Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Rosh Hashanah

It is early in the morning, when the sound of the shofar echoes down the mountains of Israel. For generations, Rosh Hashanah marked a time of new beginnings for the children of Israel.

In 1827, Rosh Hashanah fell on September 22 (Rosh Hashanah dates). Interestingly enough, September 22, 1827 is when the Book of Mormon came forth. "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown" (Isaiah 27:13). The trumpet that was blown on this particular Rosh Hashanah was not to be heard in Jerusalem, nor was it to be heard in Egypt, but it was to be heard throughout the world. 

This time, the shofar that would be sounded was the glad tidings of the everlasting gospel found in the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. On this Rosh Hashana, the Jews didn't just enter a new year, the world entered a new dispensation. The world could start anew: the "famine in the land...of hearing the words of the Lord" was over (Amos 8:11). 

Those who have read the Book of Mormon, for a moment think. Imagine what you would be like if you did not know the stories of Nephi, Moroni, or Abinadi. Where would you be without Alma's sermon on faith? Would you have less courage to face the world without having the story of Nephi and Lehi in prison? Would less love fill your heart without the image of the Savior blessing the children as they were surrounded in a ring of fire?

For those who have not read the Book of Mormon yet, I invite you to read it, and come to experience the joy that millions have felt as they have read the words of the Lord sent forth in these latter days to gather scattered Israel back to the covenants of the Lord. 

Regardless of whether you've read it once, hundreds of times, or never, the Book of Mormon is the shofar calling out for all men everywhere to repent, and come unto Christ, and have your own personal Rosh Hashanah, your own new beginning. For each time you read from this book of holy writ, prophets and angels speak from the dust, inviting you to repent and start fresh.

Blow the shofar, and let the Rosh Hashanah of the final dispensation change you. It does not sound down the mountains of Israel, but across the whole world.