I want to teach you how I read the Book of Mormon. My mission president taught us how to read this way back in 1994 and it changed my life. I will list the whole process out another time because it’s late. BUT I will give you the first step. It’s to pray. Get out your scriptures and before you open them up, pray. In that prayer, you need to do a few things. 1. Express gratitude. “Thank you, Heavenly Father, that I have the Book of Mormon,” or “Thank you for what you taught me yesterday,” or “Thank you that I want to read today.” Just be grateful. 2. Repent. Tell the Lord what you are sorry for. What do you wish didn’t happen today? Tell Him. Open up those channels of communication by coming to Him cleaner than you were when you picked up that book. You don’t have to be perfectly clean. You don’t have to be near perfect. Just let Him know you are trying. He loves it when we try. 3. Ask questions if you have them. Maybe you have a decision to make or don’t understand something. Or just ask for general guidance. Or ask for comfort or whatever. Or just say, “Let me feel something today.” And then read. I’ll teach you
This is what I read and felt tonight. 2 Nephi 19-20
Started off with a Merry Christmas song…. v. 6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
I always sing that verse. It cannot be spoken. But after that, it talks about some of the amazing things the Lord will do and then it says in verse 7, “…The zeal of the Lord will perform these things.”
Zeal is one of my very favorite words and attributes. Zeal is defined as great energy or enthusiasm. It reminded me of the scripture in Alma where the attributes of the people of Ammon were listed. Alma 27:27 (Easy to remember. Have your kids memorize it with you. See how I snuck that in that you are going to memorize it too.) “…And they were also distinguished for their zeal towards God, and also towards men; for they were perfectly honest and upright in all things; and they were firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end.”
Zeal was their first attribute. It’s so great. As I’m writing this I feel the Lord whispering … “You are SOO zealous right now. It’s awesome.”
When He gets a message to you, you’ll feel what He wants you to hear. It’s so great. He is there! He knows you! He wants you to feel it! And once you feel it, and learn how to feel it often, your life won’t ever be the same. The little questions and problems you may face won’t take you down because you will be able to say with strength, “I know there is a God because He answers my prayers and He speaks to me through the pages of the Book of Mormon. So I really don’t care if Joseph used a stone in a hat or if the church built a mall. It’s irrelevant. What is relevant is that my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are aware of my life and of me. And I know it because I read the Book of Mormon.”
So that’s it. Today He told me He likes my zeal these days. And it feels so nice. I love Him. And one more tip, after you read, pray again and thank Him for what you FELT. We all like to feel appreciated. And when people are grateful for what I do for them, I want to do more for them. And so does He.
Oh, and PS, I also learned in 2 Nephi 20: 31 “Madmenah is removed; the inhabitants of Gebim gather themselves to flee” I bet you forgot you knew that!