Friday, March 22, 2024

Testing the Gold

(Guest post by Spencer's dad)

When George Carmack, Tagish Charlie and Skookum Jim found the gold on Rabbit Creek they were confident they had found the BIG ONE. Miners had been traveling up and down the Yukon River for about twenty years - finding just enough gold to keep looking but never finding the BIG One - the big gold strike.

Immediately after finding the gold, George and Charlie headed for Forty Mile where they could register their gold claim. (Skookum Jim stayed behind to be on site in case anyone had any ideas). As soon as the 200 people at Forty Mile saw Carmack’s shot gun shell full of gold they were off to make their own claim’s in (what would become) Dawson City.

Two of veteran prospectors made the trip with skepticism. George was nic-named Lying George Carmack to them. Finding gold in a moose pasture like Rabbit Creek did not fit their experience as a gold stream.

From the top of the hill overlooking Rabbit Creek (by then renamed Bonanza Creek) the two veterans took a close look at the creek. They concluded that this would not be a real gold strike - it was just a moose pasture. As they dismissed what would be largest gold find in world history, they said “Leave this moose pasture for the Swedes and the Cheechakos.” To these experts the Swedes were the lowest class of immigrant. The Cheechakos were new comers to the north who knew nothing about gold mining or life up here.

Sometimes experts are wrong. What makes these two experts prediction more ironic is that they never tested how much gold there was on Bonanza Creek. A knowing look from the top of the hill was all that was needed to ignore this strike and keep looking in places where gold should be.

We have at our finger tips the Book of Mormon, a priceless gem that the world dismisses for numerous reasons. Many who don’t believe in the Book of Mormon have not studied it.

Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Council of the Twelve Apostles observed:

"A man might take a stone and, in order to verify precisely what it is, subject it to a test to identify slate or sandstone. After conducting these tests, he may conclude his research with the statement: 'I did not discover that it was a diamond.'"

His conclusion, though accurate, has nothing to do with whether or not it is a diamond. Nor will it ever be verified by using the wrong formula. There may be a thousand tests he can apply and come to the same conclusion.

After, and only after, he subjects the stone to the correct formula can he know for sure. Until then, his conclusion, “I did not discover it to be a diamond,” is relatively useless information.

There has, over the years, been an endless procession of those who would examine these revelations (The Book of Mormon) by every formula save the right one…

These scriptural diamonds [or scriptural gold to continue our analogy] as we have described them, will stand the test. As surely as a man may determine whether a purported diamond is genuine by subjecting it to well-known tests for diamonds, the scriptures may be subjected to well-known tests for scripture.”

If today is the first day you heard of the Book of Mormon, or if you have read it every day of your adult life, there are gold gems found in this book of scripture. No matter what chapter you are life, the promises modern prophets assure us we can find answers to our challenges as we study the Book of Mormon.

President Nelson promised us: “I promise that as you prayerfully study the Book of Mormon every day, you will make better decisions—every day. I promise that as you ponder what you study, the windows of heaven will open, and you will receive answers to your own questions and direction for your own life.” (October 2017)

“I promise you that from this moment forward, if we will daily sup from [the pages of the Book of Mormon] and abide by its precepts, God will pour out upon each child of Zion…a blessing hitherto unknown." (Ezra Taft Benson April 1986)

In every chapter of my life - I needed a blessing hitherto unknown. I hope we can be wiser than the two expert gold miners who dismissed the largest gold find in world history without testing it. God will bless us as we study his gospel with the inspiration we need to find spiritual gold.

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