The President Hinckley Challenge

Gordon B. HinckleyIt’s been a week now since President Gordon B. Hinckley passed away. I wasn’t able to attend his funeral yesterday because of a weekend class I’m taking, but I’ve been reading posts about it on blogs. I wish I could have seen it. I’ve been touched over the last week as I’ve read the reminisces, testimonies, and tributes. President Hinckley was a deeply good and influential man. And though I was in high school when he became Church president, I rarely paid attention to Church or spiritual things before my freshman year of college and succeeding mission, so President Hinckley is about all I remember. He has been president of the Church all of my adult spiritually-conscious life.

I wanted mention two things here: First, I’d like to bring together links to some of the various tributes to President Hinckley scattered through the mo’sphere (if I’ve missed any, please let me know).

Second: The Hinckley Challenge. I encourage those of you who would like, to participate. Along with the many tributes that have taken place over the last week, like the LDS teens who—in honor of President Hinckley—wore their Sunday best to school this last Monday, I just learned of a Book of Mormon challenge. I’m in. From the website:

The challenge begins in 1 day!

President Hinckley often stressed our making the Book of Mormon part of our lives. He was 97 when he passed away, and we would like to celebrate his life and teachings by reading the Book of Mormon in 97 days.

President Gordon B. Hinckley on the Book of Mormon:

“I take in my hand the Book of Mormon. I read its words. I have read Joseph Smith’s explanation of how it came to be. To the unbelieving it is a story difficult to accept, and critics for generations have worn out their lives writing books intended to refute that story and to offer other explanations than the one given by Joseph the Prophet. But to the open-minded, this critical writing has only stimulated them to dig deeper; and the more deeply they dig, the greater the accumulation of evidence for the validity of Joseph Smith’s story. Still, as has been demonstrated for a hundred and fifty years, the truth of the Book of Mormon will not be determined by literary analysis or by scientific research, although these continue to be reassuring. The truth about the origins of the Book of Mormon will be determined today and tomorrow, as it has been throughout the yesterdays, by reading the book in a spirit of reverence and respect and prayer” (“Praise to the Man,” Ensign, Aug. 1983, 4).


About Ty Ray

Ty Mansfield is a practicing marriage and family therapist and currently lives with his wife and son in Texas doing doctoral work in family therapy. He enjoys playing racquetball, participating in triathlons, eating Thai food, and thinks that the greatest technological advancement of the 21st century was the invention of the iPhone (he might even be a little obsessed with it). Ty is a co-author with Fred and Marilyn Matis of In Quiet Desperation and later compiled an anthology of devotional articles by gospel scholars and personal essays by individuals who experience same-sex attraction, title Voices of Hope. More recently, he and his wife, Danielle, wrote a cover story for the May/June 2012 issue of LDS Living magazine. Some of the topics currently on Ty's mind (and which will likely be the topic of his posts) include same-sex emotional intimacy and friendship, intersections of Eastern thought and sexuality, and the dynamics of marriage when one partner experiences same-sex attraction.
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7 Responses to The President Hinckley Challenge

  1. Pingback: The President Hinckley Challenge | Angels

  2. avatar Craig says:

    I just get the feeling that speed reading the Book of Mormon in 97 days is kind of a empty tribute. Isn’t the point of reading scripture to receive revelation and ponder about it? I don’t think it matters if it takes 10 years to get through it as long as it’s done in such a manner. It seems to me that there are better ways to honour his memory, ways that would be more productive and have a greater impact than simply speeding through the Book of Mormon in 97 days.

  3. avatar Ty says:

    Craig, people make goals to read the Book of Mormon in two days or thirty days all the time. To do so, and to gain something from it in the process, in 97 days, is not an empty tribute. There are lots of ways to read the Book of Mormon meaningfully—including the manner you’ve suggested. If you don’t want to do the challenge, don’t do it.

  4. avatar RealNeal says:

    I think reading the BOM is a great tribute. I also think planting a tree is a great tribute. I asked members of my Forum to plant a tree in Pres. Hinckley’s honor. He loved trees.


  5. avatar ashli says:

    Craig…This is my second reading of the Book of Mormon. I only became a member of the Church 19 months ago. During my first read, I marked scriptures that were important to me then, and now I am taking this challenge and marking any new scriptures that are important to me now with a different color. You take what you are “prompted” out of each reading. We read through it the first time in less than two months and I took alot out of it. “Speeding” through the Book of Mormon still invites the Spirit into your home and life and it has had a GREAT impact on my life and I am very excited to do it again!

  6. avatar Marian says:

    Craig& All,

    The tribute is based on President Hinckley’s challenge for us to read the Book of Mormon at the end of 2005. If you calculate it it was almost the same 97 days, thus a VERY fitting tribute.

    Furthermore there is something to be gained from both the fast read and the slow read, and completely different things. Pondering can be done after each. One you’re pondering overall picture one you ponder a single doctrine, both can teach you amazing things!

    I thank the person who came up with the idea and challenge you to participate.


  7. avatar Lori says:

    Hey, if it gets me back to reading the scriptures like I should be doing, then it is moving me in a positive direction. The number of days doesn’t matter, but when I think about his age being 97 and me reading the book in 97 days, it reminds me that I have been the recipient of his wisdom and reminds me of his great example, his courage and testimony.. The Challenge itself motivates me to pick up my sticks once again and get to it!

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