Nephi knew that there would be people who would harden their hearts against sacred things, against the Holy Spirit, and would “esteem them as things of naught.” (2 Ne. 33:2) He continues:
But I, Nephi, have written what I have written, and I esteem it as of great worth, and especially unto my people. For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry.
And I know that the Lord will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people. And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them; for it persuadeth them to do good; it maketh known unto them of their fathers, and it speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end, which is life eternal. (vv 3-4)
Just eight chapters earlier, he explained the reason he and other prophets write of Christ:
And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins. (2 Ne. 25:26, emphasis added)
The major reason we have scriptures – writings of prophets containing the words of God and histories that we need to learn from – is so we can return to God. It is Christ who is our Mediator, our Advocate with the Father, the Source where we can receive remission of our sins by accepting His Atonement, having faith in Him, repenting, being baptized for the remission of sins, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost as our constant companion (according to our obedience and righteousness), and enduring to the end to receive eternal life.
Every once in a while, I’ll see or hear about someone who has been challenged, either by themselves or someone else, to read the Book of Mormon in 30 days. And every time, I wonder how such a thing is possible. 531 pages in 30 days? That’s 18 pages of scripture reading a day. How is it possible?
As I write this post, I suddenly wonder (more likely the Holy Ghost talking to me): What’s so hard about that?
After all, I’ve read big books over a weekend or a single day before. I stayed up till long after midnight several years ago reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Stayed up till 3 a.m. reading the sixth book in Gerald Lund’s The Work and the Glory series.
There are 24 hours in a day, 6-8 of which (or less, for some people) are spent sleeping. I’m a college student, but I can recognize right now some free time to spend reading those eighteen pages throughout my school day. (It helps, too, that this is the second day school has been canceled due to bad weather.)
On Sunday evening my mom decided that she would try it too. Knowing that she was making the effort, I decided to take up the challenge, too. When I began – in earnest – on Monday, I was almost to 2 Nephi 28, the last chapter expected for Day 6 of this challenge. I decided that I wouldn’t start over, but that I would continue on in the schedule, reading until I finished the Book of Mormon, then start over until I’m back where I was when I began. I’m about to start Jacob, so I have 9 pages left in today’s reading.
I look forward to this adventure.
Have you ever done a reading challenge like this? Tell me about it. It doesn’t necessarily have to be The Book of Mormon in 30 days. It can be any book in any length of time. What was the challenge? Why did you choose to take it? What did you gain from it?