President Nelson issued an invitation in the October general women’s session inviting all to read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year. If you’re like me, the task may seem daunting, but with inspiration and creativity to guide us, we can reignite the fire of possibility to complete this goal.
1. Listen to the audio version of the scriptures on the Gospel Library app. Listen while doing dishes, getting ready for the day, or while on the way to and from work.
2. Try listening on 1.25 or 1.5 speed. The change in pace alerts your brain that something is different, and you’ll pay closer attention to the words. I do this to keep my mind from wandering if I’m listening while doing other household chores. Many people have trained themselves to listen to audio works at a faster speed of 2x and even 3x! Mix it up and find what works best for you.
3. Read the Book of Mormon like you would a novel. Really pay attention to the story. There is definitely a beginning, middle rising to the height of conflict, and a satisfying ending. When President Gordon B. Hinckley issued a similar challenge several years ago, I initially balked at the ability to read 531 pages in a short period of time. The next day while nursing my baby, I finished reading a book that had over 531 pages. I felt like the Spirit was tapping my shoulder, saying, “See, you very well can read this most important book in a short period of time.”
4. As you read, mark verses by topic. Choose three to start. For example: Jesus Christ, Love, and Mercy. Mark each topic in a different color.
5. Journal as you go. Write your thoughts and inspirations as you read. You might be surprised what comes to mind as you ponder and allow space for inspiration to enter your mind. You can do this in a journal (see the new scripture journal at Deseret Book). You can also journal right within the Gospel Library app. Select a word, phrase, or verse and then record a note. You can use the speech to text function on your phone or device too! Check out the video below for more journaling ideas.
6. Trouble concentrating? Set an alarm and read 5-10 verses at three different times during the day. How might your day be different if the scriptures followed you through the day?
7. Read as if you were there. Learn about the setting of the Book of Mormon. Now put yourself there, and as you read, pretend that you are listening at the feet of the prophet Nephi, or Alma, or the Savior Jesus Christ. There are wonderful Book of Mormon videos created by the Church that can help you become more familiar with the setting.
8. Find YOU in The Book of Mormon. Study the scriptures, noticing all the references to you. Every book contains references for our day. Check out Omni, Words of Mormon, and Moroni to get started.
9. Combine reading methods to keep your study active. Some days I read slowly, marking and journaling as I go. Other days, I listen to the scriptures while driving or doing laundry. It keeps my heart turned toward the scriptures when I’m looking for more ways to get my reading in as I progress toward my goal of finishing the Book of Mormon.
10. Don’t break the chain! This has been the secret to our success for family scripture study. After trying for years to have consistent study, a friend shared that they marked on the calendar every day that they read as a family. We decided that we didn’t want to break the chain and that if we could read every day without missing for two weeks we’d have a party. Even my four-year-old started bringing me my Book of Mormon and saying, “Don’t break the chain, Mom!” We had a party and have continued on our longest streak ever. The most important part is that my children are invested in reading the Book or Mormon and recognize its importance.
Rachelle J. Christensen is the author of over 20 books, including Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things. She graduated with a degree in psychology and lives with her family on a farm in Idaho.
The Book of Mormon, Journal Edition provides the space you need to write down the thoughts and inspiration you receive as you read and study the scriptures. With extended margins for notes and reflection, this new format will allow you to write your thoughts directly in your scriptures and easily find them again in times of need. Suited for every stage of life, this book will help increase your connection to your most treasured verses and make your personal scripture study even more meaningful. Available at Deseret Book stores and deseretbook.com.