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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Elder Ronald A. Rasband

One of the greatest missionaries of the Book of Mormon is President Russell M. Nelson. When he was a newly called Apostle, he gave a lecture in Accra, Ghana. In attendance were dignitaries, including an African tribal king, with whom he spoke through an interpreter. The king was a serious student of the Bible and loved the Lord. Following President Nelson’s remarks, he was approached by that king, who asked in perfect English, “Just who are you?” President Nelson explained that he was an ordained Apostle of Jesus Christ. The king’s next question was “What can you teach me about Jesus Christ?”

President Nelson reached for the Book of Mormon and opened it to 3 Nephi 11. Together President Nelson and the king read the Savior’s sermon to the Nephites: “Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world. … I am the light and the life of the world.”

President Nelson presented the king with that copy of the Book of Mormon, and the king responded, “You could have given me diamonds or rubies, but nothing is more precious to me than this additional knowledge about the Lord Jesus Christ.”

That is not an isolated example of how our beloved prophet shares the Book of Mormon. He has given copies of the Book of Mormon to hundreds of people, always bearing his witness of Jesus Christ. When President Nelson meets with guests, presidents, kings, heads of state, and leaders of business and organizations and of diverse faiths, whether at Church headquarters or in their own locations, he reverently presents this book of revealed scripture. He could give them so many things wrapped in ribbons that might sit on a table or desk or in cabinets as a reminder of his visit. Instead, he gives what is most precious to him, far beyond rubies and diamonds, as the tribal king described.

“The truths of the Book of Mormon,” President Nelson has said, “have the power to heal, comfort, restore, succor, strengthen, console, and cheer our souls.” I have watched as these copies of the Book of Mormon have been clutched in the hands of those who have received them from our prophet of God. There could be no greater gift.