“Start Early and Be Steady,” Counsels President Eyring

“Start Early and Be Steady” ~ President Henry B. Eyring

Some of you will remember that in August of 2005 President Gordon B. Hinckley offered a challenge to read the Book of Mormon before the end of the year. As part of that invitation he gave prophetic promised blessings:

“I offer a challenge to members of the Church throughout the world and to our friends everywhere to read or reread the Book of Mormon. …Without reservation I promise you that if each of you will observe this simple program, regardless of how many times you previously may have read the Book of Mormon, there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God.” (“A Testimony Vibrant and True,” Ensign, Aug. 2005)

I have come to know that these promises are true, but to receive the PRIZE we must be willing to pay the PRICE. President Henry B. Erying offered careful counsel to help us study successfully. Speaking in General Conference of 2005 he said:

“Learning to start early and to be steady are the keys to spiritual preparation. Procrastination and inconsistency are its mortal enemies.

“[President Hinckley’s promise] is the very promise of increased faith we need to be spiritually prepared. But if we delayed the start of our obedience to that inspired invitation, the number of pages we had to read each day grew larger. If we then missed reading for even a few days, the chance of failure grew. That’s why I chose to read ahead of my daily plan to be sure I will qualify for the promised blessings of the spirit of resolution and testimony of Jesus Christ. When December ends, I will have learned about starting at the moment a command from God comes and being steady in obedience.” (“Spiritual Preparedness: Start Early and Be Steady,” Ensign, Nov. 2005. Emphasis added.)

He then offered a helpful reminder about studying the scriptures. This counsel is especially helpful when studying at a quick pace. It is not enough to read and study; we must also ponder, pray about, and practice the principles that are being presented in the scriptures. He said:

As I read in the Book of Mormon, I will pray that the Holy Ghost will help me know what God would have me do. There is a promise of that plea being answered in the book itself: ‘Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.'(2 Nephi 32:3)

I will act quickly on what the Holy Ghost tells me I should do as I read and ponder the Book of Mormon. When I complete the project in December, I will have had many experiences of stretching my faith to be obedient. And so my faith will be strengthened. And I will know from my own experience what comes from going to the scriptures early and consistently to know what God wants me to do and then doing it. If we do that, we will be better prepared for the greater storms when they come.” (“Spiritual Preparedness: Start Early and Be Steady,” Ensign, Nov. 2005. Emphasis added.)

Many of you taking this challenge have read the Book of Mormon several times. And quite a few of you have shared with me on our Facebook Page that this will be your first time reading the Book of Mormon. Either way, I hope it will not be your last. President Eyring’s counsel to you is this:

“We will then have a choice of what to do [when the challenge is over]. We can choose to sigh with relief and say to ourselves: ‘I have built a great reservoir of faith by starting early and being steady in obedience. I will store it away against the times when I will be tested in storms.’ There is a better way to prepare, because great faith has a short shelf life. We could decide to persist in studying the words of Christ in the scriptures and the teachings of living prophets. This is what I will do. I will go back to the Book of Mormon and drink deeply and often. And then I will be grateful for what the prophet’s challenge and promise did to teach me how to gain greater faith and maintain it. (“Spiritual Preparedness: Start Early and Be Steady,” Ensign, Nov. 2005. Emphasis added.)

Through years of experience with The Book of Mormon Translation Challenge, I have come to find that President Eyring’s counsel to “start early and be steady” are not just the keys to spiritual preparation, but also the key to successfully studying the Book of Mormon. It is okay to get ahead on the daily reading, but falling behind even one day can seem like a mountain too hard to climb. So… START EARLY AND BE STEADY!

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About Bro Simon Says

Husband, Father, Teacher View all posts by Bro Simon Says

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