I had to speak in church yesterday, and while I was preparing my remarks on Saturday, I realized I had left something huge off of my 'Best of 2008' list. A couple of you have probably been shaking your heads in puzzlement over this fact. I'm going to fix my post in just a minute, but I'll tell you about it in a little bit of detail here as well.
Last January, I joined Pezmama's online challenge to read The Bible in 90 days. I read every word from Genesis to Revelation, and on March 30th, I was feeling pretty good to be one of seven of the original 30 who actually finished. The weekly check-ins, daily page count guides, and periodical posts of progress and insight by group members were all huge helps. I read the King James Version, but other group members used other translations, which added interest and variety to our online discussions.
Not wanting to lose momentum, I decided to read the rest of my church's Standard Works of scripture in the next 90 days: The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price. A couple of good friends partnered up with me for this second challenge, and with their support, on June 30th I found myself reading the last verse of The Articles of Faith with a huge sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
That happy feeling of realizing a goal was second to the joy in the journey, however. Reading at such a fast pace did not lend itself to in-depth study, but I did see things I'd never seen so clearly before: overarching patterns, recurring themes, and how prophets have echoed and underscored one another through the ages. I got a keener sense of the symmetry and beauty of God's plan, and I think I had heightened abilities to deal with the many challenges of last May as a result.
How would I rank this accomplishment? It's definitely in the Top Five; it may even rank right under my #1. Would I do it again? Definitely; I highly recommend it. I'm enjoying the topic study I'm doing at the moment, but someday soon the mood may well strike me to gear up for another sprintathon through holy writ.