10 Day Book of Mormon Reading Challenge!

Do you ever want a blessing so badly you're willing to do anything for it?
This month again we tried to conceive with professional help and this is how it went.

I know myself and know that I need challenging goals in order to motivate myself to complete them. They have to be crazy! In 2015 I completed reading all Standard Works in a year (365 days) for the 2nd time, it was fantastic! While feeling like my initial 2016 New Years resolution goal to read the Book of Mormon in Spanish in 365 days wasn't going as I originally had planned and foreseen, The Spirit kept nudging me to figure something else out. Seriously though? When I finally sat down to really review my goal, I went from reading 5 books of scripture, cross referencing and ponderizing, down to one book of scripture, just reading the words, not feasting and barely understanding it and I'm expecting the same closeness to the Spirit, more answers to my prayers and blessings as I had last year? Yes... I'm insane!! WOW, Heavenly Father is so patient with me.

I've learned (seems like common sense now) that our spirit knows when we are receiving the light and knowledge we need to sustain us in our trials and in life. If I've been studying my scriptures for 1 hour a day, and hear a talk about someone saying it's ok to just read a verse a day and I regress down to 15 minutes a day, my spirit will feel it! I can not expect the same level of connection with the Lord, when I do the bare minimum. Yes... It's true, reading a verse of scripture a day IS better than no scripture reading at all, but I certainly can't expect amazing results when I put forth my least amount of effort. Likewise running for  1 hour a day for a year and then going down to 1 min a day isn't going to produce the stamina or the resistance I need when I decide to run a marathon, a 5k or even a mile. My body is not going to be in the same shape with that level of dedication, or lack thereof. Why then do we think we can do that with our spiritual self?

We need to know ourselves, be realistic and be consistent!

If we pray to communicate with God and He communicates with us through scriptures and words of modern day prophets we CAN NOT receive the answers we expect when we sit and read or listen to His answers in one minute. He's trying to teach us a lesson, something worth while and we want to leave class early?!

So finally on Feb 28th, I HAD to make a change and this time in 11days we'd find out if our infertility treatments would work or not. So, after wrestling with the Lord and trying to convince myself that a 10 day Book of Mormon challenge was impossible for someone like me to complete, (I came up with so many reasons, the main one being that I'm not a reader and can't stay awake when I read for longer than 15 min, for real! any book, even my poor children suffer), I finally said OK! So on Feb 29th (Leap Day) I took the Leap of faith and committed to read the Book of Mormon in 10 days!!!

Now, before I continue... I know there's a lot of counsel out there about pacing yourself when reading the scriptures and not trying to read for speed but for comprehension and for understanding. I know the words of the prophets are true and I've done that before and still do that and know it's a blessing to read scriptures and pace yourself, but I couldn't ignore the Lord prompting me to get more armor. Plus I also know there are soooo many promised blessings that come to those who read the Book of Mormon, which is why that is the only thing I could think of. Listen to the Spirit, what does it tell you to do? I did it because that's what the Spirit told me, and boy am I so grateful I did!

I know we can't "counsel the Lord" and I can't tell Him what to do or when to bless me. However, I was trying to get this to be my show of faith so that I could get what I desired, but I couldn't do the negotiating, I couldn't say the words. I know I can't impress Him with my scripture reading, He already knows me and what I'm capable of. It is I, who is still learning about who I am and what I can do. So, He just kept telling me this challenge was for armor I'd be needing and not for leverage or negotiating power.

This would be the hardest scripture reading challenge or any reading I've ever undertaken period! But with being in the "fullness of times" I knew I had everything available to me to be able to complete a goal like this and I knew the Lord would help.

Let me just tell you that I used to think being behind on scripture goals was bad when I missed a day or 3 and would need to make it up by reading 20-30 pages. LOL that's nothing now! LOL missing a few days in a 10 Day Book of Mormon challenge is insane! I had to make up reading 150+ pages in a day!!! LOL the procrastinator in me is too crazy.

Now, I know for myself there is nothing like reading the Book of Mormon in 10 Days!!! I learned new things about the scriptures that I didn't know before (I'll spare you the details of what I learned to keep from embarrassing myself from my previous lack of knowledge, let's just say I slept through seminary so I'm still a "youth" spiritually), the blessings, the armor, the closeness, the protection, the peace, the guidance, the love is all incomprehensible. I had no idea I'd feel so much love and be so blessed just for reading the Book of Mormon so quickly. I want to do it again!!!!! My husband even said, "Wow, you should do 10 day Book of Mormon Challenges more often, the house is clean, the laundry is done, the dishes are done." Yeah... I know, I should do those things anyways...but remember, I procrastinate!

