“Happiness Is … ‘Three-a-Day!’” New Era, Oct. 1972, 9
Young Latter-day Saints are among the world’s busiest people—hurrying to this class, running to take that exam, and rushing to help Mom or Dad.
Even with all this hustle-bustle, many young people are rounding out their growing-up experiences by taking seminary and institute classes. Some, however, find that this is not enough. They still insist on taking time for what they call “three-a-day.”
All followers of the Lord have been instructed to study the scriptures. The Israelites, young and old, under Moses were instructed to remember God’s will, to put his commandments into their hearts, and to be obedient to them.
The ancient inhabitants of the western world were commanded by the Lord to search the holy writings. Even those who persecuted our Savior were given this direction: “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:33.)
Young Saints of the latter days are not exempt from this important call to search the scriptures. We have been blessed not only with one book of scripture, but with four inspired volumes of our Lord’s principles, commandments, and teachings. These four books are the standards, the measure by which all things are judged. In them we can find the will, mind, word, and voice of our own Heavenly Father. “Three-a-day” will help us meet this call.
In a general conference a few years ago, President Bruce R. McConkie of the First Council of the Seventy outlined a practical, systematic program for studying the four standard works. Now many young people know it as “three-a-day.”
There are 1,579 chapters in the four volumes of scripture. By reading three chapters a day—faithfully, diligently, and regularly—you can read the Gospels in less than a month. You can read the New Testament in three months, the Old Testament in ten months, and the entire Bible in thirteen months. By reading just three chapters a day, you can read the Book of Mormon in under three months, the Doctrine and Covenants in a month and a half, and the Pearl of Great Price in five days. Thus, in less than eighteen months you can read the entire standard works and be ready to start all over again. Will you accept the challenge?
Following this simple, systematic plan will assist you in centering your heart and soul on the gospel of Jesus Christ. A small investment of time for three-a-day can return valuable dividends—real inner peace, knowledge, understanding of the principles of the kingdom, and lasting happiness.
Number of chapters
Time required to finish at three chapters a day
The Four Gospels
30 days (1 month)
Entire New Testament
87 days (3 months)
310 days (10 months)
397 days (13 months)
Book of Mormon
80 days (under 3 months)
Doctrine and Covenants
45 days (1 1/2 months)
Pearl of Great Price
Entire Standard Works
526 days (under 18 months)