Thursday, August 1, 2013

finishing the doctrine and covenants + book of mormon challenge

here i am, back in the blogosphere. it's weird being away from provo for a couple weeks, weird in a way that makes me realize how ready i am to leave this town. but anyway, back to the business at hand.

since just before easter, i've been reading the doctrine and covenants. after my birthday in february, i made this list of 25 things to do while i'm 25 (also, why haven't i been referring back to this? i've done a couple of these things and i probably wouldn't have even crossed them off the list! sheesh.), and one of the items (the only one i've really remembered, i guess) is #15: read the standard works. today, i finished the doctrine and covenants, the first time i've really read the book all the way through. here are some things i learned/relearned these past few months:
  • God speaks to His servants, then and now.
  • the doctrine and covenants are unique in that many of the sections are direct revelations from God and Jesus Christ, so they are in their exact words. writing it like that, it doesn't sound so different from any other work of scripture. but i'm a person who is interested in authorial voice--i feel like the sections of the doctrine and covenants express the voice of God in a way that doesn't always come across in other scriptural books, because they are essentially written by God or the Savior. does that make sense? it's just cool to me.
  • i LOVE this verse, written by john taylor after the martyrdom of the prophet joseph smith and hyrum smith.
 Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated! (d&c 135:3)
  • that is so awesome. it's difficult to comprehend how joseph smith did so much--translating the book of mormon, restoring the Gospel and organizing the Church, doing missionary work--in so little time and through so much persecution. i'm grateful for him.
  • most of the revelations that became the doctrine and covenants were received in the 1830s. how incredible is it, then, that so many of them have relevance for us today, right now?
today, i'm starting a book of mormon challenge. for the month of august, i will be reading 8 chapters a day to finish by august 31. i'm really excited about it! i've never read the book of mormon like that in a short amount of time before, so i think it will be really great. if you'd like, join me!

i love the scriptures. i love reading them.

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