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Of Good Report: Getting the “Big Picture” of the Book of Mormon

TitleOf Good Report: Getting the “Big Picture” of the Book of Mormon
Publication TypeMagazine Article
Year of Publication1993
Corporate AuthorsEnsign Staff
Issue Number6
Date PublishedJune 1993
KeywordsScripture Study

A report of the benefits of Book of Mormon “marathons” where participants read the entire book in one sitting.


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Of Good Report

Getting the “Big Picture” of the Book of Mormon

Our idea for a family-and-friends Book of Mormon marathon, in which participants would read the book from cover to cover in one sitting, began with our daughter Rebecca while she was preparing to serve a mission.

In the fall of 1990, Rebecca read Parley P. Pratt’s conversion story. Brother Pratt related that when he first picked up the Book of Mormon, he could not put it down until he had finished it. So when Rebecca (who has since served in the Texas Fort Worth Mission) decided to read the Book of Mormon in the same manner, she invited family members and friends to share in the activity.

The day after Thanksgiving, the marathon started at 7:00 A.M. Using cassette tapes of the Book of Mormon played at faster-than-normal speed, the participants paced their reading and finished at 11:00 P.M.

While recognizing that a reading marathon cannot replace pondering and studying the scriptures, those who participated enjoyed the Spirit the activity brought into their lives. They told others about the Book of Mormon marathon. Before the end of the year, two other families in the stake held scripture-reading marathons.

Claudia Frappier and her son Mike, who were not members of the Church, took part in one of those marathons at the home of Eileen Lawler of the Agoura Second Ward, Newbury Park California Stake. Afterward, Claudia and Mike took the missionary discussions and joined the Church.

Sister Lawler later received a mission call to the Tennessee Nashville Mission and shared her experience with members there; they planned their own Book of Mormon marathon.

Many who took part in the first Book of Mormon marathon also participated a second time. Nine-year-old Thomas Liddell from the Agoura Second Ward said he had fun in the activity and “learned what the Book of Mormon is about. I learned something about the prophets. My favorite is Nephi because he was so spiritual. He tried very hard to teach his family the things he had learned from the visions that Heavenly Father gave him.”

Marvin Merrill of the Newbury Park Second Ward said he was able to see the “big picture of the Book of Mormon,” and he also received a clear impression of the emphasis Book of Mormon authors placed on its predominant theme—a testimony of the Savior.

Kim Barrus and his wife, Beth, also of the Agoura Second Ward, read in both marathons. Besides loving the spirit of the occasion, they used the opportunity to mark scriptures they later wanted to study in more depth.

High school freshmen Adam Ellsworth and Tammy Barrus cleaned out their seminary teacher’s candy jar when they each reported their second time through the Book of Mormon. Sister Peggy Helfman had been rewarding members of the class with a piece of candy for each chapter they read in the Book of Mormon.