2020 has been a remarkable year! I know it’s been difficult for many and tragic for some. We have all had to make some adjustments and have endured some unexpected challenges. But we have received amazing blessings along the way. I think Nephi’s words in the first verse of the Book of Mormon are applicable to us: “Having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days” (1 Nephi 1:1, italics added).
In prior years, I have studied the Book of Mormon sequentially (2015), by topic (2016), by author (2017), by type of content (2018), and by asking questions (2019). This year, I organized my study around the Come, Follow Me curriculum followed by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It has been a fantastic experience, and multiple readers have told me that the blog has supported and enriched their Come, Follow Me study.
Because this approach has worked so well, I have decided to follow the Come, Follow Me lesson schedule again in 2021. The course of study this year will be the Doctrine and Covenants, a collection of revelations and other documents associated with the organization of the restored Church of Jesus Christ. Each week, I will write a blog post identifying key themes from that week’s Come, Follow Me reading assignment, with cross-references to relevant Book of Mormon passages. The other six posts that week will all focus on those key themes.
President Ezra Taft Benson provided the following guidance regarding our scripture study:
At present, the Book of Mormon is studied in our Sunday School and seminary classes every fourth year. This four-year pattern, however, must not be followed by Church members in their personal and family study. We need to read daily from the pages of the book that will get a man “nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” (History of the Church, 4:461.)“Flooding the Earth with the Book of Mormon,” General Conference, October 1988
For members of the Church, it is my hope that this approach will help you connect your continued study of the Book of Mormon with your Come, Follow Me study in 2021. For readers of other faiths, I hope you benefit from seeing Book of Mormon principles applied to the challenges of our time.
I wish you all a peaceful and happy end of the year. Merry Christmas, and may the Spirit of Christ fill your homes and your lives with peace and with joy!