Your personal life is in scriptures. But don’t be embarrassed, so is mine.
How many times have you read 1st Nephi? How many times did you make it not much further than that? First Nephi is the most read book in all of the Book of Mormon. It’s the starting line of good intentions and desires and seekers. Your life is in the scriptures and I’ll show you it within just the first 5 pages of my margin notes. Who knew that, “My father dwelt in a tent,” had so much rich meaning in your specific life.
(Note: my pages might be different than yours because this is from an older print. Also, underneath the photos I wrote out my notes for better legibility.)
(Page 1: V 1& 3: “I know” vs. “I believe,” not just a belief, but a knowledge. Strive for that and have that always. V. 4 & 5: We hear many things from many different sources. To find out if it is true we must inquire of the Lord to know for ourselves.)
(Page 2: V. 5: Pray with real desire to know. V. 8: “Their” God. Not “a” God or “some random” God, or “someone else’s” God, but “Our” God. We have a God and He is ours, who is there for us individually. V. 12: Like scriptures V. 14: “Read and seen many great an marvelous things,” none of which would have ever happened if he didn’t inquire of the Lord! How much are we missing by simply not asking or seeking?)
(Page 3: V. 18: When you receive knowledge—share it with others! V. 20: Keep your integrity! V. 1: “The Lord spake,” and will for us too. ACT. We are not blessed by what we talk about doing. V. 2 & 3: Stay obedient, even if it means great sacrifice! V. 4: The 2 most crucial things to have in your life are the gospel and your family. V. 7: “Gave thanks,” after Lehi left EVERYTHING to travel, who knows where, in the wilderness, with nothing but his family and the spirit, he was still grateful! What an awesome example)
(Page 4: V. 11: DO NOT murmur when Heavenly Father tells you to do something you don’t understand! V. 12: You must KNOW God to understand Him better. V. 15: SO COOL. Lehi was somewhat of a wealthy man, and he left behind his house, his roots, all of his riches, “gold, silver and precious things,” to live in a tent in the middle of the woods, just because he loves the Lord and wants to follow follow Him. V. 16: Understanding comes by inquiring of the Lord. Pray and ask. V. 20: FEAR NOT. Things will ALWAYS be better with God!)
(Page 5: V. 1: Think of prayer. A conversation is speaking AND listening. V. 4: The Lord WILL ask us to do hard things. V. 5: Don’t let “hard” stop you from moving forward! V. 13: First try.)
(Page 6: V. 16: Especially when you don’t succeed the first few times! V. 19: When God commands—DO, and don’t doubt if we don’t succeed the first attempt. V. 25: Second attempt. V. 29: Third attempt. Except this time Nephi went without a plan, just went on faith in the spirit to direct him. Don’t let a lack of “plan” stop us from moving forward, that could prevent the spirit from guiding us.)
(Page 7: V. 30: Don’t be a Lamen and Lemuel! They never doubt that they saw an angel, they just thought their ways were right and better. We may never doubt the fact that Heavenly Father speaks to us, but we might get an answer we don’t like and not follow through with, or perhaps we don’t even ask because we want something a certain way, or we assume it is right. V. 1: “mightier than Laban,” Replace the word “Laban” with any struggle or obstacle in our life, the Lord is mightier than anything we will ever struggle with or face. V. 3: Don’t allow doubt and hard things cloud the fact the Lord is with you helping you! V. 4: Lamen and Lemuel are the only ones who are murmuring, and they are the only ones who have not inquired of the Lord! Comfort and understanding only come from seeking the Lord in prayer. V. 10-13: Be ready for the Lord to help us with what we need to do, but be ready that He will probably help us in a way we haven’t thought of on our own.)
Just within the first few pages it talks about what to do with failure and how to overcome discouragement. The blessings of integrity and the protection from putting God first, especially with opposition. The importance and outcome of always seeking the Lord when there is a lot of “talk” of other things and other ways. And the warnings and outcome of when we don’t.
Your personal life is in the scriptures, and it is on every single page, depicted in every single story. Every time you read, think to yourself, ‘How does this relate to where I am in this exact second of my life.” Read with prayer. Have teamwork with the spirit. Seek knowing that you will find answers every time, and you will.
Don’t make excuses or put-off the voice of the Lord. Answers are always available. Clarity and comfort can always be felt. Make the gospel your top priority, because it is. We cannot afford to have it be an afterthought. Strive not to be like those described in D&C 76:75&79, honorable men who received a lesser glory because they were not valiant in the testimony they had.
This is it. This is all that matters. A full and lasting happiness with your life, (present & future) and with yourself, can only come from giving this your all. What we do here on earth makes all the difference and has the greatest rewards or consequences that we cannot fully comprehend. Life is short, don’t be lazy. Don’t get distracted. Focus and prioritize.
“Don’t yield to Satan’s lie that you don’t have time to study the scriptures. Choose to take time to study them. Feasting on the word of God each day is more important than sleep, school, work, television shows, video games, or social media.” —Richard G. Scott
How I ‘Book of Mormon’
To learn something new each time, I start with a fresh copy of scriptures so my previous notes don’t dictate any previous thoughts I had with the potential of blinding new vision or light. My notes that I have shown above are probably the only copy I have that says those things because there is not only 1 interpretation of a verse or story. That is the beauty of the spirit and the word of God. You may read these first 7 pages and get something completely different then what I put, and I love that! What great evidence that the spirit is speaking in a way that you need at this time. But what’s important is that you get something out of them.
Ben and I have a giant bookshelf in our home and 2 of the shelves are filled completely with just Book of Mormon. Lucky to live in Utah, you can go to D.I. and get practically new or vintage copies from the 60’s for fifty cents, (D.I. is like a Salvation Army, or Goodwill), because every time I read it is with fresh copy of scriptures. By the time I’m done reading my scriptures are completely covered with lines, arrows running through verses, tons of explanation marks, hearts and even sad faces for the wicked. I’d like to say I faithfully put all these marking into my nice leather set, but truth is, there is no room. Ben has a great habit of each time he starts over in a new set, he picks a new theme to look for. (ie, Commandments, or Christ, or miracles, or protection from keeping integrity..)
There is no outline or schedule I use to read; I simply read every chance I get throughout the day. I find I have great teamwork with the spirit first thing in the morning— when the world is still quite, but He is not.
How do you ‘Book of Mormon?’ I’d love to hear your studying habits and what works for you! Comment below, or share this on your social media pages with how you study to inspire others!
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