Sunday, April 17, 2011

Discovering the Book of Mormon (Again)

Last month, Elder Bednar came to speak to the Young Single Adults in the region. He did a Q&A session that was amazing. In response to one question about ways to come to know the Savior, he said to get a new copy of the Book of Mormon and to highlight all references to the Savior.

I have attempted this in the past using various colors for different things about the Savior (characteristics, attributes, names, quotes), but I always got bogged down in remembering what color to use or some other detail that was distracting from actually comprehending what I was reading. But I wanted to try again.

I pulled an unmarked copy off my shelf (you can get one here) and pulled out my nifty multi-color marking pencil and started reading. This also somewhat coincided with my desire to get out of bed 20 minutes earlier each morning to do my scripture study before work. At first it was slow as I wondered "should I be highlighting this?" As I pressed forward, the highlighting became second nature.

I am amazed at how often the Savior is referred to. I always knew it was a lot (3925 references in 531 pages), but to actually highlight it and visualize it has had a huge impact. I have also discovered that reading with a purpose changes the way you see and understand the book. Verses that have always been there are read as if for the first time. It changes the way I understand and digest what I'm reading. This exercise has also renewed my passion to read the Book of Mormon. I'm excited to get up in the morning, getting ready as quickly as possible and even reading past the normal time I leave for work, just so I can read as long as possible.

The Book of Mormon has changed my life many times as I learn more about the Savior, his teachings, and the plan that can lead us back to our Father in Heaven. I can see it changing me now as I feel more constant assurance of His love and peace. I look forward to the changes that will come in the future as I continue to read with purpose and heed the teachings of the prophets in the Book of Mormon and the living prophet today.