Read It and Reap

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“Read It and Reap,” New Era, Jan. 1999, 49

Read It and Reap

I thought it would a chore. It turned out to be a joy and a blessing.

I was sitting in Sunday School on New Year’s Eve day. My teacher was talking about all the things we could learn from the scriptures, but my thoughts weren’t on the lesson. They were on the upcoming year. It seemed like it would be a great year. I would be going into seventh grade, and I’d also be turning 13. I even held out hope that I’d get my own room.

My thoughts were also on the resolutions I’d made. Every year I’d set goals, and a week later I couldn’t even remember them. But making goals was just something you did on New Year’s. It had always been that way in my family. We would all sit down on New Year’s Day when we were putting away the Christmas decorations, and we’d write down our goals for that year. Then we’d put them in our Christmas stockings, and the next year we’d look to see if we had kept our resolutions. I usually kept the goals I had made because I always set goals I knew I could keep.

But as I was considering what other goals I could make, something my teacher was saying caught my ear.

“I know the Book of Mormon is a true testament of Jesus Christ and that if you not only read but ponder and pray about the things you have learned, it will strengthen your faith in Jesus Christ and you will be able to feel closer to him and your Father in Heaven.” She then challenged us to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it as often as we could. If we did, she said, we would see the blessings in our lives.

This touched me, and I wanted to accept her challenge. But I knew if I told myself that I’d read the Book of Mormon as often as I could it would be collecting dust on my shelf all year.

However, the thought of actually accomplishing something with my resolutions excited me. And any extra blessings were good, so why not give it a try?

The next day I sat holding the card I was writing my goals on. I thought for a minute, then wrote, “Try to read my …” I stopped and scribbled that out and wrote, “Read my Book of Mormon and pray about it every day.”

Okay, I thought. Now all I have to do is remember that.

One week later I had, and I couldn’t have been happier. I could actually see the blessings I was receiving. If I prayed for help, I received it. When I asked for guidance that day, I seemed to be able to decide with ease which was the right choice. I knew that I had the right to talk to Heavenly Father anytime I needed to. Instead of viewing the Book of Mormon as boring directions to my life, I found it to be an exciting story of real people sending out messages of love, faith, and hope.

I didn’t miss a day of reading, and I have been both surprised and humbled by this experience and the guidance it has given me in my life.

As I look back at that goal, I know that I’ve grown far more spiritually than physically. I look forward to each new year with a resolution that will help me find the same joy I found that year.

Photography by Welden Andersen