I was introduced to the Book of Mormon by a neighbor family in Pasadena, California, and by missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1971. To the best of my memory, I had little if any inclination to make any major changes in my religious beliefs.
I started reading the Book of Mormon around July of 1971, choosing for myself what pages and verses to read, for I had no desire to be overly influenced by the religious beliefs of others.
I soon gained a testimony that what I had read was true. I came to know, from the Holy Spirit, that what I had read in that book was of Divine origin.
Since that summer of 1971, I have read the entire Book of Mormon many times, and I know that this book is from God. The persons mentioned in it—they were actual persons who lived centuries ago, with many prophets and followers of God living on the American continent in Old Testament times, and they knew that Jesus Christ would be born on the other side of the world.
The account, in Third Nephi, of Jesus Christ visiting the people on the American continent, was an actual event, a literal visit of the resurrected Savior to real persons on the opposite side of the earth from where he had lived and completed his mortal mission.
This testimony I give in the name of Jesus Christ.
(from Jonathan David Whitcomb)