By Kristan Brooks
Sheri Dew, president and chief executive officer of Deseret Book Company, spoke to students and other participants of the Sidney B. Sperry Symposium about the power in the Book of Mormon.
Listeners filled the Joseph Smith Building auditorium and overflow rooms for Dew”s lecture Friday, Oct. 24, in which she called the Book of Mormon “the ultimate handbook for our days.”
Dew said the Book of Mormon shows that the light of Jesus Christ is stronger than any kind of darkness one could face in the world.
Dew said she believes God wants a powerful people, and God gives his power to those who are faithful and to those seek him. People have a sacred obligation to seek after the power of God and then to use that power as he directs. When a person calls upon the power of God, nothing is impossible, she said.
The word “power” is in the Book of Mormon 141 times. The Book of Mormon shows two dominating sources of power: the adversary and God.
Dew listed five concepts that illustrate power available to people.
First, literal power can be found in the word of God. An intense study of the Book of Mormon can lead to a total change in behavior, she said.
“The Word of God is the ultimate behavior modification course,” Dew said.
Second, power exists in the gift of the Holy Ghost. Dew said the Holy Ghost gives people access to God the Father and Jesus Christ.
“We are not alone if we can learn to hear what we are being told as it is communicated to us through the Holy Ghost,” Dew said.
She said learning to listen to the Holy Ghost is like learning a language. The rules of the language are found in the Book of Mormon.
Dew told listeners to ask the Lord how he speaks to them. She said while it may be a lifelong quest, one will hear clearer answers more frequently by studying the Book of Mormon.
Third, power is found in the priesthood. She said the priesthood opens up many blessings, such as baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, being endowed, being set apart and receiving a patriarchal blessing.
“The power of the priesthood is the most powerful power on Earth,” Dew said. “It is the only power that can only be used to do that which is righteous.”
Fourth, power exists in the temple. The 109th section of the Doctrine and Covenants states when one emerges from the temple, one emerges with power.
Fifth, power is found in the atonement of Jesus Christ. It has the power to nourish and strengthen us physically and emotionally, she said.
Dew said one can gain access to this power through faith, repentance, obedience and diligently seeking after the power.
“We [the church] are probably always going to be out manned, but we”re not going to be outgunned,” Dew said. “Not if we know how to call upon the power of God.”