“Time for the Feast,” New Era, May 1986, 28
“Feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do” (2 Ne. 32:3).
Let’s face it—you’re pretty busy. You get up at 5:30. Seminary starts at 6:30. By 8:00 you’re in school. When school ends at 3:00, you have basketball practice till 5:00. Road show practice runs from 5:30 till 7:00. Then you go home teaching from 7:00 till 8:00. You have four hours worth of homework, which you do between 8:30 and 10:30. Before going to bed you call five people about the service project, go over your notes for the debate tomorrow, practice the piano for one minute to keep your New Year’s resolution, write a line in your journal, say your prayers, and, if you have the strength left, climb into bed. You go to sleep with a smile, knowing that you failed to accomplish only seven must-dos. But tomorrow will be tougher!
How do you feast upon the words of Christ when you don’t even have time to snack? You know that you need the strength that comes from reading the scriptures.
Right now you’re facing some of the greatest trials and temptations of your life. Every day they batter away at you, trying to wear you down. It’s no time to become spiritually malnourished. Still, how do you find the time when every day you fall further behind?
How many days go by when you don’t find time to eat any physical food? There’s always time somehow, isn’t there? Maybe you eat on the run, maybe you wolf it down faster than you should, but you manage to work it into your schedule.
In his closing remarks in the April 1983 general conference, President Hinckley suggested a way in which even those who must feast on the run can still enjoy the words of the Savior. Even the busiest young person can find time to read at least one chapter a day. (Open your New Testament. You’ll see it isn’t very much.)
By reading just a chapter a day you can finish the four gospels in the New Testament and 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon in just four months. These four books contain the record of Christ’s earthly ministry—surely a sumptuous banquet for those who wish to feast upon the words of Christ.
When you have finished that delicious feast, you certainly won’t want to stop. You’ll find that you can complete the Pearl of Great Price in half a month, the Doctrine and Covenants in four and one-half months, the Book of Mormon in eight months, the entire New Testament in less than nine months, and (now that you’ve really learned to relish good food) the Old Testament in two and one-half years.
In fact, you could read all the standard works in just four and one-half years. That means that if you turned 14 today, you could read all the standard works before the age at which young men are called on missions!
You may find that before long one chapter a day will start to seem like mere nibbling, and that you have to have more. If so, feel free to feast to your heart’s content. The busier you are, the more you need the food.
Number of chapters (or sections)
Time required to finish at one chapter a day
The Four Gospels
89 days (3 months)
Entire New Testament
260 days (8 1/2 months)
929 days (30 1/2 months)
1,189 days (39 months)
Book of Mormon
239 days (8 months)
Doctrine and Covenants
138 days (4 1/2 months)
Pearl of Great Price
16 days (1/2 month)
Entire Standard Works
1,582 days (52 months)