BYU (Brigham Young University) is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called the “Mormon Church.” As part of their undergraduate coursework, BYU students take multiple semesters of spiritually uplifting, stimulating religion classes.
In this series (see below), students enrolled in scripture study classes have shared their thoughts, insights, and reflections on the Book of Mormon in the form of letters to someone they know. We invite you to take a look at their epiphanies and discoveries as they delve into the scriptures.
In publishing these, we fulfill their desire to speak to all of us of the relevance, power and beauty of the Book of Mormon, a second witness of Jesus Christ and complement to the Bible. The Book of Mormon includes the religious history of a group of Israelites who settled in ancient America. (The names they use are those of prophets who taught the Book of Mormon peoples to look forward to the coming of Christ—Nephi, Lehi, Alma, Helaman, and other unfamiliar names. We hope those names will become more familiar to you as you read their inspiring words and feel the relevance and divinity of their messages through these letters.)
Let us know if you’d like to receive your own copy of the Book of Mormon, and/or if these messages encourage and assist you spiritually as well.
Dear Fearful Journeyman,
We believe in an all-knowing God, a God that knows all of us so perfectly that He knows our future choices. He is the Chess Master, the Man that can see all of our decisions and plot them out to see all of their effects; an infinite number of possibilities, God sees exactly what will happen. The scriptures are full of foretelling—“it shall come to pass” is one of the most common sayings in both the Bible and Book of Mormon. These are not predictions of what will happen; these things will happen, for they come from an all-knowing perfect God who does not lie to His children. Speaking of the last days, our Father in Heaven said, “I will go before them…and I will be their rearward” (3 Nephi 21:29). It is no wonder that a present-day Prophet of God has declared that “[our] future is only as bright as [our] faith.”
If we have faith in God, or trust in Him and His promises, there is nothing to fear. We have no fear of darkness before us because we see only brightness. We see that God will be before us guiding the way, aware ahead of time of every obstacle, warning us of any danger. I know that God lives. I know that He knows all things. I know that He knows us perfectly and is aware of our individual concerns. This does not mean that we will always be able to see the whole path from the beginning to the end. If this were the case, then we would no longer rely on God because we wouldn’t feel the need. We would end up trusting solely in ourselves, and we ourselves are imperfect. Even more, to see this we would have to be God ourselves, capable of seeing the infinite possibilities. But we can be assured that we will always see what we need to see. When a rock is tossed in the road, God will either remove it or help us see it so we avoid stumbling.
It is natural for us to be afraid, often seeing no more than a foot ahead of where we walk, but God sees miles ahead. If we choose to trust in God’s love I know that this fear will turn to hope and brightness, and even the wildest of oppositions will not make us tremble, for God is with us, “[He] will not leave [us] comfortless” (John 14:18).