Of the many family home videos on the shelf back home, only one of them is in VHS form: “Katie’s First Christmas.” While two of the scenes captured therein include my role as the baby Jesus in our family’s Nativity Scene and Mom showing off Christmas presents to camera-wielding Dad, my favorite event to watch is unrelated to the holiday. It involves my eleven-month-old self bringing a book to my mother. I hand it to her and let her place me on her lap with the casual air of routine. She reads it—“The Going to Bed Book”—aloud, and lets me turn the pages.
Reading is, then, one of my most longstanding habits (although “addiction” might be more apt word in this case). Consistent reading increased my vocabulary, communication skills, and pleasure; I was hooked. By middle school, it got to the point where I couldn't eat without reading simultaneously, even if it was just the back of the cereal box.
Middle school was also the point when I made one of my most sacred and influential vows to myself: that I would never again let a day go by without studying God’s word. I’d had much experience with the scriptures before, but my consistency with (and thus yield from) them had fluctuated. I knew, due in part to the benefits of my secular reading, the power of habit.
Thus far, I have kept my vow, and intend to for the rest of my life. The expected—indeed, promised—blessings of increased knowledge, wisdom, moral strength, and influence of the Holy Ghost have been mine. As much joy as nearly any piece of literature brings me, the word of God brings the most. And that, my friends, is saying something.