In August 2005, when President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) issued a challenge to Church members to read the Book of Mormon before the end of the year, I promised myself I would read the entire book. I was familiar with stories in the Book of Mormon but had never read it all the way through. Now I meant to keep my promise.
I had been taught to apply the scriptures to my life and make them my very own. So as I read, I wrote in the margins of the page what I thought the main idea of the passage was. I also underlined repeated words and phrases to show emphasis.
I placed my name next to names in the scriptures to help me remember that the word of God spoken to others can also be the word spoken to me. For example, in 2 Nephi 2:28 I wrote my name: “And now, [Hillary], I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments.” The more I made the Book of Mormon my own, the more excited I became about reading it every day.
As I read daily, my prayers became heartfelt and personal. I was also able to focus on my classes and follow promptings of the Spirit to befriend others. On the last night of the year, I finished the Book of Mormon.
I then understood the importance of reading the whole Book of Mormon, along with other scriptures, and want to do so many more times in my life.
Left: photo illustration by Craig Dimond