Wednesday, December 23, 2015

And it came to pass...

Around the 6th of the month I decided I was going to read the entirety of the Book of Mormon before January 1st. I found a schedule for 30 days online and made 6 days worth of adjustments and started reading.

The last time I read the Book of Mormon this quickly was in 1854 when I was 19 years old and I read it cover-to-cover for the first time. It was September and I had never read more than a chapter or two (a friend had given me the book when I was 14), and here I was thinking about joining the church, taking the discussions, etc. So I read it straight through in about 3 weeks. It's easy after you make it past 2 Nephi (which is mostly pulled from Isaiah, and that fellow was deep).

There are two primary pros to reading the Book of Mormon at this speed. The first is that the order of events hold together better in your head. Ammon smiting off the arms of the bad guys happened around the same time Alma became Chief Judge, and I had kind of forgotten that. Actually, generally speaking, I am not very good at remembering the order of events in the Book of Mormon (only, well, Nephi and Lehi and family leaving Jerusalem obviously came first and Christ's coming came 600 years later and everyone descending into wickedness is the end of the book. I've been clear on that from the beginning. So there you are, cranking through the chapters, and you just do much better at understanding how the history hangs together--which is challenging because of so many stories occurring during the same time frame and flashbacks and stuff. The second pro is you feel like you've leveled up a bit. After so many years of reading a chapter at a time--or not at all for a bit--you're cranking through and it feels good. It does. There is definitely something spiritual happening.

The con is that you're not really picking up any new details. There is definitely something spiritual, but at that speed, good stuff jumps out at you maybe once every 10 pages. You underline it and then keep reading...Also--it's a LOT to read. If you fall behind one night, there's a lot of reading left to do the next night (otherwise, it works out to about 18 pages a day). But oddly, I don't feel totally pressured. It was one of those thoughts that come to you while you are preparing for the Sacrament and which, if you go for it, aren't that hard to carry out and come with a bunch of blessings. Which I really need, because it's been a heck of a month, honestly.

I recommend it. Good stuff. Good feelings. Good lessons for life. Also, some stuff I don't understand that bring up questions I haven't thought about in awhile. I think I have some good notes about this though--in a notebook in my office. So I'll look that up when I'm back from break.

And that's all the news tonight.

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