Right before Scott was born, Jake's missionary zone decided to read the entire Book of Mormon in the month of May. Jacob invited us all to participate. I decided I wanted to get in on the reread of a book that has greatly influenced my life. This book is what ancient and modern prophets have said it is - Another Testament of Jesus Christ - a record of His willingness to teach truth to all nations, not just nations of the Eastern hemisphere. One group of his children sailed across the ocean and kept their record of their people and their testimonies of their God. And that record was passed down, generation to generation and translated by Joseph Smith, Jr. and I have read it a few times. This time was significant to me because I had just given birth to baby #4. And my transition from 2 to 3 babies was not hard. But I was nervous that my transition from 3 to 4 would be more than I could handle. But reading the Book of Mormon during the first month of Scott's life was totally awesome. I didn't have time to be exhausted or overwhelmed or cranky or watch any television or anything extra. I only focused on my family and my 16 pages a day (or huge catch up depending on how many pages I hadn't gotten in the days before). It's a miracle. A miracle that I got it done and a miracle that adding something extra to an already busy life could create peace. The Book of Mormon holds a message of peace for me. I appreciated immersing myself in the stories again. These people lived and some of them died for the message of the gospel of the Savior of the World.
I remember the first time, as a teenager, that I decided to read the entire book and ask if it was true. This was my second fervent prayer...in the bathroom. The first happened when I prayed for my patriarchal blessing to go well. The second happened a few months later after I had finished my first read by myself. I knelt down. I expected an answer and wondered how it would go. I asked if what I had read was true. I felt mildly chastised and extremely surprised and then filled with love. I had always known that it was true. What a gift.
The Book of Mormon is true. It is a book of peace. I appreciate gathering peace from it during a point in my life that is often noisy and void of peaceful tranquility. I appreciate the truth it teaches to fight against the lies that I am tempted to believe that in my insufficiency, I am hopeless, that I am alone, that I am different. This read through the Book of Mormon will always be special to me. I stole Evelyn's scriptures and circled a verse whenever I felt the truth of what it was saying. Here are my verses. I now use them as jumping points from my current study sessions. Delving deeper to study how they are connected to other volumes of scripture has been invaluable to me. Here are my scriptures preceded by the note I wrote in the margin to remind me what it says.
THE WORD OF THE LORD PROTECTS ME 1 Nephi 15:24 And I said unto them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.
SUBMISSION TO THE PLAN 2 Nephi 26:7 O the pain, and the anguish of my soul for the loss of the slain of my people! For I, Nephi, have seen it, and it well nigh consumeth me before the presence of the Lord; but I must cry unto my God: They ways are just.
LET EARTH RECEIVE! 2 Nephi 28: 30 For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.
FAITH IN CHRIST CAN CHANGE ME 2 Nephi 30:7 And it shall come to pass that the Jews which are scattered also shall begin to believe in Christ; and they shall begin to gather in upon the face of the land; and as many as shall believe in Christ shall also become a delightsome people.
MIRROR OF MERCY Alma 29:10 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.
FAITH WITHSTANDS EVERY TEMPTATION Alma 37:33 Preach unto them repentance, and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ; teach them to humble themselves and to be meek and lowly in heart; teach them to withstand every temptation of the devil, with their faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.
RESTORED ACCORDING TO DESIRE Alma 41:5 The one raised to happiness according to his desires of happiness, or good according to his desires of good; and the other to evil according to his desires of evil; for as he has desired to do evil all the day long even so shall he have his reward of evil when the night cometh.
KARMA OF GOSPEL Alma 41:14-15 Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually; and if ye do all these things then shall ye receive your reward; yea, ye shall have mercy restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you again; ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again; and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again. For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored; therefore, the word restoration more fully condemneth the sinner and justifieth him not at all.
GOD PROTECTS US FROM OURSELVES Alma 42:3 Now, we see that the man had become as God , knowing good and evil; and lest he should put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live forever, the Lord God place cherubim and the flaming sword, that he should not partake of the fruit-
QUICK TO FORGET Alma 46:8 Thus we see how quick the children of men do forget the Lord their God, yea, how quick to do iniquity, and to be led away by the evil one.
HUMILITY IS A CHOICE Alma 62:49 But notwithstanding their riches, or their strength, or their prosperity, they were not lifter up in the pride of their eyes; neither were they slow to remember the Lord their God; but they did humble themselves exceedingly before him.
MERCY FOR PRAYERFUL Helaman 3:27 Thus we may see that the Lord is merciful unto all who will, in the sincerity of their hearts, call upon his holy name.
GREAT EVIL TO CAUSE AFFLICTION Helaman 3:34 And they were lifted up in pride, even to the persecution of many of their brethren. Now this was a great evil, which did cause the more humble part of the people to suffer great persecutions, and to wade through much affliction.
YOUR FAITH IS SUFFICIENT 3 Nephi 17:8 For I perceive that ye desire that I should show unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem, for I see that your faith is sufficient that I should heal you.
YE KNOW NOT 3 Nephi 18:32 Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out of your synagogues, or your places of worship, for unto such shall ye continue to minister; for ye know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them.
SHINING COUNTENANCE OF JESUS 3 Nephi 19:25 And it came to pass that Jesus blessed them as they did pray unto him; and his countenance did smile upon them, and the light of his countenance did shine upon them, and behold they were as white as the countenance and also the garments of Jesus; and behold the whiteness thereof did exceed all the whiteness, yea, even there could be nothing upon earth so whites as the whiteness thereof.
ALTHOUGH HE SHALL BE MARRED 3 Nephi 21:10 But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marrd because of them. Yet I will heal him, for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.
HERITAGE OF THE SERVANTS OF THE LORD 3 Nephi 22:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall revile against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.
TRY THE FAITH OF MY PEOPLE 3 Nephi 26:11 Behold, I was about to write them, all which were engraven upon the plates of Nephi, but the Lord forbade it, saying: I will try the faith of my people.
THE WHOLE HUMAN FAMILY OF ADAM Mormon 3:20 And these things doth the Spirit manifest unto me; therefore I write unto you all. And for this cause I write unto you, that ye may know that ye must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, yea, every soul who belongs to the whole human family of Adam; and ye must stand to be judged of your works, whether they be good or evil;
HE THAT IS CRANKY...Mormon 9:14 And then cometh the judgment of the Holy One upon them; and then cometh the time that he that is filthy shall be filthy still; and he that is righteous shall be righteous still; he that is happy shall be happy still; and he that is unhappy shall be unhappy still.
HATERS HATE Mormon 9:26 And now, behold, who can stand against the works of the Lord? Who can deny his sayings? Who will rise up against the almighty power of the Lord? Who will despise the works of the Lord? Who will despise the children of Christ? Behold, all ye who are despisers of the works of the Lord, for ye shall wonder and perish.
ASKING IN FAITH, NOT FOR A SIGN Ether 3:10 And he answered: Nay; Lord, show thyself unto me.
BE THE STONE, LET CHRIST TOUCH YOU ether 6:3 And thus the Lord caused stones to shine in darkness, to give light unto men, women, and children that they might not cross the great waters in darkness.
NO POWER FOR SATAN ether 8:26 Wherefore, I, Moroni, am commanded to write these things that evil may be done away, and that the time may come that Satan may have no power upon the hearts of the children of men, but that they may be persuaded to do good continually, that they may come unto the fountain of all righteousness and be saved.
Ether 10:28 And never could be a people more blessed than were they, and more prospered by the hand of the Lord. And they were in a land that was choice above all lands, for the Lord had spoken it.