Because there are critical events that take place after the initial countdown for a rocket launch begins, NASA commonly uses the term “T-minus” at key times during preparation for launch. The “T minus Time” is the time before launch. For example, “T minus 9 minutes and counting” means that there is 9 minutes until the planned time of launch. The last ten seconds are traditionally counted down aloud.
Similarly, at this time each year, preparations are well underway for the launch of the annual Book of Mormon Translation Challenge (#BOMTC). And just as the last 10 seconds are usually counted down aloud leading up to the launch of a rocket, I like to prepare the #BOMTC readers for the launch of our study challenge by counting down the last 10 days to the launch of the Book of Mormon Translation Challenge..
There have already been important events leading up to “T minus 10 days and counting”. For example at “T minus 12 days and counting” we celebrated “Book of Mormon Day” (#BoMDay). And there are some more important events to come in the #BOMTC countdown:
- This year, at “T minus 5 (and 4) days and counting” we will participate in the 186th Annual General Conference of the Church, which will most likely include invitations to study and learn from the Book of Mormon.
- “T minus 2 days and counting” marks the day that Oliver Cowdery first met Joseph Smith on April 5, 1829, just two days prior to beginning his role as scribe for Joseph during the majority of the translation process.
- One of the most critical events in the #BOMTC countdown this year will occur at “T minus 7 days and counting”, on March 31. That is the time at which we will begin to invite our friends to prepare to join us for the 2016 Book of Mormon Translation Challenge. A Facebook events page will be created, and you can invite all of your friends to join you in this year’s study of the Book of Mormon. The hashtag #BOMTC will be used to support readers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
NOTE: No matter where someone is currently studying in the Book of Mormon, they can still join us! No one need start over because the challenge is the same, although the starting point/chapter may be different. One would simply begin their study from where they currently are in the Book of Mormon and continue to read until they return to that same place at the end of the 85 day challenge. (For example, if I am studying in Mosiah 1 on April 7, when the challenge begins, then I would just continue to read from that point on and finish on June 30, by studying Words of Mormon.)