Friday, March 25, 2011

Effective Scripture Study

Many people have a brief familiarity with the Bible and the Book of Mormon as to what they are, but very few ever become, "Master Scriptorians" as the very well versed are called. It can be a lifelong pursuit that may never be fully realized, but through careful dedication and study ANYONE can become well acquainted with the words of the prophets, Jesus Christ, and God. Thus, EVERYONE can work to open up the windows of heaven and pour out the blessings and the spirit that comes from the written word.

In 2 Nephi 31:3, we come to read that "The Lord giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding". The belief that someone who doesn't read well or understand the "thee's" and "thou's" of scripture wording have a very real concern that the lord himself has spoken on! Perhaps the understanding of the scriptures varies from person to person, but the impact and knowledge that come to the mind of a person who diligently studies can not be dismissed. I have witnessed firsthand the blessing of the Lord through his holy spirit as was granted unto a man who wanted so badly to know whether or not the gospel we taught was true. Through his earnest effort, despite a severe learning disability, that man overcame his struggle and came to a knowledge of the redeeming power of the atonement of Jesus Christ. I can testify that god gives unto his children his gospel through the medium of the Holy Scriptures and the power of the Holy Ghost.

We read in St. John 16:13 that, "... the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak". With this in mind, it is important to approach scripture study with prayer and in a reverent manner so as to invite the spirit to dwell with us and teach to our hearts and our minds. If not for this, we could not effectively apply what we learned through our studies. Knowing may be of the head, but truly doing something good with that knowledge is being wise, something you can only do if you internalize and make a principle or doctrine a part of you and your life.

Nephi 19:23 has the same basic thought process for us as we read, to "liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning". Looking at stories and putting ourselves in those shoes help us with the real world application of the knowledge we gain while reading, and make for effective ways to help younger children understand and grow a love for reading of the scriptures.

We have been admonished and told repeatedly to study and come to our knowledge of the gospel. 2 Nephi 32:3 gives my favorite way of putting it as it reads, "...feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." What a strong promise this is! I have experienced in my own life the joy and peace that comes from reading and pondering the message of the scriptures, and I know for myself and countless others that reading of god’s word gives answers and guidance in ways otherwise missed. As we all do so, treasures will come that can be credited specifically to the reading.

No comments:

Post a Comment