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Cover image via LDS.org.
I was scanning my list of calls to make and things to do, and sharing them with my husband. “And then I have to finish the Book of Mormon for the prophet,” I said.
“For the prophet?”
“Okay, for the p-r-o-f-i-t,” I said, realizing it would profit me to obey this counsel. And, of course, we all know we aren’t doing it for President Nelson’s benefit, but for our own.
He issued four pleas to Latter-day Saint women: Take a ten-day social media fast, establish a pattern of temple attendance, participate fully in the Relief Society, and finish the Book of Mormon by the end of the year.
President Nelson urged us to mark each verse that refers to the Savior and talk about Him with friends and family. He said, “If you will accept this invitation with full purpose of heart, the Lord will help you find a way to achieve it.” Then he promised, “the heavens will open for you.”
Could you use a miracle like that? Could you accept such an outpouring in your behalf? I can’t think of anything I need more urgently than for the heavens to open for me. I’ll bet you feel the same way.
There is absolute power in reading the Book of Mormon. Studying it intently yields amazing insights, but even a cursory daily glance at a verse or two will open doors to breathtaking spiritual growth. Just the smallest effort invites the Holy Ghost and changes our lives. It actually changes our lives.
And, of course, that’s why Satan fights against us when we try to access that kind of power and strength. We’re heading straight for the armor he wants us to leave behind!
No matter where you are in your reading of this book, Christ and the Plan of Salvation will ring from its pages. I have been immersed in some of the battle stories and gotten inspiration about parenting. I have been reading about people fleeing from their enemies and have felt prompted to call a particular sister who needed help. We get whisperings from the Spirit just because we’re reading—not because we’re reading about our concerns.
From the time of the restoration, leaders have urged us to make study of the Book of Mormon a daily priority. Here are just a few statements they’ve made:
Ezra Taft Benson: “There is a power in the Book of Mormon which will begin to flow into your lives the minute you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the straight and narrow path… You will find life in greater and greater abundance.”
Howard W. Hunter: “We should know the Book of Mormon better than any other book. Not only should we know what history and faith-promoting stories it contains, but we should understand its teachings.”
Gordon B. Hinckley: “Without reservation I promise you that if you will prayerfully read the Book of Mormon, regardless of how many times you previously have read it, there will come into your hearts… the spirit of the Lord. There will come a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to his commandments, and there will come a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God.”
Thomas S. Monson: “I implore each of us to prayerfully study and ponder the Book of Mormon each day. As we do so, we will be in a position to hear the voice of the spirit, to resist temptation, to overcome doubt and fear, and to receive heaven’s help in our lives.”
Russell M. Nelson: “Study of the Book of Mormon is most rewarding when one focuses upon its primary purpose: To testify of Jesus Christ.”
So yes, we’re finishing the Book of Mormon by the end of the year because our Prophet asked us to. But we’re really doing it because we will be stronger, wiser women in every task before us. We will be more valuable neighbors, friends, and relatives. We will be better wives and mothers. We will be smarter, more loving individuals who can make a difference in the world. We will be happier, more centered, better able to solve problems. All this because of growing closer to Christ. There is literally no down side.
And then, we will be even more able to participate in the grand work of the gospel. President Nelson also said, “We cannot gather Israel without you.” We are needed in this army of righteousness, to bring souls unto Christ. Our ranks are many and our strength is mighty. But if we all commit to our Prophet’s challenge, we will be unstoppable.
Hilton’s LDS novel, Golden, is available in paperback and on Kindle. All her books and YouTubeMom videos can be found on her website. She currently serves as an Interfaith Specialist for Public Affairs.