This morning our family finished reading The Book of Mormon. On Monday, when we read the first few short chapters of Moroni, my husband pointed out that we would probably finish by the end of the week. He asked the kids to listen carefully to Moroni 10 and specifically to the challenge in Moroni 10:3-5.
3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
After we finished Chapter 10, we said the closing prayer including a reminder to the kids that they should take some time over the weekend to pray and ask on their own to know personally that the Book of Mormon is true.
I already knew it was true. But I asked again anyway this morning during my personal prayer, because if the kids ask me, I want to be able to tell them I did it, too. This time, it wasn't my testimony of the truthfulness of the Book that overwhelmed me, although I very definitely know it's true. It wasn't my testimony of the Savior that was increased, although there is no greater truth in the Book of Mormon than the knowledge and hope that the Savior lived and will come again. This time, I remembered President Hinckley's Challenge in August 2005.
Without reservation I promise you that if each of you will observe this simple program, regardless of how many times you previously may have read the Book of Mormon, there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God.There have been times when the kids have complained about getting up early to read scriptures. There have been days when we have all thought it would be better to just skip it and sleep in. Some days, when none of us are really paying attention to what we're reading, we have all wondered why we do this every morning at 6:30.
But, after finishing it for the third time as a family, I have a greater testimony of the value of the commitment to daily family scripture study. The very act of opening the pages, sets the tone for the day, for all of us. Being quiet in the mornings before we all start days that are inevitably noisy and busy ensures that my children (and everyone of us at the table) will be armed with the Spirit throughout the day. The words we read, even in a groggy state, will stay with us, to be recalled sometime when we need them.
“It is not just that the Book of Mormon teaches us truth, though it indeed does that. It is not just that the Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ, though it indeed does that, too. But there is something more. There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called ‘the words of life’ (D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance” (President Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, Nov. 1986, 7).I know the Book of Mormon adds something to our day that we would not otherwise have. I am grateful for the Spirit of the Book. I am grateful for the influence for good that it is in all of our lives. And I am grateful that my children have become familiar with it over the years. With children headed into high school and middle school, with our youngest son preparing for baptism in September, and with the daily challenges that face all of us, I am grateful for the direction and hope that the Book of Mormon provides. I know that all those early mornings continue to be worth it. I have a testimony that the things written in that Book are true, divinely inspired words, specifically intended for us today.