Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Goal: Scripture Study

Okay, confession: I still haven't really been able to successfully develop a daily scripture study/reading habit. And I'm almost 34.

However, it's times like these when it's really nice/cool that I have Facebook friends who are inspired to share things.
One friend shared that she's doing "The Book of Mormon Translation Challenge."
In short, read The Book of Mormon during the time frame that it took Joseph Smith to translate it (84 days).

I'm not worried about being able to finish it in the time frame ... I AM worried that I will sluff off and give up. So I'm telling y'all about it so you can keep me accountable.

AND, as Brother Simon (who runs the blog site for it) points out, one great thing about this challenge is that, by the end, one should have gotten a good start at having developed a habit of reading the scriptures daily.

Which, as I've pointed out, I need help doing.

So, instead of rubbing my nose in how many times I've attempted to make a habit and failed  ... or how many years I've lived without cultivating that habit in the first place, I'm going to focus on STARTING and developing this habit.

I'm happy to report that today, I did my first steps. I read the introduction to The Book of Mormon (which was yesterday's pre-challenge-starting assignment) and I read chapters 1-3 of 1 Nephi. It feels good to make that (small, but definite) progress.

What stood out to me today was at the end of 1 Nephi 2, verses 23-24:
23 For behold, in that day that [the descendants of Laman and Lemuel] shall rebel against me, I will curse them even with a sore curse, and they shall have no power over thy seed except they shall rebel against me also.
 24 And if it so be that they rebel against me, they shall be a scourge unto thy seed, to stir them up in the ways of remembrance.
          (Emphasis mine)
As I read that, it did strike me (as Michael had already observed) that those who chose to make a vocal spectacle during the sustaining of our church leaders could be considered to be doing just that -- stirring us to remember WHY we sustain these leaders, giving us an opportunity to reflect on our testimonies of our prophets and other leaders, deciding who we will choose to follow ...

And ... well, it just stood out to me. And it made me think.

If you read the post for today over at The Book of Mormon Challenge, Brother Simon came away with a different overall impression. It doesn't mean that he or I am more correct or wrong than each other. It just means that, at this time, these are the (different) things that we needed to learn/realize for ourselves.

And I love that about the scriptures ... as we learn more, we are more able to see more in these holy writings. We will receive answers to our own questions. And, even when we read a passage/verse/chapter/book that we've read before, we can gain new insights and inspiration as we study.

That's one thing that I miss while I'm serving in Nursery on Sundays; the opportunity to attend Sunday School and Relief Society, where our lessons are discussed by lots of people with very different life situations, experiences, viewpoints. Sometimes, I would be able to learn, from my brothers and sisters in the gospel, to look at a story/lesson/quote/experience from a completely new point of view.
(One of our Sunday School teachers, who was a single mother through very lean times, shared that as she counseled with her Bishop, she learned that "It's easier to live by money than live by faith," while stressing that living by faith does have many more rewards.)

But, I'm optimistic that this challenge that I just happened to stumble upon thanks to a Facebook friend might JUST be the ticket to starting a successful scripture-study habit for me.

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