By LDS.org Canada
Submitted by: Samuel Smith, who served in the Canada Toronto Mission
I was a member for several years before having received a true and strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. I always knew it was true, and I had faith in it, but I never really received a true witness for years after my baptism. After having received my personal witness, I learned of the strength the Book of Mormon offers to those who live according to the words of the prophets who testify of Christ within its pages. It is a powerful source and it has greatly blessed my life.
As I have now completed my fulltime missionary calling, I am so grateful for this gospel and the chance that I have had to serve in the Canada Toronto Mission. I know that the opportunity for this service has saved my life. I recently had the sad experience of receiving an unanticipated phone call that my cousin had committed suicide. This was hard news to take. He and I were the same age. We did all the same things. He was probably the most similar cousin that I had. I came to the realization after that phone call that if I hadn’t gone through certain experiences, they would have been burying me as well.
Starting two years ago in my senior year at high school, I was at a turning point in my life. I was unhappy with my life. I saw no point to it. I was severely addicted to pornography and struggling to quit. It was affecting every part of my life. Not only were my academic studies declining but also even my desires to do anything. Honestly, I was scared. I was seeing only failure and disappointment everywhere I looked. I was beginning to have doubts about everything, even the very fact if God was there.
At this time, my cousin decided that the Church was not true. I was faced with a decision of whether or not I would fall away too. I prayed and prayed and read and read but nothing came. I went forward acting on faith. I met with my bishop and filled out my mission application papers. I received a mission call. I had done everything I could. Still, I had no answers about my doubts.
Then, one day in my stake mission preparation class, we had a discussion about the introduction to the Book of Mormon. For some reason, this discussion felt different from all the other classes I had attended. After the instruction part of the class came the role-play activity. I remember that I was paired with the instructor and given the task of explaining what the last two paragraphs of the introduction meant to me. I read aloud the following words:
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