Remember that watershed moment (no pun intended) when President Benson counseled us all to spread the Book of Mormon worldwide, with more fervor than ever before? It was in a General Conference address 27 years ago, and he quoted Moses 7:62, which tells us that the Book of Mormon is the instrument God designed to “sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out [His] elect.”
Now think about where we were, technically and electronically, 27 years ago. Yet this prophet of God said, even then, “The time is long overdue for a massive flooding of the earth with the Book of Mormon… In this age of the electronic media and the mass distribution of the printed word, God will hold us accountable if we do not now move the Book of Mormon in a monumental way.”
Imagine how much more able we are to use today’s social media to fulfill this directive. And let’s not forget that he said we were “under God’s condemnation for having treated it lightly.” (See D&C 84:54–58.)
At the time, I think many of us saw this as an assignment to write more testimonies in more copies of the Book of Mormon and give them out more often. Today, that would include posting about it on Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and whatever new social media gizmo pops up next.
But wait. This talk was not just about a macro approach to get more copies into more nations, important as that is. He went on to tell us to flood our own personal lives with this amazing book. He spoke about “cleansing the inner vessel, through the daily reading of the Book of Mormon,” listening to recordings of it as we walk or drive, and displaying quotes and paintings of it, on our walls. He suggested we quote from it more often in our lessons and our Home Teaching visits.
He said, “I have a vision of artists putting into film, drama, literature, music, and paintings great themes and great characters from the Book of Mormon. I have a vision of thousands of missionaries going into the mission field with hundreds of passages memorized from the Book of Mormon so that they might feed the needs of a spiritually famished world. I have a vision of the whole Church getting nearer to God by abiding by the precepts of the Book of Mormon.”
The flood isn’t just about everyone else out there—it’s for us! We need to flood our individual souls and inject its saving truths into our everyday lives. President Benson mentioned some great ways to do this, and I’d like to add a few more, to kick-start your own personal flood:
- Follow Brother Devin G. Durrant’s advice in the last General Conference, and ponderize a Book of Mormon scripture every week.
- Encourage kids to put on skits of Book of Mormon scenes, for Family Home Evening (and maybe dress up as the characters for Halloween).
- Tell Book of Mormon stories as bedtime stories.
- Use the Topical Guide to look up the problems you struggle with, and then read the scriptures listed there, most particularly those from the Book of Mormon. And teach your children how to do this, as well.
- Keep copies of the Book of Mormon handy, in several rooms and in your car.
- Use the Book of Mormon to get revelation. In 1995, Elder Dallin H. Oaks said we can use scriptures like our own personal urim and thummim, in an Ensign article called “Scripture Reading and Revelation.”
- When others ask you for advice, bring up examples from the Book of Mormon that shed light on what to do.
- Post scriptures in your personal workspace, that inspire you, help you focus, or which bring delight and comfort to your day.
- Use a Book of Mormon scripture as the first line of your diary or journal entries, and comment on what it means to you.
- Give the Book of Mormon as Christmas gifts.
Maybe we can each think of other ways to flood not only the world, but our own personal space, our own hearts and thoughts. And then President Benson’s hope can become a reality, when he said, “I have a vision of homes alerted, of classes alive, and of pulpits aflame with the spirit of Book of Mormon messages.” Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
Watch the music video of Hilton’s song, What Makes a Woman, from her new musical, The Best Medicine (with music by Jerry Williams). Her books are available on her website, here. Hilton currently serves as a Relief Society President.