I have always loved to read. As a kid, I would read any chance I had. It didn’t matter whether it was a book, magazine or cereal box. But the first time I became truly engaged in a book was in the 4th grade. Because I have always loved science, I would go to the school library each week and grab a book about space or insects. But at one point I found a book called “A Vanishing Thunder.”
The book details the decline and extinction of several species of birds in the United States. I couldn’t stop reading, and for the first time I took notes on what I was reading. I wanted to remember the information I was reading. I checked out the same book every week for months and read it probably a dozen times. For years I kept the small white notebook pages covered in my scrawled notes.
I recently read the book again. Every page brought back memories of those wonderful moments in 4th grade.
I recently read the Book of Mormon again and it brought back memories of when I read it in high school. I had read the Book of Mormon before, but during my sophomore year in high school my seminary teacher, Brother Allison, invited us to not just read it, but read it. Instead of looking at it as just another chore to do each day, I started to become truly engaged in it. It didn’t happen right away, but at some point things fell into place and I realized that these were the histories of actual people. I cried with Alma and Amulek as they watched the martyrs burn and I felt Moroni’s loneliness as he walked alone.
One of the great things about the scriptures is that by reading them we don’t just learn of the stories of those who went before, but we form our own stories as we allow the truths of the Gospel to resonate within us.