Monday, March 1, 2010

Scriptures from the heart

Walking down the hall at Church yesterday I noticed a brown, leather-bound Book of Mormon lying facedown on a shelf. Immediately I stopped my trek, took a step back to view the face-down book and said out loud, “that looks like my old Book of Mormon.”

By old, I mean really old…the one I took on my mission 27 years ago.

I picked up the book, turned it over and, sure enough, there was my missionary name embossed on the cover: Terri L. Christensen. (See photo in blog.)

Now this isn’t a story about an amazing discovery of a favorite set of scriptures that had been lost for decades miraculously showing up on a shelf in a church building several moves and years later (although I know that has happened to people).

Nope. My missionary scriptures had not been lost and sought for years. In fact, I didn’t even know they were at church. I thought they were safely at home, sitting in my office.

Nonetheless, as I lifted that very special book and saw my name on the cover I felt chills envelope me and tears come to my eyes. Why?

Because the amazing part of the story is this: I knew my scriptures. Walking by that shelf, seeing only the back cover of an old Book of Mormon, I instantly recognized it as the back cover of my Book of Mormon. I knew every mark, every flaw, every scuff and faded rub on that book; and when I saw only the back cover on a shelf (while focused on keeping track of my youngest child), I instantly stopped in recognition. I could not walk by it with out retrieving my scriptures and taking the book home with me, where it belongs.

Even though that old missionary Book of Mormon has been 'released' from daily service for years, and I use a different set of well-worn scriptures, that precious book was still part of my heart and I knew it in a heartbeat.

Brothers and Sisters, do you know your scriptures so well that they call to you from a passing shelf? Can you identify them because they have well-worn pages and you have placed every sign of wear on them, or do you have to check the name on the cover?

If you have to check the name on the cover I suggest you open those sacred books even more until your name and your heart are engraved on the inside and on every one of those pages. Then you will come to understand the sacred union, and joy, I felt yesterday as I lifted my old scriptures from a shelf.



  1. Interestingly, I have a Bible that was mine when I was a boy. I was raised in a very devout family, but not LDS, and that Bible is well worn. I keep it at school on my desk. I can find Bible verses in that thing faster than I can in my four-in-one, even though I have certainly dogeared my LDS set.

  2. I have a similar set of scriptures from my mission that I keep at home, in my shelf and read only at home. My wife (who is not a member) wonders why I don't just use those for church when I teach a lesson—i recently bought a new set.

    But my mission scriptures are torn, worn down and scuffed throughout, I too know them if I saw only the backside from afar. I totally understand the feeling and I am happy that your mission scriptures are having a second homecoming.