Stories of Faith | Ben + Chelsea Prince
For today's Faith Feature it’s an honor to introduce Ben and Chelsea Prince. These two special guest-posters had what they thought was a small and simple idea, that is now blessing tens of thousands to read the scriptures (while in the middle of medical school no less!). Because of their work, over 40,000 people around the world are now reading together in a most unconventional way…through Instagram and Facebook. I am loving reading along with the Prince’s and thousands of others, and would love you to join us in the conversation at www.instagram.com/bofm365 or www.facebook.com/bofm365. Thank you, Princes, for inspiring us and so many others with your love for the scriptures!
Missionary work has always been something that Chelsea and I have loved being involved with since we both went on missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. With the overwhelming amount of time medical school requires, it has been unfortunately rare that we have had time together as a family, let alone time individually to dedicate to missionary work and effective scripture studying. About a month ago, my wife and I had just laid down to go to bed which is usually the 45 seconds before I start snoring and I am not thinking about medicine. I really felt that for the New Year, we needed to dedicate ourselves more to reading the scriptures. The idea came to mind to use Instagram as a daily reminder to keep us accountable in reading The Book of Mormon (a book of scripture in our faith) every day. Talking with my wife, I thought that we could post the scriptures on Instagram to read for the day, and then after we each finished reading we could “like” the picture. The idea grew from there, and we started to get excited thinking that maybe family and friends would want to participate too. We laugh about it now, but my wife thought it would be great if we could somehow reach 200 people to participate with us. We never would have imagined that our idea would reach nearly 40,000 individuals all around the world!
Since the year has started the response has been unbelievable. One person commented that they love being a part of the largest book club that is reading the greatest book ever written! As well as following along in the reading, people share comments and insights to what they have been reading that others, including myself, had never considered. It is inspiring to see followers share personal experiences and ways that they have felt God’s love through reading the scriptures, as well as challenge and motivate their friends (some of which they have never met!). My wife and I have been in an incredible position to see “behind the scenes” as people have sent us messages sharing that they have been motivated to read the Book of Mormon for the first time in 30 years, or that they have used this tool to read together as a family.
Four days into the challenge now we are reading about the sacrifices that a prophet of God, Lehi, and his family made to preserve their history and scriptures. It has made me reflect on how grateful I am that we have scriptures and that today they are more easily accessible than ever before. It’s amazing that sharing the scriptures is even happening through social media, which has the power to spread so quickly.
For me personally, reading the scriptures this year has already strengthened my knowledge of and belief in Jesus Christ. The teachings of Jesus Christ as found in the scriptures are powerful and life changing, as well as helpful and applicable on an everyday basis. The Book of Mormon has changed my life, and my family's life, for the better.
We hope that this challenge will help others to read the scriptures daily, as well as enable them to learn from others about what they are reading. We ultimately have the hope that @BofM365 on Instagram and Book of Mormon 365 on Facebook will not only help others to share their feelings about The Book of Mormon to others but, above all, that for the first time, some might learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the powerful messages the scriptures contain.
Thanks to everyone who is reading with us and our family, and for all of you who are sharing your love of the scriptures with us!
ben + chelsea prince
You can follow the biggest scripture book club ever both on Instagram at @BofM365 or Facebook at Book of Mormon 365, and follow the Prince's at http://princetopia.blogspot.com.