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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A New Year's Challenge: Journey through the Holy Scriptures

I have never read the entire Standard Works of The Church from cover to cover within a year.  In fact, certain books of scripture (ahem, the Old Testament - it's just so difficult to understand sometimes) have been more neglected than others in the course of my life.  I strive to read something from the scriptures every day.  I have done really well with this in the past at times - and have failed abominably at other times!  :)  I am trying to create a life-long habit of not retiring to bed at night until I've read from God's word.  So one of my goals for this next year is to read the entire Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price - the Standard Works - within the year.  Since the Old Testament is the largest chunk of scripture and the winter is when we tend to hibernate, at least, I do anyway.  I love to curl up with a good book and nice warm snuggly blankie, maybe even a cup of hot chocolate!  :)  Ah, Heaven.  :)

I've divided the year into four natural segments to accomplish this task.  They are called seasons.  :)  Okay, that wasn't me, but all the same they are perfect dividers.  :)  So, my plan is to start with the heftiest reading material during the time of year I'd be most likely to be successful with it: winter.  I will follow this with the New Testament during spring, the Book of Mormon through the summer, and ending the year with the Doctrine & Covenants and Pearl of Great Price.

I would like to invite any who desire to join me in this quest for knowledge, understanding, spiritual strength and enlightenment to please do so.  I will share with you my plans and you can adapt them to meet your needs as you see fit.  I had planned to begin this journey at the winter solstice and even gave myself a small head start fearing the inevitable interruptions to life that would make reading many pages per day difficult and cause me to fall behind schedule.  But you can certainly use my schedule to begin fresh with the new year; after all, there's only a ten day difference from the solstice to the New Year.  :)

So, here's how it will work: WINTER - OLD TESTAMENT:  I use the LDS King James Version of the Bible (scroll almost all the way to the bottom of the link to read the First Presidency's statement on the KJV).  This version has 1184 pages of text in the OT.  Get ready, we're going to do some math!  :)  There are 90 days in each quarter year or season, so we will divide the number of pages in our OT (1184 for me) by the number of days we want to read it in (90): 1184/90=13.15.  To simplify, I will need to read about 13 pages per day to finish by the spring equinox.  If you are only reading the Bible in 2012, then you have three months more (another 90 days) to get through the OT.  If this is you, your equation looks like this: 1184 (or however many pages are in your Old Testament) /180=6.57 or 6 and a half pages a day.

***ETA (Edited To Add):  I totally forgot to mention how I plan to read 13 pages per day!  I try to start every day with some amount of dedicated time to the Lord.  This varies from day to day as I've not had a regular sleep/wake time, which I'm hoping to change this year.  It's not enough time (yet) to get 13 pages in, that's for sure! ;O)  However, I now keep my scriptures in a drawer in the bathroom and every time I need the facilities, I take advantage of the quiet!  I close the door and grab my scriptures and get to business.  I read at least three or four pages at a time.  It's a great break from the chaos of life.  I usually manage to finish the day's reading if I've been left alone long enough during my bathroom breaks (hah!).  :O)  If not, then I simply finish during quiet time before bed.***

SPRING - NEW TESTAMENT:  My NT has 406 pages, so 406/90=4.51 or 4 and a half pages per day, not so hard after accomplishing 13 pages per day through the winter!  :)  This is a nice break for the busy spring time planting/cleaning/renewing that tends to happen in the spring.  If you are only reading the Bible, again, you'll have twice as long to accomplish this.  Yours will look like this: 406/180=2.25 or just over two pages a day.  AN ALTERNATIVE for just reading the Bible: since the OT is so much huger *grin* (I know this isn't a real word; but I like it!) than the NT, you could spend three seasons with the Old and one with the New.  You would read about 4 and a half pages per day all year this way (4.38 OT and 4.51 NT).

SUMMER - BOOK OF MORMON:  My BOM has 531 pages: 531/90=5.9 or six pages per day.  This is a nice incremental increase in reading for the more leisurely days of summer sun bathing.  :)

AUTUMN - DOCTRINE & COVENANTS and PEARL OF GREAT PRICE:  Combined, the D&C and POGP have 355 pages: 355/90=3.94 or 4 pages per day.  This brings us back to a managable amount for the busy harvest/back to school/holiday time.

You can follow the true seasons, with equinoxes and solstices determining when you begin and end each book or you can use the calendar months (Jan-Mar for winter, Apr-Jun for spring, Jul-Sept for summer, Oct-Dec for autumn), either way works the same, just a few days off from each other.
I would like to encourage you, even if you are not of the same faith as me, to read all four of the books of scripture mentioned.  There is a promise given in the Book of Mormon, found near the end, in the book of Moroni, chapter 10 verses 3-5:

3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how amerciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and bponder it in your chearts.
And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would aask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not btrue; and if ye shall ask with a csincere heart, with dreal intent, having efaith in Christ, he will fmanifest the gtruth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may aknow the btruth of all things.

Heavenly Father will always answer our sincere prayers. He always answers with truth and understanding. You can know for yourself if they are works of God or otherwise, by simply reading them and praying and asking if they are true. I have applied this principle in my own life and I have learned that they are indeed true. They are beautiful. I can't wait to study all of them together this coming year and pray over them daily and learn more truths along the way. :) Join me! It'll be a grand adventure.

Each book of scripture can be found online here (Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, Pearl of Great Price) if you'd like to read along that way.  If you'd like to follow along online, there are no page numbers so I created a spreadsheet that says where you should be at the end of each day.  I cannot figure out how to add the image, so email me or leave a comment with your email address and I will send you a link to it if you'd like it.  (If you know how I can upload the image directly to this post, please tell! ;) )  May God bless us with a deepened understanding of His love and word through this adventure of studying His Holy Scriptures.


  1. Sign me up! I'm totally up for the challenge and I'll start on your schedule! Sounds like a great personal goal for the year!!!

  2. Glad to have you along for the journey Tara! It's going to be a great year! :O)