Photo by Melanie Pongratz on Unsplash

Only a few weeks into President Nelson’s Book of Mormon challenge, I got behind—like 12 chapters behind. Reading 12 chapters of the Book of Mormon to try and catch up felt incredibly daunting to me. Every time I would sit down to try and catch up, I’d read a chapter, flip forward to where I was supposed to be, feel defeated and give up for the day. One day, I felt super motivated to catch up, so I opened my Gospel Library app, went to where I was in my reading, hit play, and sped it up to 2x. Within the time of my son waking up from his nap, I was caught up. It felt like a small blessing from God.

Consequently, I’ve begun listening to the scriptures every morning while I get ready for the day—always on 2x speed. At first, I had some real reservations about this. Was listening as good as reading? Did it even count as scripture study? But just in the way that reading faster has enhanced my scripture study (I wrote about that last month), listening has improved my scripture study. I’m good at listening. I’m a huge podcast listener, and I tend to retain a lot more information from listening that from reading (despite my college degree in English). I like how I don’t feel rushed when I listen because I can listen and clean my house, put on makeup, drive to the grocery store, etc. It feels extremely productive. Consequently, I don’t feel like my mind wanders as much during my scripture study. I’m not thinking about how much time is left in my son’s nap and whether or not I’ll be able to mop my floor before he wakes up to dirty it again. I’m thinking about what I’m listening to. In fact, the other day, I was able to realize I had already listened to the chapter I started only about 2 minutes in. This may seem like a weird thing to you, but a lot of the time I’ll read through an entire chapter only to realize and the end that I read it yesterday.

Here’s what I’ve learned from President Nelson’s challenge: Everyone needs to insert the scriptures into their lives in a way that works for them. Maybe you have the discipline and the concentration to sit down and carefully read the scriptures everyday. I simply don’t. What works for me is listening to them read fast. I truly believe that what is important is that they are a part of your life. God wants this gospel to make sense to us. He wants it to be a personal gospel. That means some things work for some people, and different things work for others. Don’t allow one person’s opinion on how the gospel should be practiced and lived determine how you will practice and live it. Find what works for you, and then be consistent. This is what will bring you the greatest joy and blessings.

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