When I first heard about the plates in Brazil it was through someone who had heard something from someone else, who had heard something from another someone, who had heard something from yet another source. What I was told was that there was a person in Brazil who was claiming to have “found” the golden plates. Since those were the words used, my first reaction was “It can’t be true! Because the angel Moroni took the plates.” And I believed in my heart that the angel Moroni would have to give the plates to the next seer. Quickly, realizing how rumors evolve and become deformed, I decided to do my own research. For I had read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover so many times in recent years that I began to desire more light and truth from those ancient prophets. Knowing that there were more records to come forth, I prayed to God one night that if it was His will, I hoped to read the Sealed Portion of the Book of Mormon in my lifetime. Since I pray the things the Holy Spirit gives me to pray, I believed I would receive an affirmative answer from God. After that prayer I highlighted everything I read about the Sealed Portion during my studies.
I decided that If the Lord had truly chosen a new seer – then I was going to find out about it through my own research, through prayer, through the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, and not a rumor.
My first discovery was a sermon by Bob Moore and a sermon by Joseph F. Smith on the Zarahemla Branch website. It was there that the rumor was dissolved for me. They told of how they traveled to Brazil where they met Mauricio and Joni and several others. Mauricio explained how the angel Moroni gave him the plates! The plates were not “found”. There were some more things that were said to Joseph and Bob by Mauricio which were yet to come to pass. I knew that those things were scriptural, so that information set me on the road of prayer and research more diligently. Next, I read Brother Joseph F. Smith’s entire website in a couple of days. I realized that Joseph and Bob were humbled by the experience in Brazil and these two men believed what they said about the plates and about Mauricio. Furthermore, Joseph’s website convinced me to the point that I was 99% sure that this was God’s work and not man’s. After that, I started to tell a few people about it, and checked the websites with the information daily so that I would not miss anything. When I found out that eight witnesses had traveled to Brazil and they all came back with a testimony I was more excited than ever! I told everyone that I was 99% on board, but I was waiting to read the publication of the Sealed Portion before believing 100%.
I took someone with me to hear one of the Eight Witnesses preach at Zarahemla branch one Sunday after the return of the Eight Witnesses. His sermon was truly from the Lord! I asked that witness to come and tell some of my friends and family about his experience in Brazil and bring another of the Eight Witnesses with him. The two witnesses were Tyler Crowell and Kelvin Henson. The Holy Spirit was in the little apartment room in abundance that night! The group that was there spent around 4.5 hours listening to the two witnesses. Some took notes, some brought their scriptures – we all asked questions. Our questions were answered.
When everyone finally left, I realized that I was no longer a ninety-nine-percenter! I was a true-believer that the Sealed Portion of the Book of Mormon was being interpreted by Brother Mauricio Berger in Brazil, even before the interpretation was finished. I was convinced by POWER, not by man, not by rumors, but by the peaceful, radiating power of the Holy Ghost.
I realize some people become afraid when someone else tells them they experienced the power of the Holy Ghost. How do I know it was the Holy Ghost and not something else? I know it was the Holy Ghost, because whatever spirit invites and entices us to do good continually, to love God, to serve God and to pray to God is of God. All of the eight witnesses are inviting us to live the two greatest commandments, to put our differences aside, to unite, and to become pure in heart so that we can keep the Lord’s commandment to build the Holy City of Zion and God’s Temple. That is good, it is serving God, and when we keep God’s commandments – we LOVE God.
My testimony is that the Sealed Portion of the Book of Mormon that is about to come forth – is TRUE. I would urge everyone who reads the testimonies on this site to ask, seek and knock about the Sealed Portion, about Mauricio Berger, about all of the witnesses, so that you can also rely upon God’s answer and not man’s. Yes, God speaks through men. Those men who the Lord speaks through, will speak the words of Christ and the Holy Ghost will carry those words into our hearts if our hearts are broken open and our spirits are contrite. Please, open your hearts and pray if you haven’t already. Now is the time.
My name is Renee Whitefield. I attend one of the Restoration Branches in Independence, Missouri. 05.07.2018