Our family is engaged in a full-court-press to finish reading the Book of Mormon together by our upcoming Stake Conference on September 23. We will have had six months to complete this challenge issued by our stake presidency, and we are really pushing to get 'er done, to wit, ten chapters out loud tonight.
We "lived" the first chapters of Third Nephi, collectively recoiling as we read about the evil Gadianton robbers going to battle (in blood-dyed lamb-skin about their loins, shorn heads etc.), and rejoicing as the righteous Nephites and Lamanites banded together to defend themselves, victorious because they turned to the Lord for the ultimate protection. The account of the earth's convulsions at the time of the crucufixion of Jesus Christ was particularly vivid tonight and led to a little discussion with a couple of personal "lightbulb" moments.
We pounded out our chapters with each of us reading five verses at a time. Our oldest daughter is home with her little Sweet Pea for a day, and her grown-up, educated insights made me sit up and listen. Our fourteen year-old earned a gold star for simply staying awake on the heels of last week's soccer tryouts.
We each have our preferred form of scripture, as is evidenced above: two ipads, the Book of Mormon for Latter-day Families (complete with pictures and definitions), and my old-school, hammered, marked-up, large-type, rained on, beloved copy. Whatever our individual copies of the Book of Mormon look like, we as a family testify of the following:
"I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity—the pure love of Christ—will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness." (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1980, p. 67)
We most definitely feel the promised influence of this great book when we make the time to read from its pages. After a summer of hit-and-miss scripture study, we are down to 100 pages with one month to go ... we can do it!