“Reading—One Block at a Time,” New Era, June 2011, 39
Last year, students from Mesa Skyline Seminary in Arizona agreed to work together in creating a habit of daily scripture reading. They accepted the challenge to read the scriptures each day for at least 15 minutes. For every three days a student did this, he or she could write his or her name on a new wooden block.
As the blocks were earned and marked, they were glued together, eventually forming a replica of an ancient American city the students affectionately called “Zarahemla.” After seven weeks of reading and learning, a total of 1,750 blocks were cut, earned, and labeled with a name. The replica city was 12 feet in length, 8 feet wide, with a city wall, four corner towers, a large temple at the center, and hundreds of smaller buildings and shops within.
Building the city of Zarahemla “got me into the habit of reading my scriptures longer,” says Marissa Madsen, 16. “I really appreciated seeing something physically being built as a reminder of my testimony growing as I continued to read the scriptures.”
Randy Chavez, 17, agreed that the project was a big success. “It was nice to be unified as an entire seminary to achieve one large goal, and I felt excited to do my part. Because of the project, I read more frequently and longer.”