The Blue Book
    Footnotes
    Theme

    “The Blue Book,” Ensign, Jan. 1992, 54–55

    The Blue Book

    In the winter of 1971–72, I had a stroke. It was a mild one, but I spent a month in the hospital and had weekly appointments with my doctor after that. When I arrived at his office, he was often behind on appointments, so I would read the various magazines that can always be found in doctors’ offices. Before long, however, I had read all the magazines, and I started looking for something new to read. I found a blue book called the Book of Mormon.

    I knew a lot of Mormons lived in Utah, but I knew little else about the religion. I opened the book, noticed some underlined passages, and began. I hadn’t read more than half a dozen underlined passages when the doctor was ready to see me. But the words I’d read stuck with me, and I thought about them often during the next week. The next time I had an appointment with the doctor, I arrived a bit earlier and went straight to the blue book.

    It took me three weeks of arriving early for my appointments before I got all the marked passages read. They were all things I agreed with, felt good about. I had been active in a church all my life and had read the Bible regularly, but there was much I didn’t understand. This Book of Mormon made a lot of sense to me. When I finished reading the marked passages, I turned to the beginning of the book and started there.

    One day I arrived for my appointment and looked for the Book of Mormon only to find that it was gone. I didn’t realize just how much it had meant to me until then. I felt as if a friend had abandoned me. I looked the next week; still it was gone. I stopped going in so early.

    Two months went by before the blue book showed up again. As soon as I saw it, I grabbed it. When I opened it, I found a paper inside inviting anyone who was interested to write to a Roanoke, Virginia, address. A free copy of the blue book would be sent to them. I hastily wrote the address down.

    After my appointment I hurried home to write a postcard asking for the book. I sent the card off, excited to receive my new treasure.

    However, the week passed with no book. The second week came and went, with no book. I was disappointed. By the end of the third week, I wondered if I would ever receive my own copy of the blue book.

    One morning I was cleaning my house, trying to get my mind off the book that I had become so interested in, when someone knocked at my front door. Thinking it was a salesman, I went to tell him I wasn’t interested. But when I opened the door I was surprised to find two of the cleanest-cut, best-dressed young men I had seen in a long time. I noticed that one was holding a blue book.

    “Well,” I thought, “if I can get my hands on that book and get rid of these young men, things will be fine.”

    The two men introduced themselves and came in for a brief moment. They wanted to schedule a time to present a lesson, but I really wasn’t interested. I wanted the book, and that was all! Finally they left, but only after mentioning that they’d be back the next week to answer any questions.

    I had my book! The house didn’t get cleaned that week. In fact, except for going to work and running a few essential errands, I didn’t do much of anything but read. I was enthralled by what I found in that blue book. I don’t think I slept more than four and a half hours at a time all week, and by Saturday I had a lot of questions to ask the missionaries when they returned.

    The missionaries gave me a lesson and answered my questions. They also invited me to their church. When I arrived, there was not one face that I recognized; but the friendly Latter-day Saints soon helped me feel comfortable in their meetings. After much thinking and prayer, I decided to be baptized. On a Thursday evening, I called my daughter, Linda. “I’m being baptized into the Mormon Church. Do you want to come?” She giggled a bit and then agreed to attend.

    About five weeks later I got a telephone call. “Mom, I’m being baptized into the Mormon Church on Saturday evening. Do you want to come?” Of course I did.

    Linda and I are the only members of our family who have joined the Church so far. But I have shared the story of the blue book with my loved ones often, and I hope that someday they will find the peace and comfort between its pages that I have found.

    Illustrated by Robert McKay