Missionary moments: Treasured little book

Beginning in 1945, when I was 17 years old, I was invited to attend dances and other social events held by the Reno (Nev.) Ward of the Church. I had left home at the age of 16 and was searching for something to make my life meaningful.

Then, a year later, a little pocket-sized book called "Third Nephi – The Book of Nephi, Christ's Ministry in America" was given to me. Up to this time, no one had said anything to me about what the Mormons believed.I had enjoyed the social life with the Young Men's and Young Women's Mutual Improvement Associations and even attended a gospel message class. But it was not until I received this small volume containing the Third Book of Nephi that I seriously investigated the Church.

As I read the book, my heart was softened by the tender message of the Savior's appearance on this continent. "And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; . . . And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people saying: Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world." (3 Ne. 3:8-10.)

I treasured this little book, and in time I was baptized. Many events have occurred in my life since my early years in the Church: a mission, military service, moving to Utah and marriage in the Salt Lake Temple, the birth of our children, their missions and marriages and years of blessed service in the Church. But during those years, the little book was lost.

A few months ago, I taught a class on family history and remarked about my loss of this small book that was so important in my gaining a testimony. Recently, a member of that class, Lucy Cannon Taylor, came into our home and asked me to describe the little book I had lost.

She then held out her own copy of this small book and said: "I was cleaning out my cupboards and found this. I want you to have it as it means so much to you."

Tears come to my eyes as I think of Lucy Cannon Taylor's unselfish gift to me.