Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Eight Copies: Part 4

[This is the 4th and final part in an essay about the many copies of the Book of Mormon I have owned and how they have influenced and mirrored my life.]

My favorite copy of the Book of the Mormon that I own is one I received while working for BYU. Each Christmas, the First Presidency gives Church employees a small gift.

One year, I received a beautiful, leather triple combination. In the letter that came with it, the First Presidency wrote,
“It is our sincere hope that your study of the scriptures will continue to be a source of inspiration, guidance and peace in your life. As you read, your mind will be enlightened, your spirit will be lifted, and there will come into your heart an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord. There will come a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to the Lord’s commandments, and there will come a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God.”
I took this as a personal challenge to read more consistently, study more diligently and ponder more deeply. Every promise made in that letter was realized, and my life was changed yet again.

The final copy of the Book of Mormon that sits on my shelf is new. In it is a pamphlet about the Restoration that missionaries use with new investigators. I got it from the missionaries a few months after moving to St. Louis two years ago. I had intended to give it away to a coworker, but never did. I look at it and feel regretful that I chickened out. I had a treasure to share, and I chose to keep it to myself.

Elder Hugh W. Pinnock of the Seventy said,
“We need to open our mouths in order to communicate to others the spiritual lifesaving principles found in the Book of Mormon, as well as the importance of reading that wonderful book.”
The best way to find courage to share the Book of Mormon is to read it ourselves—daily. For those among us who are more casual, inconsistent readers, Elder Scott says,
“If you have not yet drunk deeply from this fountain of pure truth, with all of my soul I encourage you to do so now. Don’t let the consistent study of the Book of Mormon be one of the things that you intend to do but never quite accomplish. Begin today.”
I know that if we do not neglect our study of the Book of Mormon, but read consistently, daily-- we will be blessed with both knowledge and inspiration.

Our bishop always promotes the "Five Verses A Day" plan. Read at least five verses (that's it!) every day. Nobody can say they don't have time for five verses! Even when I am dead-dog tired and don't want to read, I can't ever say to myself, "I'm not going to read. Five verses is too much."

As for "How the Book of Mormon Changed My Life"?

I grew up in the Church, learning about the Book of Mormon, so it is true that there has been no dramatic change in my life. No moment when I found the Book of Mormon and went from lost and wandering to found and directed. That is why I had such difficulty finding a place to begin my Sacrament meeting talk.

The Book of Mormon didn’t change my life in a singular moment; the Book of Mormon changes my life a little bit every time I read it—grounding me in the faith, guiding me through this treacherous time that Mormon prophesied of, and always testifying of Jesus Christ, bringing me nearer to Him and our Father in Heaven.

1 comment:

  1. Five verses a day? That sounds easy! Sometimes the first step is making a goal and then being consistent with it. Then hopefully that leads to more study and pondering. My hubby and I are reading the New Testament right now and then we are going to start on the Book of Mormon again! Reading the scriptures really brings us together!

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