…and also having great desires to know of the mysteries of God. (1 Nephi 2:16)
For the first several decades I was in the Church, I occasionally heard solemn, fearful admonitions to avoid the “mysteries.” I leaned on that borrowed testimony from others and believed it—hook, line, and sinker—until I began to search, pray and ponder the Book of Mormon.
How shocked I was to find that the Book of Mormon was filled with the examples and the testimonies, like this one from Nephi, of those who sought the “mysteries of God.”
And not only did they seek those mysteries, but they encouraged me to do the same!
In the subsequent years of my own awakening to the counsel of the Lord, I have found the Book of Mormon’s greatest power is to bring a person “nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” (Book of Mormon, Introduction).
In other words, the Book of Mormon is a handbook on receiving the mysteries of God, and how to conduct ourselves concerning them.
Unfortunately, during all those years that I avoided the mysteries of the gospel—as I avoided any in-depth, quality time with the scriptures—I little realized that I was falling prey to exactly what Satan wanted me to believe. He knew full well that I would not experience a mighty change of heart if I did not search, study, ponder and pray about the scriptures and allow the Spirit of the Lord to liken them to me and my own life’s challenges.
Thus, for years, the only mystery in my life—how to get free from my addiction—ruled my entire life. I wanted to get free so badly, but I could not, for the life of me (literally), figure out how to do it. What I lacked—the mystery of it all—was my own close, intimate relationship with the Savior, just as the Book of Mormon prophets modeled for me. Their recorded words pled with me to find and enjoy the mysteriesfor myself.
Prayerful thought: Lord, it has always been a mystery to me how You could love me, foolish and flawed as I am, but I’m becoming willing to trust in Your goodness. Lord, I believe! Help Thou my unbelief (Mark 9:24).