Reading the Scriptures despite My Dyslexia
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“Reading the Scriptures despite My Dyslexia,” Ensign, Aug. 2013, 33

Reading the Scriptures despite My Dyslexia

When I was 21, I met the sister missionaries, and they gave me a Book of Mormon and invited me to read it. I am dyslexic, so I said I couldn’t read. But they said I should try anyway. I was annoyed that they didn’t understand my condition, but I agreed to at least try. I knew they weren’t asking for their personal gain, so I obeyed.

At first I read only because the missionaries asked me to and I knew they thought the Book of Mormon would help me. And it did. I joined the Church soon after they gave me my first copy of the Book of Mormon. I have read it every day since then for the past 16 years.

For the first five years, I couldn’t understand any of the words I saw in the scriptures, but I read a line or two each day. Eventually I read the entire standard works as well as Jesus the Christ by Elder James E. Talmage. Although I can now understand only small pieces of what I read, I am glad I have continued to read the scriptures. I believe that when I am resurrected, everything I have read will come flooding back into my mind. So even though it might seem futile to read a book that I will never completely understand in this life, I still keep the commandment to read daily because I want to be obedient. Besides, I have found that regular scripture reading gives me the opportunity to be taught by the Spirit.

I have also listened to audio recordings of the scriptures. At night, after saying a prayer and reading the scriptures, I listened to the recordings as I fell asleep. By listening to the scriptures as well as trying to read them, I was able to get to know the scriptures really well. I have also listened to general conference and devotionals online so that I could hear the prophets talk about the gospel.

Daily scripture study is part of living the gospel, so I work at it. I didn’t join the Church to be half active; I joined to be fully active. Even though it’s hard, I read the scriptures every day because the prophets have asked us to. There is no point in hearing a commandment and not doing it.

“Perseverance is essential to us in learning and living the principles of the gospel and … will determine our progress as we strive to reach exaltation,” taught Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin (1917–2008) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (“Never Give Up,” Ensign, Nov. 1987, 10).

Illustration by Keith Larson; background by Shannon Christensen © 2006