Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Back in September, my mom and dad invited Michael and me to join them in the yearly Dowdle Book of Mormon Challenge. Every year, beginning in September, my parents read the entire Book of Mormon with a goal to finish by Christmas. I haven't joined them in a long, long time, but this year I felt moved upon to join in, so I did!

Every morning for the last three months, I've snuck out of bed early and deposited myself on the upstairs couch to read my three chapters for the day. To my own surprise, I found myself so excited every day for this precious time for spiritual uplift and reflection. If the kids woke up early, I was almost cranky about it -- this is my special time! Eventually, Jed realized that Dad and Mom were having this quiet reading time and he started waking up ridiculously early, just so he could come in and snuggle on the couch with us. Michael was pretty good about helping him sit quietly and look at books so we wouldn't miss out on our sacred scripture time.This past Saturday, I finished the very last chapter of Moroni, savoring it, almost reluctant to let the experience end. The last week I read only a chapter a day. I've been so thoroughly engrossed in the experience that I ended an entire month early!

Though I have read the Book of Mormon many, many times before, this time it felt so fresh, so new. Sitting there in the living room, the morning light climbing warm and bright across the walls, my mind seemed to be filled with light, too. The stories seemed more meaningful, the connections more clear. Nearly every day I found verses and thoughts popping into my head during the day, relevant to the challenges and opportunities facing me that day. I felt a spiritual rejuvenation that I haven't felt since my single years just after my mission -- a sense of meaning and purpose that enlightened every aspect of my life. And perhaps most importantly, I feel like my relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ, my understanding of his role and my gratitude for his love for me, has deepened and become so important to me.

The Lord truly is merciful to us today and now, and I am more grateful than ever for a book that testifies of Christ and serves as a rod, a guide, that brings our families closer to Him.

Thanks, Mom and Dad!


Genevieve Beck said...

Loved reading this. It took me back to very happy days with you on the mission. I've been home six years today so it was a lovely reminder. :)

MomAlicia said...

Ooooh thank-you Vanessa! You have inspired me. I think I'm ready for a truly deep and meaningful scripture experience. I feel I've been 'coasting' through a bit lately despite my love of teaching Institute. That's it. I'm recommitting! Love you guys. Have a very Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way. Dad and I love this time of year and look forward to reading the Book of Mormon again and again. Reading it this way gives us such a spirit of the book and the promises inside. It is inspiring........
I hate to end the book.
It's even better this year because the family is reading it with us. Don't forget Christmas Eve, we're reading the last chapter together.
We'll you'll read it again I guess.
xoxoxo Z