The Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ and pairs with the Bible to make a strong witness of our Savior. The prophets of the Book of Mormon all have unique testimonies and we have so much to learn from them.
They all testified of Christ, but their unique relationship to Him shows in their testimonies and the way they lived their lives.
Let’s take a look at three of these prophets to see what they testify of Christ and how they do so.
Because where else do you start but with Nephi, the first speaker in the Book of Mormon?
Nephi’s words are always candid and powerful. He loves the gospel and his Savior, and he eagerly shares that love with everyone around him. Nephi’s testimonies are among the most well-known in the Book of Mormon.
Nephi’s story of leaving Jerusalem and traveling to the Americas sets the stage for a long series of trials, faith, and learning. Nephi and his family traveled in the wilderness for years, sometimes willingly and sometimes angrily.
Here’s one of Nephi’s earliest testimonies:
7 I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.1 Nephi 3:7
Nephi’s obedience showed throughout his life, and his obedience is based in this mindset – if the Lord asks me to do something, then He will help me do it.
That mindset showed in everything Nephi did, and his actions became a testimony that we can look to as an example.
The relationship Nephi had with Jesus Christ and the faith he had in Him allowed Nephi to receive visions that furthered his testimony and the testimonies of his family members.
Nephi bore testimony of a particularly powerful vision in 1 Nephi 11-14. He saw Jesus Christ, saw His birth, His ministry, and His death. Nephi also saw Jesus, resurrected, come to visit the Nephites in person.
I could probably write a whole post just summarizing the things that Nephi testified of, but to keep it brief today, I want to skip to what Nephi said near the end of his life.
16 And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved.
21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end.2 Nephi 31:16, 21
Jesus Christ is our Savior. Nephi knew this, and he testified of Him his entire life. He firmly believed that following, loving, obeying, and enduring in our Savior would mean being with Jesus forever.
Our own testimonies of Christ can inspire the same kind of obedience and faith that Nephi experienced. We can gain understanding, grow in faith, and trust that the trials we face will bring us closer to Christ.
It’s like Nephi said – if God asks us to do something, He will give us a way to do it. We just have to trust Him enough to start.
Jacob was Nephi’s younger brother. He traveled with Nephi and learned from him. It’s no wonder that, with a brother like Nephi, Jacob grew up to have just as strong a testimony as his brother.
Jacob’s fame comes mostly from him telling the allegory of the vineyard (Jacob 5). That allegory is a powerful testimony of how much God loves us and illustrates the effort that God puts into us.
Jacob also confronted the first anti-Christ of the Book of Mormon: Sherem. Sherem was determined to debate with Jacob until he proved Jacob’s belief wrong.
Here is Jacob’s response:
10 And I said unto him: Believest thou the scriptures? And he said, Yea.
11 And I said unto him: Then ye do not understand them; for they truly testify of Christ. Behold, I say unto you that none of the prophets have written, nor prophesied, save they have spoken concerning this Christ.
12 And this is not all—it has been made manifest unto me, for I have heard and seen; and it also has been made manifest unto me by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, I know if there should be no atonement made all mankind must be lost.Jacob 7:10-12
Jacob reminded Sherem that Christ had been prophesied since the beginning of the human race. Jesus Christ would come to atone for our sins and to free us from death.
Jacob’s certainty in Christ’s coming atonement strengthened him when he faced Sherem, a man determined to attack everything that Jacob believed in. Jacob trusted the Lord and His will, believing that everything would turn out the way it needed to.
For us, the scriptures can be as powerful as they were for Jacob. Though we might not all have older brothers like Nephi, we do have the scriptures. Jacob learned a lot from the scriptures; we can too.
In fact, it doesn’t matter who our family is. We can gain our own testimonies, and those testimonies find answers and strength in the scriptures.
It’s one thing to read the scriptures. It’s another to understand them. Sherem read the scriptures. Jacob understood them. I’m not saying only reading is bad, but if we leave it at that, the scriptures won’t serve their full purpose.
After all, the scriptures seem to be a big way that Jacob built his relationship with Christ. He learned of Him and became close to Him by learning through the scriptures.
We need to apply what we learn. We need to reread and reread to see what we can find each time we return to the scriptures.
Then we too will have the strength we need to stand firmly in faith when questions or doubts arise.
King Noah lived a pretty wicked life. And because he actively opposed the gospel, the people around him fell into sin as well.
Then Abinidi snuck into the city and told the king how terrible he was and that he needed to repent. So the king threw him in prison, then tried to convince him that everything he said was a lie.
Instead of caving and saying that he’d lied, Abinidi told the king that everything he’d said was true. Plus he told him all about Jesus coming and schooled Noah’s priests on the gospel and law of Moses.
1 And now Abinadi said unto them: I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people.
26 But behold, and fear, and tremble before God, for ye ought to tremble; for the Lord redeemeth none such that rebel against him and die in their sins; yea, even all those that have perished in their sins ever since the world began, that have wilfully rebelled against God, that have known the commandments of God, and would not keep them; these are they that have no part in the first resurrection.Mosiah 15:1, 26
He doesn’t beat around the bush. God, Jehovah, coming to the earth like a mortal because he’s the only one who can redeem everyone. And for people who know the gospel and choose not to live it (like Noah and his priests) then things might not be looking great.
(That’s why repentance is so awesome. If we repent, we have a lot less to worry about.)
King Noah and his priests still didn’t like what Abinidi was saying, so they decided to kill him. Before he died, they gave him one last chance to deny everything he’d taught them.
9 Now Abinadi said unto him: I say unto you, I will not recall the words which I have spoken unto you concerning this people, for they are true; and that ye may know of their surety I have suffered myself that I have fallen into your hands.
10 Yea, and I will suffer even until death, and I will not recall my words, and they shall stand as a testimony against you. And if ye slay me ye will shed innocent blood, and this shall also stand as a testimony against you at the last day.Mosiah 17:9-10
No matter what had to be suffered, no matter what he had to do, Abinidi stuck to his testimony. He trusted God more than anyone else.
And that’s what we can do too.
Abinidi didn’t succeed in convincing people of his testimony. In fact, only one person believed him in the entire city where he preached.
But that didn’t stop him from sharing it.
He knew Jesus Christ was real. He knew that he would be saved. And he gave his testimony without hesitation or question or fear.
It’s a real challenge to do that. But every time we do, it pays off. It brings us closer to Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven.
These testimonies of Christ are only a fraction of the testimonies in the Book of Mormon. There’s so much in there. And someday, I’ll probably talk more about those other testimonies.
But these three are powerful ones to learn from.
Christ is our Savior. We can trust Him without a doubt. Every prophet of God has testified of Jesus Christ as the Redeemer of the world. Through Him, we can be saved. We can find a reason to be obedient to the laws of God.
This week, find another testimony of Christ in the Book of Mormon. See what people have taught about our Savior and why those teachings are so important to us.
And have a great week!