[This is the 2nd part in an essay about the many copies of the Book of Mormon I have owned in my life.]
Each copy I have ever owned has been special to me and has influenced or mirrored my life in some way.
When I was baptized at eight years old, I was given a full set of scriptures with my name engraved on the covers. They were beautiful to me. Now, these scriptures might be described as old, worn out, and falling apart. I prefer to think of them as loved, well-used, and full of character. There are stickers on the inside cover, the pages are marked with colored pencil, red pen, yellow highlighter and varying colors of crayons with glitter. The binding is falling apart because the book is bursting with Sunday School handouts, old Sacrament Meeting programs, indecipherable notes, postcards, a For the Strength of Youth pamphlet, and even some old photographs.
When I look at them, I see my life, my progression in the gospel. I went from clumsily marking my scriptures with crayons to thoughtfully underlining key phrases and jotting impressions in the margins. I grew from a child, hanging on the testimony of my parents, to an adult, with spiritual experiences and faith of her own.
In the opening pages of the Book of Mormon, we learn that the primary purpose of the Book of Mormon is to convince all people "that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations.” All people "must come unto him, or they cannot be saved" (1 Nephi 13:40). Joseph Smith said that the Book of Mormon is "the keystone of our religion, and a man [will] get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”
My worn-out and well-loved scriptures did all that for me—convinced me that Jesus is the Christ, bade me to come unto Him, and brought me nearer to God by abiding by its precepts.
What have your scriptures done for you lately?
To be continued...