Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Book of Mormon Challenge

Back on November 8th, my wife said we should have a Book of Mormon challenge: that is, to try to read the Book of Mormon, in its entirety, between November 8th and December 31st. I said, "Sure!" and created a Facebook event, in case any of our friends wanted to participate, too.

I invited 250 of my 500 Facebook friends (it turns out half of my friends are LDS). Of those invitations, 26 signed up to take part. I was surprised that many did, and was glad to have prompted some folks to get reading!

I created a spreadsheet charting the amount of progress needed for each day in order to complete the reading by the end of 2012, and shared that sheet with any who signed up. Then I kept a close watch on my progress as the days and weeks flew by. I read entirely on my smart phone this time, which was very convenient, since it is always with me.

In the end, I didn't make it. I ended up finishing this morning, January 15th. Had I been only a little more diligent, I could've met the goal. But, it's all right; I still outperformed my wife, and that's what really matters. :)

So, here's what I took away from the experience:

1) The challenge helped me get back into the habit of committing a fair amount of time each day to the scriptures. I needed that reintroduction of discipline in my life. It became clear that I waste too much time on other, less important stuff. 
2) I've read the Book of Mormon through several times before, and I notice different things each time. There were many specific things, but overall I particularly felt the humanity of the writers (prophets) - what they must have felt at the time they inscribed the plates. 

3) A brisk read also helps with recognizing the distinct voices of the different writers within the book.

4) I feel my faith was strengthened, as at this point in my life (unemployed) I really need that extra boost.

5) As always, it was, at many times throughout the book, so abundantly clear that this was not the work of one young man (Joseph Smith) - aside from the translation, of course - but that it is a true record of ancient date and of immeasurable worth.

I know the Book of Mormon is true. I encourage all to read it, cover to cover, and then pray about it with real intent, believing you will receive an answer.

I also challenge you to study it this year in a way you have not before - study by topic, keep a journal, read it straight through, or whatever. Trying a new way of studying it can really make a difference!

Happy reading in 2013! 

My Family

My Family
THIS is what it's all about. (July 2013)

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