By Larry Echo Hawk
The Book of Mormon was the first large book that I ever read from cover to cover. I read 10 pages every night, never missing a nightly reading.
When I finished the entire book, I knelt down and prayed. At that moment I had my first strong spiritual experience. I knew then the Book of Mormon was true. Until that moment I had not realized that Heavenly Father had been watching over me and giving me answers to all my prayers for healing and for a witness of truth.
It seemed to me that the Book of Mormon was about my Pawnee Indian ancestors. The Book of Mormon talks about the Lamanites, a people who would be scattered, smitten and nearly destroyed. But in the end they would be blessed if they followed the Savior.
That is exactly what I saw in my own family's history. When I read the Book of Mormon, it gave me very positive feelings about who I am, knowledge that Heavenly Father had something for me to accomplish in life, and instruction in how I could be an instrument in His hands in serving the needs of other people.
So religion in general and Mormonism in particular is for people with low self-esteem who can't make it on their own and need a Great White Father to help them? Because that's the message I get from Echo Hawk's essay. If that sounds healthy to you, I have a bridge you may want to buy.
For more on Indians and Mormons, see Romney Associates with Bigot Fischer and Indians Blamed for Mountain Meadows.