Last December (2008), I received a challenge to read this book in 40 days. I was excited about the challenge and welcomed the opportunity to read this book in such a short period of time. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do it in 40 days. December was a busy month and while I did try to read every day it didn't always happen. However, I continued reading and began to receive a new love for this book. I regained a desire to read and study the words of this book that I'd owned for years.
I had read this book before, but something was different this time. The way this book made me feel when I read it was different. Magical. I loved this magical feeling I had when I read this book. Not only while I was reading it, but long afterward. (Turns out it’s not magic at all…it’s way better than magic.)
Many times, I felt lost or I didn’t understand what I was reading. However, every so often I would gain little glimpses of understanding. The more I kept reading, the greater my understanding became. About half way through the book I really started to enjoy it and notice the difference I felt on the days that I would read. On the days that I would read, things would just go better for me. I had days that were horrible or I felt depressed and at the end of the day I realized that I hadn’t done my reading. Very slowly, this book started to transform me.
Of course, this transformation was only coupled with prayer. I realized that I was actually praying every single day. I realized that I was actually praying all the time. I’d always prayed, but never as consistent as I was now. I felt like this desire was because of the amazing book I was reading.
The more I prayed, the more I desired to read this book. The more I read, the more I desired to pray. The two things definitely seemed to go hand in hand. As I began nearing the end of this book I found myself feeling like these words applied to my life. I wanted to read them. I wanted to understand them. I wanted to believe that they were true.
One night I had a conversation with someone very close to me about what I "believe." I’ve always had a whole lot of faith, but not a ton of answers. As I left the conversation that night, I was burdened with a strong desire to really understand what I believe and why I believe the things I do.
I began to read this book looking for answers to these questions and the answers just started pouring in. I could hardly believe it. Every question that I had was answered on the pages of this book. My faith was becoming increasingly stronger and I believed the words on the pages of this book more than anything I’d ever believed before. Suddenly, I just couldn’t get enough. I couldn’t put this book down.
Now, today, I have completed reading this amazing book, but I will never be finished with it. It has changed my life. This book no longer resides in my nightstand, it is on my nightstand, on my bed, on the kitchen counter, on the kitchen table, on the coffee table or in my hands. The words are etched in my heart. This book is near me all the time. This book has transformed me and made me a different person.
This amazing book is "The Book of Mormon." I would like to add my testimony to someone’s who said it much better than I ever could.
Now, I did not sail with the brother of Jared in crossing an ocean, settling in a new world. I did not hear King Benjamin speak his angelically delivered sermon. I did not proselyte with Alma and Amulek nor witness the fiery death of innocent believers. I was not among the Nephite crowd who touched the wounds of the resurrected Lord, nor did I weep with Mormon and Moroni over the destruction of an entire civilization. But my testimony of this record and the peace it brings to the human heart is as binding and unequivocal as was theirs. Like them, “[I] give [my name] unto the world, to witness unto the world that which [I] have seen.” And like them, “[I] lie not, God bearing witness of it.”13
This book has changed my life and it can change yours.