Book of Mormon Reading Goal

President Hinckley has challenged members of the church to read the Book of Mormon completely by the end of the year. I’ve created this spreadsheet to track my progress.

BOM Reading Goal

Basically, I’ve listed each chapter in the Book of Mormon and how many verses are in it. To the left I’ve listed how many of those verses I have read. Below each chapter is a summary of how many chapters I have left to read, the date I want to read them all, how many days I have left to do so, How many chapters I have to read each day, and finally, how far behind (or ahead) of my goal I am to read two chapters per day.

If you want to use this spreadsheet for yourself, feel free to download it here.

Graven Images

Today, I was reading in Mosiah 12, where Abinadi is condemning King Noah’s wicked priests. He mentions a doctrine from the law of Moses:

35 Thou shalt have no other God before me.
36 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing in heaven above, or things which are in the earth beneath.

I wondered, “No likeness of any thing in heaven?” Does that mean we can’t draw pictures of angels or God? If that’s the case, then we can’t draw pictures of anything because it also condemns likenesses of things in the earth beneath. Of course, it’s okay to create the likenesses, statues, artwork, etc. What is being condemned here is the worship of those images. In Exodus 20:4-5 it makes the same point.
In fact, for the Temple, the ancient saints were commanded to make likenesses of things in heaven:
Exodus 37:7-8:

7 And he made two cherubims of gold, beaten out of one piece made he them, on the two ends of the mercy seat.
8 One cherub on the end on this side, and another cherub on the other end on that side: out of the mercy seat made he the cherubims on the two ends thereof.

Faith of a Child / Childlike Faith

[The following is the talk I gave in church yesterday]

As far as
the gospel is concerned, faith is a very broad subject. There have been many
talks given on the subject of faith. Faith has always been one of my favorite
and most intriguing topics because, without faith, we can do nothing [D&C 8:10],
and without faith we cannot please God [Heb 11:6], and without faith there
cannot be any hope [Moroni 7:42].

According to the prophet Joseph Smith, “Faith is … the
moving cause of all action in … intelligent beings.” In other words, we would
not do anything in life if we did not have faith that it would lead to some sort
of desired outcome. Think about it. Would you drive through green light if you
did not have faith that the lights for cars moving in the opposite direction
were red, and that cars moving in that direction would stop for the red light?
On a more spiritual level, would you read your scriptures if you did not have
faith that doing so would lead you to greater spiritually? Would you pray if you
did not believe there was a God, and that He was listening? That may be a loaded
question, because there may be many instances in which we pray without faith.

Continue reading Faith of a Child / Childlike Faith