How Could I Share the Book of Mormon?
December 2022

“How Could I Share the Book of Mormon?,” For the Strength of Youth, Dec. 2022.

How Could I Share the Book of Mormon?

Here’s how youth around the world joined together to give the Book of Mormon a new voice.

young man listening to podcast

Do you remember President Nelson playing the song “Hope of Israel” on the piano in the worldwide Youth Music Festival on March 17, 2021? Calling us the Lord’s youth battalion, he invited us to let the Spirit guide us as we help to gather Israel in these latter days.

Probably like many of you, I wondered what I as a 15-year-old could do to follow the prophet’s invitation, especially in the middle of a worldwide pandemic.

A year earlier, President Nelson had also invited the world to #HearHim, meaning to listen to the words of the Lord Jesus Christ. I knew the Book of Mormon was another testament of Jesus Christ. The idea came to me to help people hear the Lord’s voice by sharing the Book of Mormon in a new way: as a podcast recorded by teenagers.

In addition to the professionally produced recordings of the Book of Mormon available from the Church, I thought it would be cool to hear the book read by everyday teens like you and me, the way we experience it. We don’t always read perfectly, and not everyone knows how to pronounce every word correctly. But that’s OK because none of us is perfect anyway. I actually kind of like the imperfections in some of the recordings—it makes me feel like I’m listening to one of my friends reading.

The project took a lot of work. It turns out that requesting, editing, assembling, publishing, and hosting a podcast with recordings from 250 different people is quite a big job. The result is a recording of the entire text of the Book of Mormon featuring readers from 15 U.S. states and 10 countries from around the world. The recordings can be heard on the website www.teensreadthebook.com and on all major podcast listening platforms under Teens Read the Book.

young people

McKay (center in the yellow shirt) gathers with other youth who helped with the podcast. They enjoyed the chance to talk about the podcast and reflect on the blessing it was to work on it.

I love hearing the variety of voices and accents of youth who sent in recordings. Knowing their voices would be heard around the world, many readers worked very hard to get their recordings just right. Some, like Thomas from New Zealand (who read 3 Nephi 20) or José from Peru (who read 3 Nephi 23), practiced for hours or days before recording. A group of 10 youth from South Korea faced the challenge of English not being their first language. Their solution was to work together, each recording a few verses at a time and stitching them together into what became 2 Nephi 28 and 29.

My goal when I started the project was to help people feel the Spirit and come closer to Jesus Christ. Seeing youth, most of whom I don’t know, respond to my invitation showed me how deeply they felt about the Book of Mormon. Their words have now been downloaded and listened to thousands of times. They are helping people feel the Spirit of God.

One returned missionary wrote me saying that in recent months he had “been praying for a new way to read [the Book of Mormon] or a fresh way to study. This project has been an answer to my prayers.”

I am grateful to those who contributed to this project and for the way I felt the Lord’s help doing it. I am honored to be part of the Lord’s youth battalion, standing alongside others who love the Book of Mormon. I have also learned that when we respond to invitations from the Lord’s prophet, the Spirit will guide our efforts.

For myself, I know the Book of Mormon can help us feel the Spirit and draw closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Some of the happiest times of my life have been when I’ve consistently read from the Book of Mormon. I hope all of us in the Lord’s youth battalion will hear the Lord’s voice and feel His strength through the words of the Book of Mormon.

The author lives in California, USA.