2021 Book of Mormon, 2022 Isaiah

I feel really great about my scripture study for 2021. I read the Book of Mormon three times! In 2018, when I tried unsuccessfully to read the Book of Mormon all the way through in a single year I never thought I would soon become the kind of person who reads the Book of Mormon more than once per year. How about that!

But how to build on it?

I thought about reading the Book of Mormon three times again in 2022 or maybe even four times, but I worried that would eventually turn into reading the Book of Mormon once per month and that seemed a little too much, you know? I know I’ve mentioned that the Book of Mormon themes are a little clearer to me when I read through the Book of Mormon relatively quickly, but I also don’t want to read scriptures just to read scriptures. I want to actually get something out of them.

While I was reading through the Book of Mormon at the end of last year, I came across 3 Nephi 23:1-2. In these verses, Jesus is speaking to the Nephites right after he quotes Isaiah 54 in 3 Nephi 22.

1 And now, behold, I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah.

2 For surely he spake as touching all things concerning my people which are of the house of Israel; therefore it must needs be that he must speak also unto the Gentiles.

3 Nephi 23: 1-2

The last time I studied Isaiah was in Seminary, so for 2022–the beginning of 2022, anyway–I’ll be reading Isaiah! I’m using Your Study of Isaiah Made Easier In the Bible and the Book of Mormon by David J Ridges. There are 66 chapters in Isaiah and I’m reading one chapter per day, so I should finish in early March, assuming I don’t miss any days.

There are more books about Isaiah out there and I may get a few over the course of this year. There’s more than 20 on the Deseret Bookstore website alone!

What are you studying this year? How do you feel about studying the Old Testament in Come, Follow Me this year?

More Chit-chat about Scripture Study

I feel like I’ve been talking a lot about scripture study in my recent blog posts, hope you don’t mind if I indulge again!

I found a great template for a simple scripture study journal/notebook on the Redheaded Hostess’s website the other day and it’s gotten me really excited about my scripture study, so I wanted to share it with you! It’s so simple–one page per topic, make notes during your regular scripture study! Easy! (She has a printable list to get you started, too!)

After coming across this system, I immediately went to Michael’s and got this A5 dotted journal in light pink! The description says “hard cover” but I would say it’s more medium-cover. Not as firm as a hardcover but firmer than softcover, if that makes sense. It’s a little more rigid than the leather or imitation leather scriptures and definitely firmer than a paperback novel but not nearly as rigid as a hymnbook cover.

It didn’t take long to set it up, a couple of hours, maybe, over the course of three nights. I set aside three pages at the beginning of my journal for the table of contents. Each page has two columns of text and the topics are alphabetized. The second column on the second page and the entire third page have room for more topics.

I also decided to jazz up the cover of my journal with a 4″ matte rose gold vinyl Christus decal from KaleaBatsonDesigns on Etsy.

I wish I had thought to check whether my journal had numbered pages (it doesn’t) but I love the color of the journal too much to repurpose it or replace it with something else with page numbers. Guess I’ll just have to do that next time.

Disclaimer: This post does not contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Great & Spacious Memes

Isn’t it weird that the activity of choice in the great & spacious building is mocking the people who are partaking of the fruit of the tree of life? The building is great and spacious, right? Surely there’s a cafe in there somewhere, a bookstore, or a bowling alley? A 3D Cineplex showing the latest superhero movie? Miniature golf? An aquarium? Something?

I was thinking about this a few weeks ago when I started my study of the Book of Mormon for this year and I’ve just kept coming back to the thought “Why is mocking the activity of choice? They could be doing literally anything else!”

In the scriptures, Lehi twice uses the word “ashamed” to describe the people who fell away after partaking of the fruit (1 Nephi 8:25 and 1 Nephi 8:27) and words like “mocking,” “scoffing,” and “scorn” to describe the people in the great and spacious building (1 Nephi 8:27-28).

And I got to thinking… what do we do in our day when we disagree with someone or disapprove of what they are doing? We make fun of them. And how do we make fun of people (or ideas or events) in the age of the internet? We make memes.

Memes can be educational, informative, or inspirational, but mostly they’re used as “entertainment” to mock someone or something. As with everything, we need to be selective about the media we consume (including memes we share).

An article in the Church News from November 2015 explores the effect the mocking, scoffing, and scorn has on the people partaking of the fruit of the tree of life–some “heeded them not,” while others “were ashamed.” Elder Neal A. Maxwell is quoted in this article as saying “The ‘finger of scorn’ has its own way of separating the faithful from those who have little or no faith.”

So let us build up our faith and share uplifting memes.

Doctrine, Invitation, and Blessings

Since I started working from home full time in December 2020, I can listen to audiobooks and podcasts while I work. In addition to general news and entertainment podcasts, I also listen to several inspirational podcasts, such as LDS Living’s All In and This is the Gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ podcasts Latter-day Saint Women and Church News.

On today’s Church News episode, Scott Taylor interviews Elder David A. Bednar about his pattern for studying messages from General Conference.

Elder Bednar identifies three key components that he looks for in General Conference messages.

“The basic pattern is to identify the fundamental doctrine or principle that is being taught, find invitations to act related to that doctrine or principle, and then also recognize the promised blessings that will come as we act in accordance with that invitation.”

Elder David A. Bednar

This is very timely for me since General Conference is this weekend! (You can find the schedule here.) I had been thinking for a while now about how I generally take notes during General Conference but then, unless I happen to write a blog post about a particular talk, I don’t really do anything with my notes after that, they just sit in my notebook collecting dust. I want to make my study of the messages in General Conference more meaningful and useful and I think this format (1) Doctrine, (2) Invitation, (3) Blessings, might be just the thing to kick my study up to the next level!

Be Faithful

I had originally planned to share my thoughts about each of the aspects of spiritual preparedness at the end of my last post but I quickly realized that I have so much to say about each one that it would be better (for you, haha!) to have a separate post for each item:

  • Be faithful
  • Pray always
  • Be wise
  • Receive the truth
  • Take the Holy Ghost for your guide
  • Be not deceived

Faith vs. Be Faithful

I started my research with a quick keyword search in the Gospel Library app on my phone for “be faithful,” which turned up 536 scripture results, 180 General Conference results, 73 magazine results, and 293 “other” (video, Family Home Evening manual, Come, Follow Me, Jesus the Christ, etc.) results.

Most of those results were actually for faith, not faithful. Even with just this brief overview though, I learned something. I learned that having faith is not the same thing as being faithful. At least, not according to the scriptures.

In addition to lots of scripture references (536, remember?), there were several other keywords that turned up in my search results for “be faithful.” Things like Faith, Hope, Prayer/Pray, Firmness, Name of the Lord, Repentance, Charity, Heal/Healing, Miracle, Trial, Belief, and Endure. Faithfulness seems to be about steadiness and constancy and enduring to the end.

O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

Psalm 31:23

He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is also unjust in much.

Luke 16:10

And blessed is he that is found faithful unto my name at the last day, for he shall be lifted up to dwell in the kingdom prepared for him from the foundation of the world. And behold it is I that hath spoken it. Amen.

Ether 4:19

And whoso is found a faithful, a just, and a wise steward shall enter into the joy of the Lord, and shall inherit eternal life.

D&C 51:19