During college I had the privilege of traveling back to New York with a large group of girls to be in the Hill Cumorah Pageant. We had been given a list of scriptures to memorize, and told that we would be working directly with the missionaries in the New York mission — talking with people in the audience each night before the performances. Wow! I tried to memorize these scriptures and I was fairly successful, but I remember that I did not fully understand the meaning of these scriptures and how I would use them to help teach and answer questions. We met in study groups and as I heard the scriptures over and over, I began to learn why they were important in teaching the gospel. I began to see and understand the whole picture of the Book of Mormon and how it relates to the Bible and how they interconnected.
I had another experience when my oldest son was just a young boy and I was a Primary leader [leader for the children] in the ward. I went to a stake meeting in which all ward leaders were invited, and the discussion was how we can solve some of our problems. One of the sweet sisters from another ward talked about how she was having some discipline problems with her young daughter, and she had tried everything to solve the problem. But through her prayers and advice from someone, she went to the Book of Mormon, and read, and then she said she had found the answer to her plea in the scriptures. That caught my attention, because I had never really thought about searching for answers to my problems right in the scriptures. That is when the scriptures began to become more personal and helpful to me. Of course, I have gone through times when I read and times when I don’t, but I know now that I could not be happy in this life without the guidance of the scriptures.
I would like to share some of the things that I have learned over time:
• There are answers to my specific needs in the scriptures and they can be a guide for my life.
• Reading the scriptures on a regular basis helps me to handle my problems and have a desire to endure.
• I can feel the Spirit when I continually read the scriptures (even if I may not understand them), AND when I do not steadily read the scriptures, I can definitely see and feel the difference in how I act and react to everyday situations in my life.
• Diligent reading and studying opens my mind to deeper truths and understanding.
• Through diligent reading I can have a greater desire to read—and I have come to understand what it means to thirst for and feast upon the word of God.
These words are not of men nor of man, but of me; wherefore, you shall testify they are of me and not of man; For it is my voice which speaketh them unto you; for they are given by my Spirit unto you, and by my power you can read them one to another; and save it were by my power you could not have them; Wherefore, you can testify that you have heard my voice, and know my words. – Doctrine and Covenants 18:34-36
By JW from California
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