For the first few years of our marriage we were very diligent at reading our scriptures everyday. We never missed a day. We slowly started breaking that good habit so it wasn’t as consistent. We’ve especially struggled with couple study. It’s difficult to find a time that we can both sit down and study together. I think that part of the problem is that we keep thinking of this ideal scripture study: Quiet, Cooper napping, an hour to study, lots of discussion, color coding while marking scriptures, and study journal writing. While all of this is good and would be amazing, it’s not always reality. I think we’ve been putting off couple scripture study because we are waiting for all of that to work out. But we realize that that just isn’t always possible, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t study. The reality is that Cooper will probably be awake and we won’t have as much time as we want, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it. If we wait for the time when everything is “ideal” it will NEVER happen. We just need to do the best we can and be okay with that. Luckily we belong to a church that believes in fresh beginnings. Today was our fresh beginning.

     We plan on using this blog to write down the important thoughts, insights, and quotes we find in the student manual.  

9/14/2016- The Keystone of Our Religion:

Importance of the Book of Mormon
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote that the Book of Mormon “should be considered the most remarkable and important religious text to be revealed since the writings of the New Testament were compiled nearly two millennia ago. Indeed, in its role of restoring plain and precious biblical truths that had been lost, while adding scores of new truths about Jesus Christ and preparing the way for the complete restoration of his gospel and the triumphant day of his millennial return, the Book of Mormon may be considered the most remarkable and important religious text ever given to the world” (Christ and the New Covenant [1997], 9–10).

“Think of that in terms of what it implies. The coming forth of the Book of Mormon preceded the restoration of the priesthood. It was published just a few days before the Church was organized. The Saints were given the Book of Mormon to read before they were given the revelations outlining such great doctrines as the three degrees of glory, celestial marriage, or work for the dead. It came before priesthood quorums and Church organization. Doesn’t this tell us something about how the Lord views this sacred work?” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 3; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 4).

Purpose of the BOM
Speaking of our need to apply the Book of Mormon in our lives, President Ezra Taft Benson declared: “If they saw our day and chose those things which would be of greatest worth to us, is not that how we should study the Book of Mormon? We should constantly ask ourselves, ‘Why did the Lord inspire Mormon (or Moroni or Alma) to include that in his record? What lesson can I learn from that to help me live in this day and age?’” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 5; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 6).

Elder Perry also suggested an important practice when reading the Book of Mormon: “Each time we read the book we should probably ask ourselves: ‘Why did these writers choose these particular stories or events to include in the record? What value are they for us today?’” (in Conference Report, Oct. 2005, 5; or Ensign, Nov. 2005, 8).

The Lord gathers his people Israel when they accept him and keep his commandments” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Israel”). Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–85) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote: “As far as the gathering of Israel is concerned, the Book of Mormon is the most important book that ever has been or ever will be written. It is the book that gathers Israel and that reveals, in plainness and perfection, the doctrine of the gathering of the chosen seed. It is the book, given of God, to prove the truth and divinity of his great latter-day work. It contains the fullness of the everlasting gospel and carries with it the evidence of its own divinity.  It is the Book of Mormon that causes people to believe the gospel and join the Church, and, as we have heretofore seen, it is the power that brings to pass the gathering of Israel.

“The stick or record of Judah—the Old Testament and the New Testament—and the stick or record of Ephraim—the Book of Mormon, which is another testament of Jesus Christ—are now woven together in such a way that as you pore over one you are drawn to the other; as you learn from one you are enlightened by the other. They are indeed one in our hands. Ezekiel’s prophecy now stands fulfilled” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1982, 75; or Ensign, Nov. 1982, 53).

The word testament is the English rendering of a Greek word that can also be translated as covenant. Is this what the Lord meant when He called the Book of Mormon the ‘new covenant’? It is indeed another testament or witness of Jesus.

“[The Lord] has offered us one last covenant, given us one last testament, as part of his final outreach to fallen man. He has offered us one last written witness of his love and his mercy extended for the final time. … That testament and culminating witness, that ‘new covenant’ offered to the children of men but once more, is the message of the Book of Mormon.

“… In its message of faith in Christ, hope in Christ, and charity in Christ, the Book of Mormon is God’s ‘new covenant’ to his children—for the last time” (Christ and the New Covenant, 8–10).

Translation of the BOM
“The details of this miraculous method of translation are still not fully known. Yet we do have a few precious insights. …“Emma Smith, who acted as an earlier scribe for Joseph, gave this account in 1856:“‘When my husband was translating the Book of Mormon, I wrote a part of it, as he dictated each sentence, word for word, and when he came to proper names he could not pronounce, or long words, he spelled them out, and while I was writing them, if I made any mistake in spelling, he would stop me and correct my spelling although it was impossible for him to see how I was writing them down at the time. Even the word Sarah he could not pronounce at first, but had to spell it, and I would pronounce it for him.

“‘When he stopped for any purpose at any time he would, when he commenced again, begin where he left off without any hesitation, and one time while he was translating he stopped suddenly, pale as a sheet, and said, “Emma, did Jerusalem have walls around it?” When I answered, “Yes,” he replied, “Oh! [I didn’t know]. I was afraid I had been deceived.” He had such a limited knowledge of history at that time that he did not even know that Jerusalem was surrounded by walls.’ (Edmund C. Briggs, ‘A Visit to Nauvoo in 1856,’Journal of History, Jan. 1916, p. 454). …

“‘Joseph Smith … could neither write nor dictate a coherent and well-worded letter; let alone dictating a book like the Book of Mormon. And, though I was an active participant in the scenes that transpired, it is marvelous to me, “a marvel and a wonder,” as much so as to any one else.’ (Ibid)” (“A Treasured Testament,” Ensign, July 1993, 62–63).