friends gathered all around me, speaking words of encouragement and support to my spirit. With all the preparation and exercising of faith that I had done during the week, I asked Heavenly Father, "Is the Book of Mormon True?"; then waited. My prayer of faith together with their power opened up a window to heaven for just long enough that I heard in my mind and felt in my heart the most clear and powerful, yet slight whisper that said, "You already know." I barely caught a hold of the message and I then I heard the thought again whisper even more clearly, "You already know."
I pondered for a second and then said to myself, "Yes, this is right and true. I do know the Book of Mormon is true." In an instant it was like unto the Savior's birth where the clouds burst open with a multitude of heavenly host praising God. Only for me it was all my spirit family and friends cheering me on and expressing their deep love and joy to my spirit. In that instant my mind also burst open and I knew the Book of Mormon was true, I knew Joseph Smith was a prophet, I knew that God was real, I knew that Christ was real and that he atoned for our sins. That on shout of praise and joy opened the heavens and poured down pure plain and simple truth and knowledge to my mind and heart, removing all doubts and filling my body with warmth and love.
I will be forever grateful to my Heavenly Father, my Savior, and their unified companion the Holy Ghost. And to my spirit ancestors and descendants for their support and love. I can't wait to thank them when I cross the vale.
I know these things are true, and for all those who don't, I know that you can too.