Well, I finished it.
After one year of reading and studying, taking my time for cross-referencing and prayerful observation, I have completed reading the Book of Mormon for the fourth time in my life. This may not be the first read, but I have to say this has been the most meaningful one. Reading it as a teenager in high school was probably the most informative and educational, receiving insight and instruction from seminary teachers, but this time around has proven to have had the most influence in my daily life. I credit that to coupling my reading with prayer. I was more aware of the need to have my Heavenly Father's help as I read. Each morning, before even cracking the book open, I'd pray and ask Heavenly Father to assist me in understanding the words, meanings, symbolisms, and timetable. I asked Him to help clear my mind of other things as I tried to steady my focus. I asked to feel the Spirit and to be able to find something each day that I can apply in my own life, something that would help me feel closer to Him as I continued throughout my daily activities. I tried to take time following each day's reading to simply sit in the quiet and reflect upon my feelings and what I had just read. Sometimes I prayed again, asking for clarification or expressing my gratitude. Prayer became a partner to the reading and I think that's what made the biggest difference. The scriptures became very personal and most of all I felt I received more personal revelation during this time of study than ever before. Reading the scriptures has truly become key to feeling the hand of the Lord in my life and knowing His will and love for me.
I'm almost sad to have this come to an end and find myself anxious to begin again. I started reading last June because we had challenged the young men and women in the ward to read everyday -- I have to say I believe those that actually took on the opportunity are only a small percentage, but I hope that this reading challenge gave at least one youth similar feelings to mine. In my eyes, it all would have then been a success. I know it was for me!