In 2018, I organized my study by type of content. I categorized each chapter of the Book of Mormon, and I focused on a different type of content each month, such as missionary experiences, wars, or sermons to family members. Here are some of the most important principles I’ve learned this year:
Missionary Experiences (January)
- Effective missionaries teach “according to the word and power of God.” They share not only information (word) but also the Spirit of the Lord (power).
- A missionary feels sorrow when they see people committing sin. Not resentment. Not aversion. Not anger. Just sorrow, because they know that those people will experience pain as a result of their sins.
- More lessons from missionary experiences
- We must be willing to follow promptings from God without seeing the end from the beginning.
- When we reach a significant milestone, we must not stop moving forward until we reach the final goal.
- More lessons from journeys
Visions and Spiritual Experiences (March)
- Desire and belief together can unlock the door to spiritual knowledge.
- Pondering can prepare the way for revelation.
- When we have received revelation, it is wise to pause and ask, “Is there more?“
- More lessons from visions and spiritual experiences
- We should follow Captain Moroni’s example by acting with integrity, being kind and respectful of the people around me, being thankful for the privileges we have been given, and being hard-working and dependable.
- We need to be the master of our passions, not slaves to them.
- It’s important to prepare our minds for challenges we will face in the future.
- More lessons from wars
- Good government depends on the goodness of its citizens.
- We are all enriched by access to a diversity of ideas. We should therefore cultivate an environment of respect for the ideas of others and a willingness to listen to each other.
- More lessons from chapters about government
Sermons to Believers (June)
- One reason God distributes blessings unevenly is so that we will learn to share with each other. Those who have more should not think they are better than those who have less.
- The most important work going on in the world today is the gathering of Israel. Sometimes, God scatters some of his children in order to gather others.
- More lessons from sermons to believers
Sermons to Hostile Audiences (July)
- If we choose not to harden our hearts, we can enter into God’s rest.
- The time to repent is now, before the consequences occur.
- More lessons from sermons to hostile audiences
Sermons to Family Members (August)
- Agency is a way of life, not just a principle of the gospel.
- The scriptures can enlarge our memory and can train us to recognize the voice of the Lord.
- More lessons from sermons to family members
Sermons to Modern Readers (September)
- Jesus Christ not only redeems us from physical and spiritual death, but can also help us mature into the kind of people who don’t want to commit sins any more.
- God provides us with both a “sail” (direction) and an “anchor” (a foundation of true principles).
- More lessons from sermons to modern readers
Nephi’s Sermon on the Words of Isaiah (October)
- Faith in God can help us avoid being paralyzed by the challenging experiences we face.
- There is power in accurately and reverently using the name of Jesus Christ.
- It’s important to value things appropriately and to to recognize and cultivate things with significant intrinsic value. We need to be careful not to waste time and energy on things that don’t really matter in the end.
- More lessons from Nephi’s sermon on the words of Isaiah
Establishing the Church (November)
- The church helps us to stay true to our baptismal covenants by recording our names, by providing the sacrament each week to help us remember, and by giving us leaders—priests and teachers—who prick our hearts and who stir us up in remembrance of our duty.
- The Savior taught His disciples that the church should be called in His name because its members have taken upon themselves His name.
- We fulfill our assignments in the church according to the “gifts and callings” which God has given to each of us personally.
- More lessons from chapters about establishing the church
The Savior’s Visit to the American Continent (December)
- The Atonement of Jesus Christ covers us and heals us, which is why we say He is risen “with healing in His wings.”
- The work needed to impress others is less than the work required for true discipleship.
- Ministering is service which is aware of and customized to the needs of the recipient.
- More lessons from the Savior’s visit to the American continent
Happy New Year!