I love the Book of Mormon and have read it many times, continually gaining new insights and guidance in my life over the years. This year I have come to love the Book of Mormon even more as I have followed the Book of Mormon 2020: Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families resource. It has brought me closer to my Saviour as I have dedicated more time to study, ponder, and more conscientiously apply the teachings and doctrines of the Saviour—Jesus Christ—in my life.
Christmas—A Time to Focus on Jesus Christ
In mid-November, as I realized I was coming to the end of this Book of Mormon 2020: Come Follow Me weekly reading schedule, I felt a pang of sadness. I didn’t want to lose the closeness to Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost that I feel has developed during this precious study time. I decided to re-read the entire Book of Mormon cover to cover as a year-end review of what I have learned. I wanted to get the panoramic picture of its teachings and truths and try to cement these extraordinarily wonderful learning experiences in my heart.
In 2019 I had read the entire Book of Mormon during the week of Christmas as a “gift” to myself. It was my way to follow President Russell M. Nelson’s counsel to “Immerse [myself] in the glorious light of the Restoration” and to get a head start on the Book of Mormon 2020: Come, Follow Me resources (“Closing Remarks,” Ensign, Nov. 2019). I also marked in purple (the “Royal” color) all the references to God. It was a reading marathon that I really enjoyed.
Looking for All God Has Promised for Covenant Israel
My goal in November 2020 was to do an even more thoughtful reading, taking time to remember and cherish again the new insights I have learned in many sacred moments over this past, strange year. I wanted to accomplish this re-reading before mid-December. I looked for the covenant promises of the Lord: marking the word covenant in orange.
At the October general conference, President Nelson suggested: “As you study your scriptures during the next six months, I encourage you to make a list of all that the Lord has promised He will do for covenant Israel. I think you will be astounded! Ponder these promises. Talk about them with your family and friends. Then live and watch for these promises to be fulfilled in your own life” (“Let God Prevail,” Ensign, Nov. 2020, 95).
President Nelson was right. I am astounded at all the references I found.
I began re-reading November 12, and I finished December 5, 2020, just as the Book of Mormon 2020: Come, Follow Me resource was wrapping up. I will use the remainder of 2020 to continue learning and savoring the Book of Mormon. What a magnificent experience this whole year has been and especially this past week as I completed my goal to rediscover the book that stands as Another Testament of Jesus Christ. I feel so blessed, so filled with the faith, hope, and charity: “the pure love of Christ” (Moroni 7:47). I feel so incredibly grateful for the power and strength that God has blessed me with in 2020. It has been a strange year bringing many tests and trials but also many amazing miracles and unexpected blessings.
Postscript: Mercy for 2021
On December 11, 2020, I was wondering how I would include a daily reading of The Book of Mormon once I launch myself into the new course of study Doctrine and Covenants 2021, Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families. As I pondered Moroni 10, I gained an even deeper appreciation for God’s mercy and loving kindness, for “every good gift cometh of Christ” (Moroni 10:18).
Then, I felt spiritually prompted that when I read the Book of Mormon in 2021, I will look for the words, mercy, merciful, tender mercies, and loving kindness. I will highlight these words with green. These themes are the perfect connecting links to the Doctrine and Covenants that reveals the commandments and power “to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth” (Doctrine and Covenants 1:30). This strategy will guide my studies and enlighten my mind. And I will end up with a technicolor book! It will match my bright and grateful soul!