Written March 1st, 2017
This post will be fairly short and sweet since it has been almost two months since my last post. Today is March 1st which for many means the beginning of basketball March Madness. For me, it means something else. Today marks the beginning of Seminary March Madness which is a reading challenge through the LDS Seminary to read the whole Book of Mormon in 31 days. March Madness (through seminary) is one of my favorite times of the year. I have participated in March Madness since I was in eighth grade, when my friends were mostly in high school--all in seminary while I was still too young.
I had never been able to finish the Book of Mormon. Like many others, I had 1 Nephi chapter 1 verse 1 nearly memorized through constant re-visitation--trying once more to maybe get farther than Mosiah or Alma. I was more excited than I had ever been about reading a book, although I was worried how I would be perceived by my peers as I carried a copy of the Book of Mormon around with me. In my English class we had to read for 10 minutes at the beginning of each class and then write about what we read. This was the perfect opportunity for me to keep up with my reading. By the end of the month I was exactly where I needed to be in order to finish on the 31st: I finished on the 30th. From that day I made a goal: every year I was going to finish a day sooner than the previous year.
In ninth grade I finished the 28th. In tenth I was done by the 23rd or 24th. Today is the beginning of a new bout of March Madness and I'm ready. This year I am going to try to finish within two or three weeks. The past few years in my ward I have become known as the one to "beat." The challenge some of the adults have taken beyond just finishing within the month is to finish before me. I love this not because of any attention that comes to me, but because it creates a unity as we all try to finish this amazing book together with a similar goal in mind.