How I did it? With the Lord's help of course! Normally to stay awake I workout before hand, but because of the procedure, I chose not to take any chances, so I didn't work out hard, which did make it harder. So, I'd sit down to read and as soon as I'd start falling asleep, I'd get up and walk around and as soon as I'd get sleepy again (yes, I almost fell asleep walking!), I would listen while I washed the dishes or folded the laundry, then after I'd be awake enough, I'd sit down again to read and would do that until I got sleepy again. I do have 2 kids so I'd do most of my reading in the early morning before getting kids ready for school, at nap time and sometimes when they were asleep at night because, I do love my time with my hubby at night when the kids are asleep. He had to work late a couple times so I took advantage of that! Here's a short video I made of when I'm reading.

Yes, there were times when I had the Book of Mormon playing in the car because I needed to "catch up" and then also playing at home and yes, the kids could listen to it too while we cleaned up and what a blessing that was. My 7yr old never complained and he's the one who complains when we play church music when it's not Sunday! Background: I'm Hispanic and have a "Latin temper" and not saying that as an excuse but more so I could give you an idea of how I am at home. ;) So, I know I'm definitely not the "angel mother" I want to be, but I was closer to being an "angel" during this 10 Day Book of Mormon Challenge than I had ever been before. I was so kind and remembered how Christ would treat the little children more. Also did I mention we took a mini vacation during the 10 day challenge. Yeah... That's bad because we all know when we road trip I fall asleep 10 min into the drive and can't get any reading of the scriptures done then. It's frustrating how quickly I fall asleep sometimes, it's a blessing and a curse! Blessing at night to fall asleep and a curse when I'm awake. I promise I don't feel exhausted, tired or anything normally during the day, just if I stay still. ;) So the road trip vacation was so amazing but I didn't get the reading that I needed then which was how I fell behind.

Can I tell you the commandment to "remember Him always" has never been more real and attainable! When you're reading the Book of Mormon in 10 days you don't have time to mess around and get distracted, although I did. If I wasn't reading the Book of Mormon I was thinking about the stories I just read, if I wasn't thinking about the stories I was thinking about the different attributes of Christ, if I wasn't thinking of that I was thinking of everything He went through for us and how perfect He remained throughout His life despite the challenges He had, then thinking of when I needed to read again, and if I wasn't thinking of that I was praying to make sure I didn't slacken on my normal wife and motherly blessings while trying to complete this challenge and make sure I was being kind and thoughtful to everyone around me. WOW!!! So it is possible, to remember Him always!

I planned the goal so I'd finish on the day I would get the news. The news came and I was shattered that we still weren't pregnant and my heart was seriously in pieces. You've all been there, when you want something so badly and the Lord's timing doesn't line up with your own. I cried and cried and prayed and that is when I knew what the Lord meant about the armor. Although my heart was broken, it hadn't lost it's composition and it wasn't tainted, just hurt.
I liken it to when I had my car almost broken into and possibly stolen. The tint on my car's glass broke because someone was trying to break in and hit it with a bat (probably a bat, it had to be something big and strong) and it was literally shattered in pieces but the burglars couldn't get in and couldn't get inside to steal it because the tint held the glass so strongly together that they didn't penetrate the tint layer and the car stayed safe.
The layer of armor from the Book of Mormon acted like the tint on my glass to protect my heart from despair, discouragement, depression and keeping me from crawling into a hole. I wanted to crawl into the hole and feel sad and sorry for myself, which I totally could have done and had every reason to and no one would have said anything to me because I was "justified." I didn't, I was too encouraged, too loved, too blessed to do that, I felt amazing even though I felt sad, I was scheduled to finish the Book of Mormon Challenge that day and I was determined to do so, I'd come so far not to finish. I finally finished @11:58pm on March 9th. It was glorious!!! It was the saddest and happiest day of my life! I now know I can do hard things! Hard scripture reading things! Hard Book of Mormon reading things.

Originally I only divided the total amount of pages to read into the 10 days and that's how I calculated it to take my challenge. I wanted to remind myself that it isn't as hard as it seems for next time so, I designed this to make it easier to understand how doable and attainable this goal really is, I added page numbers and chapters and even the time it takes to listen to the audio version of the Book of Mormon as it is on the LDS Scriptures App and then downloaded the files to listen to the music app if I needed to next time when I don't have wifi available.

Here it is! Save it, use it, read it, share it, love it!
Here's a PDF version with 6 on a page, AKA 6-up.

I love the Book of Mormon and its blessings.

(I'll add links to references later but I had to post this ASAP before #LDSconf)