I’m looking forward to reading and studying from the Book of Mormon in 2016. I feel excited like a little boy who is about to open up a gift. Why do I feel this way about reading the Book of Mormon? I don’t know exactly. In the last few years I’ve read it twice. Last year I read it cover to cover using a replica of the first printing. No chapters and verse as in our current edition. At first I was a little uncomfortable with unfamiliar lay out, but in no time I adapted to it. I didn’t even notice the absence of all the changes the church has made with words and punctuation.
A few years ago our stake challenged us to read it in 30 days. I read and listen to tapes and completed it in 6 weeks. At first I murmured, but when I completed the challenge I experienced a panoramic sense of the Book of Mormon I never had before. It was like viewing the city you live in from a satellite view. It allows for a different, refreshing prospective. I realized how patient and longsuffering the Lord was with the peoples of the Book of Mormon—especially the Nephites. It wasn’t until they utterly rejected Christ that he withdrew His presence from them. Sometimes I feel like our generation is in the advanced last days, but the Book of Mormon draws me away from that thought. It gives me hope for America. I think there are many great blessings in store for the gentile nations.
I’m going to try to explain why I’m excited to read the Book of Mormon again this year. It’s out character for me to be this way. I have a low tolerance for repetition.
The main reason I am excited to study the Book of Mormon this year is to learn and relearn how men, men like any of us, makes the transition from a natural man, to a follower of Christ, and then to a son or daughter of Christ. This spiritual growth and rebirth the Book of Mormon illustrates over and over is available to anyone who seeks for it.
It might be that some who read this will identify with me when I say that it took me many years to arrive at the understanding, God is no respecter of persons. I need to remind myself that Heavenly Father is not like me. The Lord really means what he says, he is no respecter of persons. That means we don’t have to be a G.A., Stake President, High Councilmen, Relief Society President, or anything else in order to have the spiritual growth and experiences represented in the Book of Mormon. A rank and file member of the church has the same right, as those in leading positions, to these gifts and blessings manifest in the Book of Mormon when he/she abides the law. Go here to read more on this topic.