That all being the case, I wanted to talk about the role the Book of Mormon has played in our lives. I mentioned a few days ago that when we were little, we were terrified of everything. The worst was in the autumn, when the clouds would go all cumulus. We were sure that every single one of those cumulus clouds--most of which were not, in fact, cumulonimbus--was going to bring a terrible thunderstorm that was going to destroy everything. In fact, I don't know if this was true at the time, but since then for sure I have had dreams that involve the world getting destroyed, and most of them have skies with cumulus clouds in them. (I doubt they're prophetic or anything, because they're different every time. They're probably just stress dreams.)
Anyway, the cumulus clouds were seasonal, so they lasted a long time, which might be part of why we're not really "outdoor" people...although we did have an "outdoor" phase, so maybe that's not true. But the point is, we spent a lot of days being scared of the end of the world. Or at least some kind of divine punishment.
Eventually, all the Primary lessons about the importance of reading the scriptures sunk in. It probably helped that we got our own triple combinations (triple combination: a book of scripture containing the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine & Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price). And I have vague memories of thinking that those cumulus clouds might be a warning for me: read the scriptures or else. (I want to point out that this thought process was most likely a result of my own paranoia and not based on anything anybody told me. Like I said: we were scared of everything.) At any rate, we were always the rule-abiding types because we hated getting in trouble. And here was this thing in-charge types kept saying we should do that we weren't doing. So now that we had our own scriptures (with our names engraved on them and everything!), we decided it was about time we started reading them. I think we were in third or fourth grade at the time.
Athena's story is a lot less doom and gloom than mine--she remembers reading the first chapter in the Book of Mormon and liking it so much that she read the next one, too. Then she got tired of reading, so she stopped. (We still get tired of reading.)
Anyway, since we've been reading the Book of Mormon, we've been a lot less scared of everything. I can't say for sure that the Book of Mormon is why we're not scared anymore; maybe we just grew up. But I think it played a part. At any rate, there's a lot of cool stuff in there, and I think it probably explains the Atonement better than anything out there...except maybe The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, but that one's an allegory, so it's not quite as plain about it. We've both read the Book of Mormon several times since then, and we've learned a lot from it. I know it's true, because when I apply what it says, it works.
If anybody's interested in checking it out, you can find the whole thing online here. The book starts with 1 Nephi, but the title page, introduction, and explanation thingie are worth reading, too.
Today I'm thankful for finally having a copy of this issue of the Ensign (people've been telling us to get one for weeks!), the Book of Mormon, not being terrified of everything anymore, Bishop passing out candy, and the bishop's wife sharing her chocolate.