Last year I had three main goals:
1. To finish reading the Book of Mormon (again)
2. To read 8 novels to my kids
3. To make 10 temple trips
And...drumroll, please...I achieved one of the three!!!
Statistically, I don't think that's really great, but now I can take an opportunity to tell you why I'm not really minding.
First, the Book of Mormon is 531 pages long. So a mere 2 pages a day would have mastered that goal. And, as I recall, I started on page 30. By the end of January 2010 I was 57 pages in. So, um, what happened? Why am I only on page 158?
There are so many twists and turns on this path we call life that it's hard to foresee all of them. Or, really, any of them. And that, my friends, is what happened. There were a few twists and turns in the road of 2010 that I didn't see coming. It would appear that because of the aforementioned events that I gave up and all of my spiritual growth was put on hold for the year.
Not so. In fact, this year I think have grown more spiritually than in any other previous year of my life. Quoting a talk I read recently, I would say, "This time it is as if a veil has been removed from my spiritual mind and I see the same gospel, but in sharper focus, with clearer colors, and with added dimensions of understanding." (Elder F. Enzio Busche, "University for Eternal Life," Ensign, April 1989)
It has been amazing. It has been magnificent and incredibly painful, but, as always, it has been worth it.
In lue of reading the Book of Mormon daily, I substituted General Conference talks. First, I began with Nov 2009 Ensign and cherry picked the talks that I thought I needed. And there was so much in there for me that I started a quote journal. I got a beautiful little notebook and just began to jot down the messages Heavenly Father had for me in it. Then, I got my own copy of the May 2010 Ensign (Wendell and I now have "his" and "hers" copies) and I proceeded to read the entire thing cover to cover. I have never done that before.
That is not to say that I have been oblivious of the great messages from General Conference. I watch all 8 hours that are broadcast over the two days of Conference Weekend. And when I got my Ensign, I would always read the entire priesthood session, since I couldn't watch it. Sometimes I would read a talk here or a talk there, but often as not the Priesthood session was all that I would get done.
I had really overlooked the amazing experience of "feasting" on the words of modern day prophets with up to date revelation for the Lord's people right now. I pray I never do that again, because reading that Conference edition was so enriching. (I even read the YW's section!)
Despite all of the other reading and quote writing, I still read an additional 100 pages of the Book of Mormon. So, I think that is a great accomplishment, even if I didn't meet my goal.
Goal #2 was to read my kids 8 novels last year. In this post you can see that I just stole that as a goal from my friend and I guess I wasn't really committed. I tied my accomplishment of reading them 4 novels the year before and, perhaps, that's enough.
Goal #3 was to attend the temple 10 times. That is a terrible goal. Every year since I've been endowed, I've set a goal to go to the temple 12 times a year. And every year I've fallen short. 2009 was the record worst and I had gone to the temple only 7 times. So, for the first time in 13 years, I lowered my goal, hoping that I could actually achieve it.
And this year I have my personal best record of temple attendance. I found the temple to be an amazing refuge from those twists and the turns of life. It was a place I could ponder, I could pray and my mind would actually be still. I am so glad for every one of the 16 times that I went to the temple this year and hope that I will yet do better next year.
I am still thinking on the goals I need to set for 2011, but I am pleased with the results of 2010.