9 months and 12 days . . . .
So much can happen in this small time frame. During this last 9 months and 12 days almost my entire life has been turned upside down. However 9 months and 12 days is also how long it took me to accomplish a goal that grew during the process.
January 1 I had some goals in mind that of course I started immediately. January 1 of this year I opened to page 1 of the Old Testament determined to re-read the entire thing straight through before the end of the year. I have only done this once before in my life for Seminary and even then I probably skipped places here and there. Since then I have studied the Old Testament and loved the stories and lessons taught but it was so daunting.
This is a goal that I pre-determined how I would attack it. I would read 10 pages a day giving myself Sundays off so that I could still study along with the Sunday School and Relief Society lessons. Plus, let’s be honest, it is a heavy book and I needed a day off so that I wouldn’t burn out.
What an amazing set of scriptures! I always forget how much is really packed into the Old Testament. Yes I will admit some of it is extremely hard to get through . . . like all the genealogy . . . but it is well worth the time and effort. There is a wealth of wisdom, advice, comfort and answers found throughout.
But there is more . . . .
In 9 months and 12 days not only did I make it through the Old Testament but through the entire Standard Works of the Church. That is right . . . I finished the Old Testament in May and just kept reading my 10 pages a day. I moved onto the Book of Mormon since I try to read that from cover to cover at least once a year and since we were studying it in Sunday School this year. From there I read the first half of the Pearl of Great Price and then the New Testament. I finished the second half of the Pearl of Great Price and wrapped it up on Friday night with completing the Doctrine and Covenants.
Honestly my goal of reading the Old Testament spread and now I have read my entire quad! It is most likely the only thing that has even gotten me through these last 9 months and 12 days because that is the only explanation to where the strength came to get keep me moving forward and not falling on my face and just giving up. The words of God throughout the history of this world as written by His prophets are powerful and incredibly fortifying. They are as applicable today as they were back then. They are guiding lights set in written word to help us if we will but take the time to read and understand.
I’ve always had a love of the scriptures, but this goal has expanded that love and hunger to continue studying more than I ever thought possible. It is a comfort, a strength and knowledge that Heavenly Father loves us more than we will ever fully be able to comprehend in this moral life. To grasp the fact that He not only gave us these scriptures but also the Gift of the Holy Ghost to enlighten our understanding and then on top of that, modern day Prophets, Apostles and His Church, is humbling. To have ALL of this in my life plus a testimony of its truthfulness is the greatest blessing.