Book of Mormon Conclusion by Brother Van Sweden

Book of Mormon Conclusion
I feel a sense of sadness as we conclude our reading of the Book of Mormon. While I had read it before, the examination of each chapter and verse, brought new meaning and understanding to me. It was “as if” I was getting to know someone whom I had known, on a much deeper level. It was, however, not just one person, but several. The names of Nephi, Jacob, Alma, King Benjamin, the four sons of Mosiah, Captain Moroni, Helaman and his two sons, Nephi and Lehi, Mormon, and Moroni became real people for me with real challenges and disappointments. I rejoiced with their successes and sorrowed at their pain.
At times, I found myself getting angry with Laman and Lemuel, and others like them, for not being able to hold firm to the teachings of the prophets. How easy they were diverted from the path of righteousness. Then I realized, that I, too, had not always made the right decisions and often came short of whom I sought to become. My anger then changed to sadness, and a hope for each of us to see the error of our ways, and to exercise the necessary courage it takes for us to change.
Through all my reading, I saw the love our Father in Heaven has for his children and his continued mercy and patience with each of us. I rejoiced at the appearance of the Savior to the Nephites when he taught them his gospel. I visualized his healing of the sick and the lame and the blind, and his interaction with the children. I know that He who was perfect and committed no sin, suffered for us. He gave His life that someday, as we strive to become like Him, we may return to live with Him and His Father again. It is Jesus Christ who made it possible for all of us.
I thank those of you who took this journey with me. My hope is that you were rewarded for your efforts and were enriched because you took the time to immerse yourself in the scriptures. I am so grateful for the Spirit of the Holy Ghost that serves to enlighten our minds and helps us to do better.
Robert C. Van Sweden
September, 2016