Monday, February 8, 2016

A Message from President Marsten

FEBRUARY 8, 2016

Dear Missionaries:
This week we invite each of you to begin to read the Book of Mormon daily starting on February 10 and to finish reading the entire book by April 10.  The next day Monday, April 11th we have planned an all-mission temple morning (three sessions) at the Sacramento Temple.  This reading assignment will help lift us and prepare us for that wonderful experience together.   Reading the Book of Mormon in sixty days will mean reading about 9 pages per day.   A personalized copy of the Book of Mormon will be given to you by your zone leaders at your zone meeting this week.  Inside the front cover is a reading schedule as well as quotes from President Ezra Taft Benson concerning the power of reading the Book of Mormon.  As you read, we invite you to find and mark in red every reference to Jesus Christ and His Atonement.  

The authors of the Book of Mormon wanted its readers to receive a witness of Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer.  The Book of Mormon came forth with the intent to convince Jews and Gentiles that JESUS is the CHRIST.  The Book of Mormon is “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.”

In August 2005 President Gordon B. Hinckley invited everyone to read or re-read the Book of Mormon by Christmas.  In issuing that invitation, President Hinckley made this promise:  “Without reservation I promise you that if each of you will observe this simple program . . . there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God.”  I believe in these promises.  As we read the Book of Mormon together, we will see miracles in our missionary service.

Sister Marston and I are excited to embark on this wonderful program with you and to feel the power of the Book of Mormon blessing our lives and yours.

We love you and pray for you.

Much of the Christian world today rejects the divinity of the Savior. They question His miraculous birth, His perfect life, and the reality of His glorious resurrection. The Book of Mormon teaches in plain and unmistakable terms about the truth of all of those. It also provides the most complete explanation of the doctrine of the Atonement. Truly, this divinely inspired book is a keystone in bearing witness to the world that Jesus is the Christ” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson [2014], 129–30). 

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland identified Twenty Teachings in the Book of Mormon on the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  In your reading this week look for Number 1:  Nephi’s record of the “God of Nature” suffering and the first of Isaiah’s testimonies of the Messiah (1 Nephi 19, 21)

Best regards,
President Michael F. Marston
California Roseville Mission

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