531 Pages til Christmas

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“531 Pages til Christmas,” New Era, Dec. 2001, 25

531 Pages til Christmas

Each Christmas I give myself a very special gift.

About eight years ago I set a goal to finish reading the Book of Mormon before the end of the year. It had been a couple of years since I had started it, and I read a lot during November and December to complete my goal. Perhaps it was the holiday season, or perhaps just my marathon reading toward the end, but I found that Joseph Smith’s words were true when he said “a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” (“Introduction,” Book of Mormon). Because of the way I felt, I set a new goal to read the Book of Mormon before Christmas the next year.

The first year I read all the Book of Mormon, I wrote the date and described my feelings on a note, which I put on the title page. The next year, when I read the Book of Mormon from Christmas to Christmas, I attached another note.

Now I read the Book of Mormon every year. Each time I finish, I immediately read the first verse of 1 Nephi so I’ve already started my reading for the next year.

President Ezra Taft Benson, 13th president of the Church, promised many blessings if we will read the Book of Mormon again and again.

“I bless you with increased understanding of the Book of Mormon. I promise you that from this moment forward, if we will daily sup from its pages and abide by its precepts, God will pour out upon each child of Zion and the Church a blessing hitherto unknown” (Ensign, May 1986, 78).

I love to finish the Book of Mormon each year just before Christmas. It has become my favorite tradition because it helps me feel closer to the Savior. My increased understanding of the book helps me with the difficulties of this life. I know I have received the blessings, even miracles, that President Benson promised.

Illustrated by Steve Kropp