Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Searching the Scriptures

The Book of Mormon was written
anciently on plates of gold
Like many of you, I've read the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, straight through, once, just to say I did it, and a couple of more times in the course of my general scripture reading and study.  I love the Bible and the wonderful stories found there.  It is a dear friend.

I love the Book of Mormon, too.  I can't remember how many times I've read through it from cover to cover.  I've read it at least 3 times through since President Hinckley's challenge in 2005 and countless times before that.   (This is not bragging.  If I were really on top of things I should have read it through 6 times since 2005!)

One of our four teachers

Recently, I've felt that I had no real purpose in my scripture study, so I decided to take an Institute class to liven things up a bit and to help me be more consistent in my daily scripture study.  There is an adult class in the Book of Mormon offered on Tuesday nights in La Mirada which just started up about three weeks ago.  It was free, so the price was right!  I decided to give it a try.

There are four teachers who take turns giving the lessons, and in addition to the Book of Mormon itself, we have a nice lesson manual taken from the Church Education System's Religion 121 class.  It's a hefty manual, but full of insights into the book, its origins, structure and teachings.

The Book of Mormon is, like the Bible, a collection of writings of ancient prophets.  It was translated from ancient texts and first published 181 years ago.  To quote Michael Otterson's recent Washington Post article (see On Faith 9/13/11):
...since it was first published, the Book of Mormon has been praised and parodied, vaunted and vilified.  To some it is an enigma.  To others heresy.  To those who have embraced it, it is a powerful, life-changing force - literally new scripture - that brings people to Jesus Christ.
It's been a while since I took a class of any kind, so I was a little nervous about going to this class the first time, especially since I thought I wouldn't know anyone there. I was also worried about making it to La Mirada in the evenings as I often work late.  As it turns out, my fears were groundless.  I discovered at least three people I know attend this class, and I was easily able to make the 7:30 p.m. start time.
One half of our class
I love the Book of Mormon.  I believe it to be the word of God. It testifies of Jesus Christ throughout its length, working with the Bible to assert the divinity and teachings of our Savior.  It's fun to get together with others and discuss its precepts in a classroom environment apart from a typical Sunday School setting.  Attending gives me an extra spiritual boost at the beginning of my work week.
Two lovely ladies from my ward, Dianne and Betty
A couple of good friends from my ward are there, and a lot of others whom I don't know (yet).  It is a congenial atmosphere.
Our class in action
So far, taking this course has done what I hoped it would do: encourage me to be more diligent in my daily scripture study.  I'm not perfect, but having a class to attend once a week is a great motivator to keep on top of the reading, and the relatively slow pace suits my busy lifestyle just fine!

Come join us!
Our Course of Study

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