Our ward Relief Society had a marathon Book of Mormon read two weekends ago, reading the book from start to finish, without reading the chapter headings, and had a certain time frame to complete a certain number of chapters. We met on Thursday night and read for 2 1/2 hours, then on Friday had a homework assigment to read certain chapters that took about an hour, then met Saturday from 7am to 8pm, then on Sunday from 3pm to 9pm then had a homework assignment that again took about an hour, and finally met on Tuesday evening from 6:30 to 8. Some men in the ward came and dressed up like Nephi, Jacob, Enos, King Benjamin, Captain Moroni, Helaman, Mormon, and Moroni. When they weren't reading we went around in a circle and each sister read 4 verses. We would stop periodically for meal breaks, but even while eating we were listening to the CD reading.
At first I wasn't going to participate, I figured that A had to work and I wouldn't be able to do it, with nobody to watch my kids. But eventually I decided to just 'do it'. But still each day for a few hours before it was time to leave I would convince myself that I wasn't going, but that little niggling feeling would get me out the door. And I must say that I don't regret doing it at all. Granted, Saturday was a huge challenge, 13 hours straight of reading, is a very long time, and by the time I went home it was very hard to see straight, literally.
I didn't attend on Sunday because A had to work, and unfortunately missed out on Alma 52-about Mormon chapter 3 or 4, which, sadly is some of the best parts. It was very interesting to read it straight through that way, I really felt the story, the humanness of the people who participated in the book.
Although I wouldn't necessarily categorize it as 'fun', it was definitely worth it.
On Tuesday night our RS. 2nd counselor, who was in charge, asked us to spend a few minutes after we finished the last chapter quietly thinking, then we would have a prayer and then a shout of joy for having finally finished. But when the last words were read and the room was silent, a powerful Spirit filled the space around us and it was very special, a prayer was said, and even after that no one wanted to talk; the 'shout for joy' wasn't needed, peace was enough. When I went to the car to drive home, the radio was on, and I had to turn it off, I didn't want that feeling to leave so soon.
The Book of Mormon is a powerful book. I already knew it was true, but boosts like this make me stop and recognize the Spirit whispering to me of it's truthfulness. To acknowledge to Heavenly Father that, yes, I felt you telling me, and yes, the Book of Mormon is inspired of God, and yes, Jesus is the Christ, and yes, Joseph Smith is a prophet, and yes, the Savior will come again, and so many other 'yeses'
It was hard work, but what a blessing!