I just wanted to send out a little note to clarify how the #BOMTC is going to be administered this year on social media and on this blog.
In years past I have followed the traditional 1 Nephi 1 to Moroni 10 format for reading the Book of Mormon. This year I will be using a new study schedule that follows the the order in which Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery translated the Book of Mormon.
When Joseph and Oliver re-initiated the translation of the Book of Mormon, following the loss of the 116 manuscript pages by Martin Harris, they continued where Joseph and Martin had left off, which was near the beginning of Mosiah. The large plates (Mosiah through Moroni) were translated before the small plates (1 Nephi through the Words of Mormon). If you have seen the new church-produced film, “Days of Harmony,” you may have noticed that Joseph and Oliver begin the translation process in Mosiah.
So there are pretty much two basic reasons that I have decided to use the Mosiah-Words of Mormon study schedule for this year’s #BOMTC. First, it is interesting to consider what it was like for Joseph and Oliver (especially Oliver) as they translated the Book of Mormon beginning with Mosiah. For me, it is actually a real eye-opener to see what information is contained in Mosiah-Moroni (the Large Plates) that is actually referencing information that was originally mentioned in 1 Nephi-Words of Mormon (the Small Plates) that had not been translated yet. You see things like the Tree of Life and the Allegory of the Olive Tree being referenced, but Joseph and Oliver would not have even translated the earlier books that taught those original lessons. Joseph and Oliver will see Alma will refer to “small and simple things” in Alma 37:6-7, but they will not have yet translated Nephi’s original teaching of that principle in 1 Nephi 16:29. It amazes me, the number of things that come up in the Large Plates that Joseph and Oliver would have probably never had a clue about previously, because they had not yet translated the Small Plates! Look for some of those cool little details and see what it does to strengthen your testimony that the Book of Mormon truly is Another Testament of Jesus Christ come from God.
The second reason for following the Mosiah-Words of Mormon study schedule for this year’s #BOMTC is simply for the sake of variety. Many of you are multi-year #BOMTC readers, and it is time for something new. Finding new ways to study the scriptures is actually one of the main ways that I stay motivated to study the scriptures. Some of the different ways that I like to study the Book of Mormon include: using the original 1830 publication, looking for references to the Savior Jesus Christ, studying by topic, slow and steady 15 verses/day for a year, and others. I find that the more variety I use in studying the Book of Mormon, the more I am able to discover and learn. The Book of Mormon is a book that we must discover again and again throughout our lives! And with President Monson’s most recent admonition to study the Book of Mormon “each day”, we would all do well to find a reason to rediscover the Book of Mormon.
Whether or not you choose to follow the Mosiah-Words of Mormon study schedule for this year’s #BOMTC is completely up to you. I just hope you read it! My main intention for sponsoring this challenge is simply to help as many people as possible to realize the blessings that were promised by the Lord’s living Prophet this past weekend:
“I implore all of us to prayerfully study and ponder the Book of Mormon each day. As we do so, we will be in a position to hear the voice of the Spirit, to resist temptation, to overcome doubt and fear, and to receive heaven’s help in our lives.” (“The Power of the Book of Mormon,” CR April, 2017.)