Wednesday, October 14, 2009

One More Day!

I"m so excited!  Tomorrow is the day we begin our journey through The Book of Mormon!  My prayer is that someone will accompany me on the journey and help me along my way.  Years ago, when Sweetie and I were young, we both taught Early Morning Seminary in our Ward in Imperial Beach, California.  I was serving in the Navy.  One day we were approached by a Sister in our Ward, whose husband had just returned from sea duty with the Navy.  He was struggling with his testimony and didn't feel very motivated to read the scriptures.  She wondered if we could read the Book of Mormon together.  Her husband agreed to participate.  Our schedules wouldn't permit us to meet daily, but weekly on Sunday afternoon would work.  We thought we'd use the Like Unto Us film strip series, from Seminary, to guide our discussions as we read.  Somehow, word got out and three other couples asked if they could join us.  None of our apartments would accommodate so many, so I approached the Bishop about using a room in the Meeting House.  He graciously consented.

On the Sabbath morning of our first meeting.  Someone passed an announcement around in Elder's Quorum and Relief Society (I was in Aaronic Priesthood and Sweetie was with the Young Women) about what we were going to do, along with a sign up sheet.  So many signed up that we had to move the gathering to the Chapel.  Sweetie and I were overwhelmed!  We prepared so hard each week.  In the end we had 78 regular participants!  Most had never completely read The Book of Mormon.  There were eleven Like Unto Us films, so we created eleven lessons and developed a reading schedule that would finish the book in eleven weeks.  Almost all, finished, on time!

On the 12th week we held a testimony meeting.  Oh, the marvel that meeting was!  One after another bore fervent testimony of the love they'd gained and testimony they'd received from this greatest of all books.  One couple stood together to speak.  They explained that they were new converts.  On the Sunday we began The Book of Mormon, they'd decided they had made a mistake in joining the Church.  Little things had offended them and they had concluded to discontinue their participation.  That is, until the sign up sheet was passed around.  This time is was going around in Sunday School.  They looked at each other and said, "You know, we never read The Book of Mormon as the Missionaries requested.  Maybe we should give it a chance before we give up."  They never missed a meeting or a deadline and finished the book with the class.  Tears freely flowed as they thanked God that they had not missed the chance to confirm their faith by the glorious method proved by so many.  Their testimonies and so many others were enriched and strengthened and my prayer is that such will be the case on our journey that commences tomorrow.

Our method will be different and hopefully, motivating and enlightening.  I'm confident of one thing.  The Book of Mormon, that glorious "voice from the dust" will do it's work.

Now a little about me.  I am a recovering addict.  I found recovery through The Book of Mormon and with encouragement and support from the LDS Addiction Recovery Program - ARP.  After 45 years of bondage and despair, I am blessed with freedom and a remission of my sins.  It was the year President Hinckley asked if we'd read The Book of Mormon by the end of the year.  With the encouragement of my precious daughter, I accepted President Hinckley's challenge and did it.  It wasn't my first time to do so, more like my 100th, though I've never kept track, but this time was different.  I had learned to CaptureCapture is the LDS ARP term for seeking the guidance of the Spirit as we read and recording every impression.  I never read anymore, without a notebook at hand and I never read, without liberal writing.

Let me encourage you to get a notebook and Capture while you read The Book of Mormon this time.  This is one of the reasons we'll be going slower through the book on this journey.  One chapter a day.  Some day's you'll wish we went even slower, I promise!  I also promise that if you do this you'll gain insight and inspiration that will amaze you.  You will receive impressions that are only for you, but you will also receive impressions you can share with us here.  I hope you will do so as the Spirit directs.

One quick example and I'll finish.  As I was reading and Capturing my way through the Zeniff/Noah/Limhi/ story I discovered that the story was all about addiction and recovery.  The cycle was so familiar, a story of pride, over zealousness, excess, sin, bondage, battles for freedom, humility and delivery.  It so closely mirrored my experience with the bondage of addiction that it was unmistakable.  I had read that story dozens and dozens of times, but until I Captured it, I failed to discover it's rich and saving meaning, specifically for me.

It doesn't matter who you are, or what you're presently dealing with, I promise that The Book of Mormon, if read in companionship with the Spirit, will be abundant with answers and blessings for you, in every single chapter!  The key, as Elder Richard G. Scott has taught is in showing appreciation for those most precious spiritual endowments, by recording them so they won't so easily be forgotten.

Sharing some of those insights here, is but an experiment.  I don't know what to expect from that, but I hope and pray it is beneficial to each of us.  We'll start at the very beginning with the Title Page.  See you in the morning.

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