I wanted to share in a story of parable form why I believe the Book of Mormon is so important to read daily. These thoughts came to me last Sunday, and I shared them with my wife.

I have been questioned many times over the course of my life why I read the Book of Mormon over and over and never stop reading it? I mean, what is that all about? Most of us think once you’ve read a book once, what’s the point of going through it again, let alone again, and again, and again?

Well, Joseph Smith Smith taught us that The Book of Mormon is “the most correct book on earth,” and a man could get closer to God by abiding by its principles than by any other book. Right? So we know that, and this revealed truth has played into my decision to read it as many times as I can. Just the thought of getting closer to God, the more I read, it helps me take The Book of Mormon very seriously. But then I thought, “Well, if this book is the conduit to knowing more about God, and about eternal truth and about how to live life more fully, more joyfully, then I need to treat this book as far different than any other book.” And that to me, that means to read it every day and never not be reading it. And that has changed sort of the way I’ve approached the Book of Mormon.

I have and do read the book of Mormon every day, and the day after I finish, I start again on the very first page and go through it page by page again.

Some have asked, ok, so you are always reading it, but why read it daily? And why have we been counseled to read the Book of Mormon daily? The Book of Mormon provides crystal clear insight into our lives and the challenges we face daily. And as “the most correct book on earth.”

That is such an interesting phrase. It’s quite astounding that somebody would make that claim about any book, and yet, Joseph Smith, the prophet of the restoration, did make that claim and never backed away from it, even at the peril of his own life.

Growing up I had a real problem with this statement. It seems arrogant and narrow-minded. There is no way Joseph Smith had read every book, and there is no way he would know about all the books that would be coming after he passed on, so making this claim seems at the very least naive.

Well, this is how and why the Prophet Joseph can make this absolute claim. You will learn as you read the Book of Mormon, the book may have a finite number of pages; it’s only 531 pages long. But the Book of Mormon, as far as concepts and truth go as deep as you need it to go to improve your life. So the answers are limitless. You can get different answers and learn additional facts and truth from the same stories from the same scriptures. It all depends on how you are living your life if the spirit is with you, and the desires of your heart are pure. And this has been proven to me time and time again, and every time I find it completely fascinating.

Have I gone a little overboard at times? Sure. I have read the Book of Mormon one day a few times. I love doing that. It is harder now as an adult as there always seems there is something I NEED to get done every day. Those close to me know that I decided only to read The Book of Mormon, nothing else, for one entire year. It might seem a little crazy, but that was the goal for that year, and I stuck to it. You would think that it would have become dull and miserable, but the more I read, the more I wanted to read, and I just kept going.

I was curious to see how it would change my life or if it would change my life at all. I learned something that year that will never leave me. As it turns out, I never have learned more about my secular interests, hobbies, work-related stuff. My ability to comprehend profound philosophical topics and to quickly take in all this new information to be able to process it and then remember it was enhanced so much.

So there is something to it. When we read the Book of Mormon frequently, it increases our ability to filter, process, and retain concepts lost on us previously. The spirit can educate us far more efficiently and truthfully than any of the secular books we can obtain. Essentially, reading the Book of Mormon frequently gives us access to an internal filter that can filter out all the stuff that doesn’t matter to make one happy. You then save time, use fewer brain resources throughout the day thinking about useless things, and retain more eternally essential things, just because we are now only allowing into our minds the items that make a real difference.

You can then discern more easily the right, worthy, and worthwhile items and keep them, and you’re able to let everything else fall to the floor. That is another reason I love about the Book of Mormon and why I can’t live without it. I crave efficiency in my life, I want to do as much as I can in the time I have each day, and The Book of Mormon can make all of us wildly more efficient.

Okay, so here comes our first story. We have this cute little kitty, or I guess she is now a cat. We have had her now for a year. Now, I am not a pet fan. I’m quite allergic to every animal, so I never wanted a pet in our home. Our kids, especially our daughter, begged, for pets their whole lives. And I always said now. Well, one-day, Kedrick comes home with this tiny little kitten who is maybe three weeks old, who Ked hs rescued from abandonment. He is a nice boy. So here we are, my son has done this wonderful thing, an act of kindness, and precisely what you hope your kids would do in a situation like this, that part is fantastic. But now we also have a problem because my personal preference is not to have any animals. I don’t want the smell, hair, responsibility, to pay for food, change the kitty litter.

The reasons to not have a cat are innumerable. So, it turns out that if you are going to get an animal into our home, rescuing it is probably the only way. Ked realizes that I am not going to be happy, so he tries to hide it for a day or two in his room and closet, which he did quite well. But now we have a kitten in our home, and I’m feeling it. I’m allergic, sneezing, coughing, my nose is clogged, my eyes are watering. I am not happy. It was also getting harder to breathe, which make me panic a bit. And if the kitten touches me, I get hives and red and itch like mad. So, I do not really like the animal, and I want it out of there. Sure the kitty was as cute as it could be; it was free; she seemed to make everyone else pretty happy with her, so I knew there would be a fight coming, and I was outnumbered 20 to 1 (my wife counts as 18).

