Eight-year-old Melissa listened as President Nelson stood at the pulpit during General Conference, “I invite you to read the Book of Mormon, between now and the end of the year. ”
Melissa stared at the new Book of Mormon her grandmother had given her after she had been baptized and confirmed a member of the Church. Melissa loved watching the Animated Book of Mormon videos but she didn’t like to read. She closed her eyes and thought about what Nephi had said, “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded.”
After she got home from church, Melissa sat on her bed and opened The Book of Mormon and started to read. She didn’t know all the words, but she didn’t care, because she was doing what the Lord had commanded.
“What ya doing Squirt?”
Melissa looked up at Josh, her sixteen-year-old brother Spencer’s best friend.
“I’m reading The Book of Mormon, like President Nelson told us to.”
Josh began to laugh.
“He didn’t mean you Squirt. You’re too young!”
“He asked all the women ages eight and up to read The Book of Mormon, and I’m eight.”
“Hey, Spence, there’s something wrong with the Squirt. She thinks she can read The Book of Mormon before the end of the year. Man, I didn’t even read the whole thing last year for seminary.”
Spencer came into the room. He was embarrassed that Josh had caught his little sister acting so goofy.
“Josh’s right Melissa! You’re such a big baby! You won’t even take your turn when we read scriptures as a family! There’s no way you can read The Book of Mormon by yourself! ”
Melissa’s face turned red and she felt like crying. She closed her eyes and silently asked Heavenly Father for courage. Then she remembered, in her Journey to the Promised Land video, Laman and Lemuel had teased Nephi, just like Spencer and Josh were teasing her. Melissa took a deep breath.
“If the Lord can show Nephi how to build a ship, He can help me read The Book of Mormon!”
by Margie Nauta Lee