The Book of Mormon is this fantastic volume of text, which inflates my soul EVERY SINGLE TIME I pick it back up and read it.
Did you know Joseph Smith translated it in 65 days (with the help of a couple of scribes)? 65 days…that whole entire book. I can hardly read it in 65 days.
But they didn’t have a keyboard to type it out. They wrote it by hand with a fountain pen. Have you ever written with a fountain pen? You have to stop and refill it about every single short sentence. They had one at the Church History Museum and I got to try it out.
So eight big long pages a day with a fountain pen, hardly stopping for 65 days. I saw the original manuscripts too…almost zero editing. Just came straight out of Joesph’s mouth to his scribes with no back tracking, no re-writing. There were only Joseph Smith, a chair, a table & a seer stone.** And once Joseph read what was on the seer stone out loud, the scribe wrote it and they were done the first time through.
By the way, people make so much commotion about Joseph and his seer stone, as if it is too bizarre or something. Yet seer stones are mentioned several times in the Bible and the ancient elders of Israel would carry them around in pockets on their robes. (Thank you BYU Education week.) They were a known thing back in ancient days. We don’t have any modern examples of seer stones, so learning Joseph Smith used one seems like an outlier. Now I’ve learned seer stones are a repeated instrument and not unusual in God’s kingdom.
I want one!
The end result? Now we have the book at our fingertips (literally). In fact you can download it on your phone as an app. LDS Mobile Apps
For me, the Book of Mormon is an anchor for direction, understanding, peace, confidence, and a sense of well-being. It teaches me about a Savior who is alive, active and who cares about me. I’ve come to know several larger-than-life souls and their amazing stories through the Book of Mormon. Their courage is contagious. They give me something to aspire to and reach for.
As I start the Book of Mormon for school this semester (BYU-Idaho Pathways). I hope to re-kindle some of my favorite inspirational experiences from past years as well as collect new ones.
Once again, I am in awe of all Joseph Smith accomplished, and how much this man set into motion despite tremendous suffering. It also made me reflect on my own hardships and not to view them as some disfavor or a witness to my inferior worth. If someone as magnanimous as Joseph could wade through that much difficulty, I can borrow some of that fortitude as well.
My plan is to read half of the Book of Mormon over the next 3 months for class. I’ll post on it once in a while. Perhaps read it with me?
**Joseph Smith didn’t really like the Urim & Thummin apparently, because it was an awkward fit.