This isn’t a post about the Book of Mormon per se, as in “What is the Book of Mormon?” which you can read here, but rather, how the Book of Mormon has recently become a “thing” I do.
Back in April of 2016 I read an article in the Ensign Magazine about a woman who read the Book of Mormon from cover-to-cover every month for a year. My husband and I were serving our mission in England at the time, and we had already been challenge to read the Book of Mormon in a 4-month period the year before, ending on Christmas Day 2015, which we did. I’d also read the Book of Mormon cover-to-cover many times before, but this goal, with approximately a year left to our mission, seemed an appropriate way to serve out that time.
I began to read on June 1, 2016, the requisite 18 pages a day. I chose to read a plain, blue soft-bound copy, one of many we had on hand in the flat to give out to anyone interested. One thing I was interested in learning, is what kinds of things would stand out to me each month, so I used a different colour marking pencil each month to differentiate.
As I write this blog post, I am in my 10th month of this project. I have read through the 531 pages, 18 pages a day, each month. Here are some things I’ve learned:
- Reading the Book of Mormon never gets “old.” I find something new/interesting each time through.
- Parts that don’t teach me anything “new” are never boring to re-read, but are like conversations with an old friend. We “finish each other’s sentences,” or in other words, I have become so familiar with the words that they are written on my heart and imprinted in my mind.
- I’ve been able to pick up on many more of the literary elements of the Book of Mormon than I have found before. Specifically, I’ve been able to see many more examples of chiasmus.
- I am better able to see the continuity in the timeline of events, the big picture of the unfolding of the Book of Mormon epic.
- I have a greater awareness of the important themes of the Book of Mormon:
- Scattering and Gathering of Israel
- The Pride Cycle
- If you keep the commandments, you will prosper
- The Atonement of Jesus Christ, our Saviour (He’s mentioned on almost every page!)
- Pattern of receiving answers to prayer
- I have become even more firm in my testimony that Joseph Smith did not, indeed could not, have written this book. It is the word of God through prophets on the American continent, written for our day, to bless our lives and witness that Jesus is the Christ.