A Book of Mormon scripture found in 2 Nephi 32:3 is set forth as a foundation for the 2015 Philippines Area Goals. In this scripture the prophet Nephi counsels his brethren to “feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.”
Where do we find the words of Christ? They are found in the scriptures, and the words of modern-day prophets and apostles. And how do we feast upon the words of Christ? The Savior taught that we should be “hungering and thirsting” (Matthew 5:6) for His words and we will find them “delicious” (Alma 32:28) to our souls.
The 2015 Philippines Area Goals were established through prayer and revelation among the Lord’s chosen servants. These divinely appointed responsibilities can be found in “Handbook 2: Administering the Church,” Section 2.2, wherein the purpose of the Church is outlined. They are spiritual goals that are meant to lead us along a pathway to eternal life and exaltation. They cannot be fully implemented by individuals and families, or the church within the Philippines, without spiritual guidance. Thus, as we seek to achieve our Area Goals it is vitally important that we invite the Spirit into our lives by reading the scriptures and listening to words of the Lord’s prophets and apostles.
The Spirit of the Holy Ghost will then tell us, as individuals, families, and church leaders, all things we should do to achieve each of our Area Goals, and also personal and family goals. We will be strengthened to live the gospel of Jesus Christ; we will have a desire to care for the poor and needy; we will be anxiously engaged in gathering Israel through missionary work; and we will enable the salvation of the dead by building temples and performing vicarious ordinances.
We must be seeking to “treasure up in your minds continually the words of [Christ]. (See D&C 84:85). We must try to be as Nephi who said: “For my soul delighteth in the scriptures and my heart pondereth them…” (2 Nephi 4:15). We must read the scriptures every day, individually and as a family.
We must make prayer a part of our daily scripture study. “There is nothing more helpful than prayer to open our understanding of the scriptures,” said President Howard W. Hunter. And from “Preach My Gospel” we read: “Your gospel study is most effective when you are taught by the Holy Ghost. Always begin your gospel study by praying for the Holy Ghost to help you learn.”
As we do these things, the Spirit will teach us as we read, search, and ponder the words of God. Individuals will be taught by the Spirit to have the Area Goals become their personal goals. Parents will realize the importance of the Area Goals and will know how best to have their family participate in achieving them. Church leaders will know what they should be doing to implement the Area Goals within their church units and organizations. We will all make better decisions – individually, in our families, and united together in the Lord’s work.
All the scriptures contain the words of God, but the Book of Mormon especially teaches plainly the doctrine of Christ. We can also find the words of Christ in more than the scriptures we are familiar with – the Old and New Testaments, the Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price. We must also seek to read, listen, and obey the voice of the Lord’s prophets and apostles as they speak to us. Our patriarchal blessings are personal scripture from Godtoo. The Holy Spirit will also whisper the words of Christ to our minds and hearts. (See 2 Nephi 32:3).
I am a convert. Missionaries taught my family when I was 14 years old. When I was 17 years old I promised the Lord that I would read the Book of Mormon. I read at least 10 pages every night. As I read I felt the Spirit witnessing to me that what I was reading was from God. When I finished reading the Book of Mormon I knelt down and asked Heavenly Father if it were true. I had a powerful feeling come over me and I knew the Book of Mormon was true. This experience set me on a course in life that brought about change and spiritual growth. The words of Christ contained in the Book of Mormon taught me what I should do. Most importantly, the Book of Mormon taught me about my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
Of this I testify in the sacred name of Jesus Christ. Amen.