I have the best bishop on earth. No, seriously I do. He is so down-to-earth and easy to talk to. He is approachable and funny. Most of all he is loving, and spiritual, and a great leader. He has been so great with the youth of our ward. He has taken to texting, and keeping in touch with the youth this way. In addition to the youth in our ward, he has also been a great strength to me, my family, and to my kids who are not active, even the ones that don't live in the ward. He loves them and they know it. They come to him for advice, and they actually listen to him.
Now that I've established how great my bishop is, I am going to tell you about a challenge that he made to our ward last Sunday. As most LDS people know, when there is a 5th Sunday in a month, the Relief Society (women) and the Priesthood (men) meet together on the 3rd hour of the meeting block for instruction from the ward leaders. Last Sunday our bishop took up most of the time talking about missionary work in our ward. He spoke about how many members and non-members we have right in our own neighborhoods, and about how we should be inviting them to come unto Christ. We've all heard this type of talk before, I'm sure, but this one really touched me. As I was listening, I kept thinking about my own children who are not active, and hoping that someone in their wards or neighborhoods were hearing a talk like this one and that they would feel prompted to go out and fellowship and invite my children to come to Christ. Then it hit me. I felt the spirit telling me something something that I'd never thought of in this way. The spirit reminded me that my own neighbors and friends are SOMEONE ELSE'S CHILDREN. That someone, somewhere, is praying that someone like me will reach out to their children and help them to come back into the fold. Someone needs me to help THEIR child. I had never thought of it that way. I guess I was only thinking selfishly. I realized that I needed to do my part to be an influence in the lives of my neighbors and friends. I feel that if I do this, my children will be blessed to receive the messages that someone, someday will feel prompted to give them. It was a wonderful revelation.
But I haven't even gotten to the challenge yet. After his inspiring talk on missionary work, he gave us a challenge. He told us that he had personally decided to read the entire Book of Mormon in the month of July. He then asked that we join him in reading the Book of Mormon every day, and if we wanted to join him, read the Book of Mormon all the way through in the month of July. In addition to our daily reading of the Book of Mormon, he asked us to pray daily for inspiration on how to help those around us to want to join with us. He told us that if we do those things that the spirit will help us to know who to talk to and invite, and what to say to them.
Because I have more spare time for the next couple of months, I decided to take on the challenge and read the Book of Mormon his month. I have never read it that fast. I was worried that I might not get as much out of it if I did, but I decided to do it. So last week I have started reading. In order to finish in 30 days, you need to read about 20 pages a day. I found a 30-day reading schedule that I will post at the end of this post. I have been loosely following it to keep me on track.
So far the experience has been wonderful. I have felt the spirit so strongly! Last night I read more than 20 pages because I was trying to catch up a little on my schedule. I try to think about what I'm reading, even though I'm reading more, and a little faster. Today I really noticed a increase of the spirit. My church meetings were so much more meaningful because I was so close to the spirit. One thing I am enjoying about reading so much of the Book of Mormon at a time, is that I am understanding more. It's making more sense because I can see the big picture more (if that makes sense) like who's who, and all that. I am so happy that I am taking on this challenge.
I would like to challenge anyone reading this, to read the Book of Mormon in the next 30 days. It will bring the spirit to your daily life. It will give more strength to do the things you need to do, and to cope with or overcome your trials in your life. It will help you to reach out to those around you who need to be fellowshipped, and help you to know what to say and do. You will feel your Heavenly Father's love for you and for your family.
Here is the 30-day schedule that I have been following: