It's really great to see our family start reading The Book of Mormon again. The first time we read it as a family we read only a verse or two at a time and then explained each part at the children's level of understanding and within their attention span. It took 8-10 years. The next time we read it all in about 2 1/2 years. We finished in time to read it with our new ward in Kent, WA where there was a tradition of reading through it in one month's time every August.
We were only able to read it in a month by reading it out loud about 8-10 pages every morning and night . . . Good thing my husband was out of work at the time, it took about an hour for each reading. By the next August we had read The Book of Mormon again and yet the ward decided to read the New Testament in a month. We did this, but the results didn't yield quite the same feeling. We read it once again, this time we tried reading parts of it in Spanish on Saturdays. If you do this, and are not very accurate in your pronunciation of the Spanish language, as we are not, I suggest you use the CD's. This helped tremendously. We stayed in the Kent ward one more year and read it again with them in a month . . . the great feelings associated in reading The Book of Mormon all the way through in such a short period of time returned.
The following year we read The Book of Mormon 'backwards' starting with the last book, Moroni, reading it from start to finish, then moving onto the next to the last book, Ether, etc. This was a nice twist, kind of like the joke about playing country music backwards, everybody came and went and instead of ending with blood and carnage and only one faithful saint left alive - there was this little family of faithful members Lehi and his wife Sariah, and their faithful kids Nephi, Jacob, Joseph, and their friend, Zoram. Sobering to think that we have a little family of faithful followers right now - yet what will our posterity be like if we don't pass along a burning testimony of the gospel to future generations. We ended this version the summer that Gordon B. Hinckley asked us to read The Book of Mormon by Christmas. To our delight, our new ward (Provo, UT) also reads The Book of Mormon annually. The Relief Society does it every year ending with a Christmas brunch and testimony meeting (for everyone in the ward who reads it), which was great to attend as a family. The youth in this ward also have a Book of Mormon marathon where they read it/hear it during a 24 hours YM/YW overnight activity. This being our first year they asked us to participate and so I did what I do best, theatre. At their request, we enacted two parts of The Book of Mormon (Abinadi in King Noah's Court) and (Jesus Christ's visit to the Americas) while it was being read out of the scriptures.
This last year we have also picked up The Book of Mormon in German, Das Buch Mormon. If you've ever seen "Other Side of Heaven" or read the great stories of early church missionaries' experiences with the gift of tongues, it really does work. As an additional treat we went on a once in a life time journey to Germany (Patrick lived there twice during his youth). It was a great opportunity to put our new knowledge into practice.
So now we are reading and blogging, another goal that we've always wanted to do with our kids. . . this being the last year we are all together. (Next year our eldest of two, is planning to move out of the home headed for college life and start her own traditions with reading The Book of Mormon.) I hope this year's blogging gives her a cumulative and tangible record of our family's testimony of The Book of Mormon.