For my part, I was encouraging Ked to find it a lovely home, but to also get it out of the house as quickly as possible. And to Ked’s credit, he did try. He ran ads, he called his friends, we called all our relatives, but there was no place for this little kitten. Then there was a Sunday. I had just finished with all my meetings and walked in the door and went up into the master bedroom to change my suit and tie. In the master bedroom, I found Tacie, Kedrick, and Carol all in there together and they were gut laughing. All of them laughing hard. I couldn’t help but want to join in. It turned out that kitty was entertaining them all with random acts of craziness.

It was September at this particular point in time. As I looked on this spectacle, there was a part of me that went into a panic, as I could see, they were all getting very attached to the kitten. I thought to myself, “I need to break this up and stop all of it so we can get rid of this thing.” As that thought was finishing in my head, a voice said to me, “You need to be grateful for the gifts I send!” I have had this happen before; I knew what it was, Who it was from, and what I needed to do instantly. I don’t ignore clear messages like this (anymore). And yes, I do get them occasionally, but rarely are they that forceful, and it resonated deeply. I realized then that Kedrick had found this little kitty, had done as he should, and rescued it, and this kitten needed a home, and we were to be that home. That was God’s will, that was that, end of story.

At that moment I turned back to my family and said “I guess we have a cat.” And we do have a cat to this day.

Today I can say I am so happy that I listened and did what I was told to do. There is no question in my mind that we’re supposed to have “kitty.”

So how did that happen?

Well, God had now spoken, made His will known, but now I had a real problem. I now know that all those things about this cat are still there, all the reasons not to have a cat had not just magically disappeared, I was going to be miserable. I knew it would be tough for my body to live in a cat infested area. I am not going to be comfortable; I’m going to have a hard time breathing, I’m going to itch all over, I’m going to have to wash my hands regularly, we now have to buy food, kitty litter, shots, etc. Not cool. But that was our new normal. That became my life a year ago, last September. Do deal with it, I started taking allergy pills morning and night, washed my hands more, and stayed away from the cat as much as possible. Fortunately for me, the cat didn’t like to be around people anyway.

So how does this experience tie into the Book of Mormon?

Here we go. In this new era of the cat, if I don’t take those allergy pills consistently, one in the morning and one at night, I might be okay for 12 hours. But if I don’t take another one, somewhere in there, it will go South rapidly, and before you know it, I can’t breathe, I’m itching all over, and it becomes a mess. I find myself in a very, very bad, dark, miserable place. But if I keep that allergy medicine coming consistently every 12 hours, it is pretty manageable. I handle the kitty aftermath quite well. I mean, Mozzie doesn’t bother me that much. And we’ve added some air purifiers and filters that have helped immensely.

Okay, so that is what reading of the Book of Mormon can do for us. It gives us the ability to handle what God asks us to do, even if it’s hard, and it’s going to make life uncomfortable for us. Okay? That’s what the Book of Mormon does. Now, the cool part about that is once you make that adjustment, once we submit to God’s will and do what we are asked to do, other good things can happen.

I know that if I take my allergy pills, and if I read The Book of Mormon every day, then I know the challenges I face will be much more manageable.

A month later, this thing called COVID-19 hits, and we now find ourselves quarantined in our homes for most of our lives. Where we live is relatively small, and we are virtually all on top of one another. We can’t go anywhere, we can’t do anything, and we don’t have much around the house to keep us busy. It looks like a potential nightmare brewing. But what happened instead? All of a sudden, Mozzie, our kitten, becomes a fantastic source of entertainment! She becomes a new focus for us to care about her and laugh at her and play with her. And she never gets sick of playing. She, all by her four-legged self, has completely changed the mood of our home. And this pattern is how God works.

So as we read the Book of Mormon, we can progress and even do the hard things Heavenly Father asks us to do. And then once that is in place and working, then this once hard thing turns out to become an unbelievable blessing in our lives. And that is precisely what Mozzie has turned out to be for us. I didn’t know this little animal would get us through a pandemic as well and happily as we did, but God knew. And because I listened and did some stuff that is uncomfortable and needs my constant care, we were blessed for it.

We laugh constantly at this cat. She walks around with this ridiculously long tail flailing about, waking us up with her very poor version of a meow, which sounds more like “now” than “meow.” She loves to play, she runs and hides when the front door opens, she has learned to listen and obey my wife and follows her around. And in the evenings, she likes to come out of nowhere and ferociously jumps and bites my wife’s arm, as she wraps all 4 legs around her arm and scratches like mad. It is how she shows love apparently? It is just good, solid entertainment.

Heavenly Father knew that we needed Mozzie, and Mozzie was for us. Heavenly Father knew that I was not going to like it and that I would make some adjustments to handle it all. But ultimately, Heavenly Father knew the good of this situation was going to outweigh the challenges, and we would be happy with the results.

So the Book of Mormon can help us get to a place where whatever Heavenly Father sends us to handle, we can adjust and get it done. And many times, after we have adjusted, we find out that this change was what we needed in place to benefit from a beautiful blessing.

Because we cannot see the future, we cannot know what is coming, but Heavenly Father does, and if we listen, things will work out great.

So why do I read the Book of Mormon every day? Why do I want you to read the Book of Mormon every day? Because we are then able to do the hard things Heavenly Father asks us to do and make changes we need to make. And then, by design, those changes become the foundational pieces to support the unbelievable blessings that come later in life.

I will see you next time on Book of Mormon Basics.


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