The Purpose of Life as Illuminated by the Book of Mormon

Today I am nearing the completion of my goal to re-read the Book of Mormon afresh.  If you’ve ever read the book, you might have felt (as I do) that the beginning chapters limp along at times, albeit interspersed with sparkling gems of wisdom.  However, once you near Helaman:13, things start to really heat up. At that point, this book of holy writ holds my attention like a teenage romance novel.  I find myself flying through chapters and relinquishing the book with reluctance when it becomes necessary to rejoin the functional world.  My mind looks ahead to my study the next day with happy anticipation, I want to hear what happens next!

The central event in the Book of Mormon is the story of the Savior’s visit to the American Continent— after his resurrection in Jerusalem. The book of Third Nephi, begininning chapter 8, picks up right at the time of the Savior’s crucifixion, telling the story from the point of view of another nation (which attests to the veracity of the bible, which is—as you know— told from the perspective of the Jewish people).

The Book of Mormon recounts a history of the Lord’s ministry to the “other sheep He has which are not of this [the Jewish] fold“.  It relates the Savior’s message and mission.  When I read those chapters of the Book of Mormon, I find myself transfixed, in awe, with much food-for-thought.  Suddenly, much of the other history recounted in the book (although valuable) becomes peripheral in comparison.  You cannot read these chapters about the Savior’s ministry without being touched.  It is the central, most pivitol event the world has seen—and once you sense this, it becomes strikingly clear that all other events and circumstances THROUGHOUT THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD are but appendages to it!

We are here on earth to learn.  We are here to exercise our free will and determine our own fate.  I don’t mean that in the way that it is traditionally meant when we think of making our fate—NOT in relation to what we might accumulate in life, or to define ourselves in relation to what others may accomplish (though that is what the purpose of the rat race often appears to be).  BUT WE ARE HERE TO DETERMINE OUR FATE IN RELATION TO THE SAVIOR OF MANKIND and our desire to be counted on His side.

So, when I read the testament of Jesus Christ as recounted in the Book of Mormon, I similarly realize that all other ambitions in my life (although valuable) should be peripheral to my goal of following the Savior, Jesus Christ.   And, when my heart really takes hold of this thought, everything fits.  I feel at peace.  I feel (an increasingly rare sensation for me) that I AM ENOUGH.  That being sometimes simple and unheralded and imperfect is okay because all my other concerns are swallowed up in my vision of the Savior and the miracle of His love, the power of His Atonement, and the surety of His promises to me.


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