Bishop L. Todd Budge, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, was recently reading the Book of Mormon when he was struck by the similarity of the prophet Mormon’s ancient words and President Russell M. Nelson’s modern ones.
So, taking direction from 2 Corinthians 13:1 — “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established” — Bishop Budge compared Mormon’s teachings to President Nelson’s and learned “what we most need to know to survive spiritually in today’s world.”
He shared his conclusions with Brigham Young University–Hawaii students during a devotional on Tuesday, Oct. 10.
‘Know ye that ye are of the house of Israel’
In Mormon 7:2, Mormon writes, “Know ye that ye are of the house of Israel.”
President Nelson has emphasized this topic more than once, Bishop Budge said, and highlighted some examples.
For instance, in a November 2006 Ensign article, President Nelson wrote, “To us the honored name of Abraham is important. ... The Lord reaffirmed the Abrahamic covenant in our day through the Prophet Joseph Smith. In the temple we receive our ultimate blessings, as the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
Bishop Budge told BYU–Hawaii students that “knowing our connection to the House of Israel helps us to understand the blessings and responsibilities associated with this divine heritage and to know that we can be endowed with power from on high to face life’s challenges.”
‘Know ye that ye must come unto repentance’
Mormon 7:3 reads, “Know ye that ye must come unto repentance, or ye cannot be saved.”
Bishop Budge noted how, during April 2019 general conference, President Nelson taught that repentance is a process, and while the Lord doesn’t expect perfection, He expects increasing purity.
“So, did you get the message?” Bishop Budge asked BYU–Hawaii students. “Both Mormon and President Nelson want us to know that repentance opens the door to the blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and is the key to happiness and peace of mind.”
‘Know ye that ye must lay down your weapons of war’
Mormon 7:4 reads, “Know ye that ye must lay down your weapons of war... and take them not again, save it be that God shall command you.”
Bishop Budge said he hadn’t heard President Nelson speak often about this topic until April 2023 general conference, when he said, “If you are serious about helping to gather Israel and about building relationships that will last throughout the eternities, now is the time to lay aside bitterness. … If your verbal arsenal is filled with insults and accusations, now is the time to put them away.”
Bishop Budge said laying down weapons of war, whatever they may be, requires commitment to change.
“We may not be able to remove everything in our lives that tempt us, but we can make positive choices that give us the power to overcome the adversary,” he said.
‘Know ye that ye must … believe in Jesus Christ’
In Mormon 7:5, Mormon writes, “Know ye that ye must... believe in Jesus Christ, that he is the Son of God... and also in him is the sting of death swallowed up.”
Similarly, President Nelson taught during April 2021 general conference that Jesus Christ is the foundation of all belief and the conduit of divine power. And during a May 2022 young adult devotional, he taught that because of Jesus Christ, all people will be resurrected.
“Choosing to believe in Jesus Christ... will shape every meaningful decision you make in life and bless you with joy and peace of mind,” Bishop Budge said.
Know the Book of Mormon’s importance
Mormon 7:8 reads, in part, “Lay hold upon the gospel of Christ, which shall be set before you, not only in this record [the Book of Mormon] but also in the record which shall come unto the Gentiles from the Jews, which record shall come from the Gentiles unto you.”
Similarly, President Nelson testified during October 2017 general conference that the Book of Mormon contains answers to life’s most compelling questions and teaches Christ’s doctrine.
“I believe that Mormon and President Nelson love us so much that they want us to be filled with God’s power,” said Bishop Budge, adding, “I commend to you the counsel of these two great prophets.”