You know this Book of Mormon reading challenge I mentioned back HERE?

It was to read the that book by Christmas…or maybe it was the new year, I can’t remember.  I can’t remember because I gave myself a little cushion room (gave myself until my bday next week to get it done taking into account all that wedding mumbo jumbo).  We read a bunch as planned as a family, but I mostly listened to it.  Huge chunks whenever I could fit it in.

And I loved it.

That listening wasn’t the most powerful thing sometimes…especially during all the war chapters I got a little distracted listening at 2X speed  the Book of Mormon.  But I loved going through it all so quickly, helped engrain it into my heart better somehow.

And I finished last week while we were up in Provo rooting on the BYU volleyball team.

Woo Hoo!  It made me so happy.  That last chapter in Moroni is so so good.

One of the things I loved about reading that book this time around was the email chain my mom started for anyone in our family who wanted to be in on the challenge.  I got so many cool insights from my sisters and mother…and was inspired by all the nieces reading along with us as well.

One of the things I was most touched by this time around was the word “astonishment.”  It is mentioned many times in the scriptures, both the Bible and the Book of Mormon, but this is what I wrote to my Mom and Sisters about that word this time around:  “it really hit me in 3 Nephi 2 when it talks about how the people began to be “less and less astonished at a sign or wonder from heaven…insomuch that they began to be hard in their hearts, and blind in their minds.”  I love that word: astonished.  I love when I feel astonished.  At the beauty of the earth, at the generosity of people around me, at the amazing blessings the gospel gives me and compels me to reach deeper and reach up and reach out building new capacities.  Trying to be more astonished every day.  I think it all equals back to deep gratitude.”

Since then I have loved trying to be aware of the astonishment that seeps it’s way into my life.  There are lots of things I take for granted in life.  I forget to be astonished that I have a body that works and walks and talks until I get an achy back, or I forget to be astonished and send up gratitude to Heaven for the little things my kids are doing pretty darn great at as I spend my time wringing my hands about the things I worry about for them.

So, I’m working more astonishment into each day.  And right now, today, I’m filled with astonishment about that great book I get to read over and over again.  AND for the new “Come Follow Me” program that’s been implemented through the church this year as we study the New Testament this year.  Already so many great insights into Christ’s early life to be astonished about.  We are incorporating that study into our devotionals in the mornings, and I love having some family time to study on Sundays since church is only two hours now.

I’d love to hear how others are working in this new Come Follow Me program.  Hope we can start a discussion about that here on the blog at some point…send me any great ideas for family study if you have them!  I’d also love to hear what things are astonishing to blog readers out there.  So much in life to be astonished about that help our hearts stay soft and our spirits open to new thoughts and insight.

Happy weekend!  I’m astonished that it’s already the weekend!  That week passed by in a blink!


  1. I am loving Come Follow Me. I have 4 young kids. And I purchased the subscription to the Red Headed Hostesses to get her printables and activities. I keep the manual and the scriptures on my kitchen counter so I can read the lessons myself. We do one activity during the week during family night to introduce Sundays lesson then follow up with another activity to wrap it up on Sunday after church. They aren't long. But we loved reading in journals about their baby blessings after learning about Zacharias and Elisabeth and John. And last night we did our annual measurements on the wall and talked about Christ growing up.

  2. We do a lesson on Sunday and then each night of the week is assigned to a family member and they have to share a thought or action or something that goes with what we learned. This week we made goals on how to be about our Father's business. Each person shared at their dinner night how it's going. I love that the directions say to use it in any way that it is helpful to you. So much freedom in personal revelation to know what to do. And now I'm going to have to go back and look at the times it mentions astonished. Thanks!

  3. I have two kids ages 7 and 18 months. I have been astonished at the insights of my 7 year old. Our lessons have been very simple just reading and asking the questions in the manual, but what has made it more special was the inspiration I had to get each family member a special journal just for our study of the gospel, especially Come Follow Me. It has been wonderful for our little family to write our thoughts down and then be able to sharw them if we would like.

  4. Three of my four children are away at college, but we wanted to include them/encourage them/set an example for them. So we picked a time that everyone agreed upon (5:00 p.m.) and then we all join in as a family over skype to do our Come Follow Me together. I told my kids, "always invited, but never obligated" to participate. So far, so good…. Also, my mom is a widow and wants to be a part of a group/family discussion, so she skypes in, as well. I love how technology is keeping our family together!

  5. I've been loving Come Follow Me! We've been using it in our regular nightly scripture study. My kids are 12, 9, 7, and 4. I love the family section where it's broken into chunks of 15-20 verses, which is perfect for us! We read the verses and have a short discussion. During our Family Church time (the extra hour on Sundays), we decided to work on family history. Thus far we've just been showing our kids pictures of their great-grandparents and telling stories. We will move on to finding baptism names for our relatively new 12 year old to take to the temple.

  6. I love this thought about being astonished or the lack of astonishment. If we could see all of the miracles around us AS miracles instead of just our average daily lives, our hearts would change. Thank you!!!

  7. A great resource that our family has been following along with is the "Don't Miss This" videos on YouTube. There is a newsletter, study guide, and video that are put together and coincide with each week's Come Follow Me scripture study. In the videos, Emily Freeman (LDS author) and David Butler (LDS author and Seminary teacher) share what they have been finding in their reading for the week. They also give ideas for teaching younger kids as well as older kids. We have found them to be very helpful and have already learned somethings we've never heard before.

    We have a 19 yr old left at home that we counseled with about how we wanted to participate in Come Follow Me. We decided to read the scriptures on our own during the week and then on Sunday, we watch Emily and Dave's video on YouTube and have a discussion about what stood out to us this week or what we loved or what doctrine was taught or what was insightful in our Sunday classes.
    Everyone wanted to keep it simple without a lot of additional prep work…planning a formal lesson, meeting up every night for additional discussions, etc.. This has worked for our family and we're staying consistent and loving the additional insight we're finding. We've also bought a NT study guide to supplement our reading as needed. We've also searched out additional information (BYU NT commentary, conference talks, etc..) to learn more about symbolism that was new to us or to clarify what we are learning. One thing I know for sure is I feel the spirit each Sunday as we gather round and discuss or learn together.

  8. I follow the Come Follow Me for FHE blog/instagram and her email list. She sends out a FHE lesson and 6 additional activities. We do the lesson for FHE and then do a bunch of the extra activities throughout the week. This lady is a kindergarten teacher so it’s geared more towards elementary age kids, not teens.. but thought it could be useful for some of your followers!

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