In Dyer and Kunz’s study of effective Mormon families (Effective Mormon Families), they found that only 28 percent of effective Mormon families read their scriptures regularly. Eder Gene R. Cook has estimated from traveling as a General Authority that only 10 to 15 percent of Church members read the scriptures together as families.
See Raising Up a Family to the Lord, p. 110
A recent study conducted by the Church has forcefully confirmed statistically what we have been told again and again. That is, if loving, inspired instruction and example are not provided at home, then our related efforts for success in and around Church programs are severely limited. It is increasingly clear that we must teach the gospel to our families personally, live those teachings in our homes, or run the risk of discovering too late that a Primary teacher or priesthood adviser or seminary instructor could not do for our children what we would not do for them.
Jeffrey R. Holland, “Within the Clasp of Your Arms,” Ensign, May 1983, p. 36
Presently the Book of Mormon is studied in our Sunday School and seminary classes every fourth year. This four-year pattern, however, must not be followed by Church members in their personal study of the standard works. All scripture is not of equal value.
Ezra Taft Benson, A Witness and a Warning, p. vii
True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than the study of behavior will improve behavior.
Boyd K. Packer, Conference Report, October, 1986, p. 20
I have a vision of homes alerted, of classes alive, and of pulpits aflame with the spirit of Book of Mormon messages. I have a vision of home teachers and visiting teachers, ward and branch officers, and stake and mission leaders counseling our people out of the most correct of any book on earth—the Book of Mormon. I have a vision of artists putting into film, drama, literature, music, and paintings great themes and great characters from the Book of Mormon. I have a vision of thousands of missionaries going into the mission field with hundreds of passages memorized from the Book of Mormon so that they might feed the needs of a spiritually famished world. I have a vision of the whole Church getting nearer to God by abiding by the precepts of the Book of Mormon. Indeed, I have a vision of flooding the earth with the Book of Mormon.
Ezra Taft Benson, Flooding the Earth with the Book of Mormon, 1988, 4-5
I need to say this as clearly as possible so there is no misunderstanding. The Book of Mormon is the Keystone of the LDS Church, and to the Gospel, without it, people won’t have a true understanding of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Now having said that, I feel that the Church over-states the need to read the Book of Mormon, while saying almost nothing about reading the other scriptures.
“The first five books of the Old Testament lay the foundation on which the rest of scripture stands. Its great themes, epochal events and towering figures set down vectors on which the biblical story is played out. The very shape of the rest of the Old Testament would collapse were the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament) to be removed. The structure of the New Testament thought would be barely intelligible without it.” Quoted from a review of ‘Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch'.
I would also add that the Book of Mormon would be barely intelligible without it as well. I agree with President Benson that all scripture are not of equal value, but that should mean that we should totally ignore the other scriptures ether.
I over-heard a member say that someone told him to read the Book of Mormon, so he stopped reading the Old Testament and started reading the Book of Mormon, I had to bite my tongue to not say, ’don’t do that, you can read both at the same time.’
‘An indispensable foundation’ by George A. Horton Jr. in the Ensign March 2002, is a great LDS article that shows the connections of the Old Testament to the New Testament, to the Book of Mormon, and even to the Doctrine and Covenants.