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.
- President Marion G. Romney

Monday, October 10, 2011

Book of Mormon in 100 Days - Day 1

Hi Everyone!  My wonderful friend, Shauntae (whose blog is private or I would share her wonderfulness with you....) gave me a great little flip book that lines out a 100 day reading program for the Book of Mormon.  We are not going to do it in 100 consecutive days here on Scripture Sisters, but we are going to follow the schedule since it is neat and tidy and easy to follow.

So, for our Day 1 reading, we're going to read the Preface, Introduction, Testimonies, and Brief Explanation of the Book of Mormon.  If you're reading online, you can find them HERE, HERE, and HERE.  If you'd like to request a free Book of Mormon, click HERE.  Otherwise, open your copy and get reading right from the first page!

What thoughts do you have about the testimony of the 3 and 8 witnesses?  How about Mormon's title page?  Joseph's account of receiving the plates?  How does the brief explanation help you as you study the Book of Mormon.

Some thoughts I had while reading Joseph's testimony and account of receiving the plates:
* I remember visiting the Smith home when we lived in Buffalo, NY (about 1 1/2 hours from Palmyra) - one of the missionaries guiding tours pointed out that Joseph shared a room with his several siblings.  Knowing that, you would think that they would all have woken up when the angel Moroni appeared to Joseph, but they didn't.  Moroni's visit, although his brightness lit up the room as if brighter than noon day, was meant only for Joseph, and he was the only one who received it.  That is remarkable to me.  I don't understand it, except that God knows the laws of physics much better than I do, so He must know how to make it work.
* Something that increases my faith in Joseph's story is the fact that he was not allowed to even touch the plates for years after he was first shown their hiding place.  It must have taken great humility to accept that even though, yes, he had actually had a vision of God the Father and Jesus Christ, he still wasn't ready to carry forth the work they called him to.  He had much to learn before he could even translate the Book of Mormon and restore the church and kingdom of Jesus Christ on the earth.  I appreciate Joseph for being patient - learning, returning to the place he had been assigned, preparing himself for the work that laid ahead for him.
*One little tidbit I hadn't noticed before - at the bottom of the page after the testimony of Joseph Smith - there is a short paragraph that states that the Book of Mormon was brought forth and translated into modern speech by the gift and power of God... What does that mean to you?  It caused me to stop and consider that this is not necessarily a word for word literal translation (meaning each word matches up with a reformed Egyptian word on the plates, for example), but a translation of the history and record - told in our modern language.  For some reason the phrase "modern speech" causes me to wonder.  I like it.  What do you think?  Am I misinterpreting the idea there?
*When we're studying the Book of Mormon over the next several months, we can refer back to the brief explanation when we're confused about the chronology or genealogy of what we're reading at the moment.  A great little reference when we're reading.  Let's remember to use it.

Okay, your turn.  What did you learn while reading these sections?  Any questions we can discuss? 

One more little thought from me.  I don't have any desire for this to feel like a Sunday School class.  I am not the teacher - I think of myself more as a secretary -- I'm just doing the typing!  Please don't feel like your comments are too small or that you don't know enough to give your thoughts.  We need you!  The discussion will be so much more enriching if you share even the smallest thoughts or insights or questions from your reading.
Oh, and when you leave a comment, notice that there is a little box you can check before submitting that allows you to receive any follow up comments on that particular post right in your email.  It's something that might be really useful in our discussions on here since we all visit at different times.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!


Julie P said...

So I'm going to admit something: I might have read the preface, testimonies, etc. thoroughly...once. Maybe. Maybe more, but likely not. Yikes! I think I've always looked at it all the same way I look at a novel: that the dedication, the fluff in the beginning, before the "Chapter 1" heading...is just that...fluff that's not important to the story. Do you think I'm just awful?

So maybe that's what I'll sit down and read this morning - the beginning parts; but fully and with purpose. :)

Julie said...

Here's a confession from me:

I almost had us skip this day of the challenge for the same reason! But I'm glad I reread it.

Our Family said...

I can say that I've read the testimonies, but thats just it, I've read them, but never prayed about them or read them with purpose because of the whole "Fluff" factor and I don't recall ever reading the Introduction before today.

That being said, I was really touched by the Introduction for some reason. The first thing that caught my attention was the beginning of the 3rd paragraph were it says: "The crowning event recorded in the Book of Mormon is the personal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ among the Nephites soon after his resurrection."
After reading this I feel as if the books leading up to Helaman are there in part to prepare us for what we'll read and learn in Helaman and the books that follow.

The second thing that touch my heart was the quote by Joseph Smith that says: "...a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book." What a wonderful promise!

Thanks Julie for NOT skipping this part of the challenge. I can see now how important it is to read everything and not just what you want to read. These things: the Introduction and the Testimonies, where put in here for a reason. If we didn't need to read them and they didn't serve a purpose they wouldn't have been put in.

Julie said...

Love this, Monica. The space is precious and there is much to learn from every part of the Book of Mormon. I learned from this today!

Julie P said...

When I was reading in the plates being translated into English, and then into every language, I looked up to see how many languages already have been translated. I found this on wikipedia:

"The LDS version of the Book of Mormon has been translated into 83 languages, and selections of the Book of Mormon have been translated into an additional 25 languages. In 2001, the LDS church reported that all or part of the Book of Mormon was available in the native language of 99% of Latter-day Saints and 87% of the world's total population.
Translations into languages without a tradition of writing (e.g., Kakchiqel, Tzotzil) are available on audio cassette.
Translations into American Sign Language are available on videocassette and DVD."

How cool is that? Translations of unwritten languages are translated by audio. So great.

I didn't know this and thought it was interesting:
"In 1998, the LDS Church stopped translating selections from the Book of Mormon, and instead announced that each new translation it approves will be a full edition."

One of the sentences that has stuck with me since this morning is in the testimony of the three witnesses: "And it is marvelous in our eyes." It's just that simple, huh.

Julie said...

Julie P, thanks for the research! So, so cool. I keep thinking about Elder Perry's counsel in General Conference to "share the Church as a marvelous work and a wonder." It's a phrase that has stuck with me and these things are why! It is absolutely marvelous and they recognized it even then.

Anonymous said...

The Angel Moroni visiting Joseph 3 times the first night and once the next day with the same message reminds me of how we are taught the same gospel messages time and time again from General Conference and the leaders of the church. Joseph was made accountable for the message Moroni shared with him, and the Lord gave no room for error because the same message was repeated time and again. I know the Lord wants us to be made accountable for the messages given to us by our leaders because so many of the topics are repeated time and again. I hadn't really thought of that before reading this; but I know we have so much to learn, and hearing the same gospel topics over and over really help the Lord's messages sink in and help us to live up to that accountability.

Julie said...

Angie, SO TRUE! I'm always asking my kids to repeat what I ask them to do and then telling them that they are accountable because they heard what i said. It's the same principle here, isn't it?