President Harold B. Lee taught, “One of the most important things you can do … is to immerse yourselves in the scriptures. Search them diligently. Feast upon the words of Christ. Learn the doctrine. Master the principles that are found therein. There are few other efforts that will bring greater dividends to your calling. There are few other ways to gain greater inspiration as you serve.
“… When individual members and families immerse themselves in the scriptures regularly and consistently, these other areas of activity [missions, temple marriage, sacrament meeting attendance] will automatically come. Testimonies will increase. Commitment will be strengthened…. Personal revelation will flow. …”
At the age of 8, I received my first set of scriptures from my grandparents on the inside of the cover they wrote,
We know that the scriptures are the word of God. We know that if you will live by their words you will be happy and more successful in life. We know that if you will study the scriptures daily and pray about them that you will gain a testimony of their truthfulness and that your testimony will guide you in all your daily activities.
You are a special daughter of God. He loves you and sent you here to earth to be happy and successful. You have been blessed with a wonderful family that loves you and prays for you each day.
We love you very much,
Grandma and Grandpa Smack”
This letter was the beginning of my growing testimony of the truthfulness of the scripture. Still to this day I treasure this set of scriptures, because of the testimony of my Grandparents that is born on the front cover, and my testimony that is written and marked in the margins and pages.
Richard G. Scott said, “Scriptures are like packets of light that illuminate our minds and give place to guidance and inspiration from on high. They can become the key to open the channel to communication with our Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ.”
This last week, as I sat in the baptisry in the temple I opened to D&C 123. In verse 17 it states, “Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.”
This scripture provided the answer I needed at that time.
Richard G. Scott continues, “Scriptures can communicate different meanings at different times in our life, according to our needs. A scripture that we may have read many times can take on nuances of meaning that are refreshing and insightful when we face a new challenge in life.”
At a time in my life when I was searching for direction and comfort, my sister brought this scripture to my attention. Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” This is now a scripture that I turn to frequently. Depending on the situations in my life it applies just a little differently, but I know it still to be true.
Elder Marion D. Hanks, a member of the Seventy tells this story,
“A man came to Temple Square one day and stood outside the office door, wanting to come in. I knew as I saw him that he had a desperate need, and I’ll confess, to my sorrow, that my first thought was that the need probably was economic. We have many occasions there to be blessed with such opportunities. Well, I looked at him just a little bit suspiciously, and then going to the door, I invited him in and saw immediately in his face that the need he had had little to do with economics. He had a kind of glaze over his eyes that comes with a deep shattering shock.
“He was a non-member of the Church, married to a fine Primary president. This lady and he were the parents of a beautiful daughter, age eleven. This man’s parents lived in the eastern part of the country, and the family had decided in a little council, a sweet and fine thing as he discussed it, that the best Christmas present they could give his parents was to send Daddy to see them, because it had been so long, and it being Christmas time, the best gift they could receive was a visit from their only son. So he had, although, reluctantly, accepted this commission and had gone to see his parents.
While there he had received word from people at home that his wife had been in an automobile accident. The little girl had been killed. Through fire that followed, her body had been destroyed.
“This was, of course, a terrible shock to him. He was on his way home, and had several hours layover in Salt Lake, and had come to the Temple Square trying to find peace. He sat across the desk from me, and I tried to teach him. I have seldom been more frustrated because I didn’t get by that shock at all.
I talked of eternity; I talked of resurrection; I talked of the faith we need, of the strength and sustaining influence of the Lord, and nothing registered—nothing at all. I began to get desperate. He sat, ill at ease, and getting ready to move, and I began to pray. My prayer, and I have repeated it so many times under similar circumstances, was, ‘Lord, help me now.’ ‘Lord, help me now.’ And for a reason I am sure of, and you will accept I suppose, I opened this book—perhaps I should have done it much sooner without the stimulus of the inspiration, but hadn’t—to these words out of the eleventh chapter of the Book of Alma:
“‘The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, …’ (Alma 11:43.)
“I turned to Alma 40, and read a little more of the resurrection, that ‘… even a hair of our heads would not be lost; … ‘ (See Alma 40:23.) For the first time I saw the break come. I found as we talked that the thing that disturbed him most was that this beautiful little girl… that he could not even see her again, that the beauty and perfection of her little life was gone, and he had no real hope for anything more.
But he sat and listened, and the simple therapy was repeated. We read it as the word of the Lord. He accepted it as such. He sat in one of those little alcoves near the door and read it over and over for a long time. When I took him to the airport, the glaze in his eye was gone. He had wept, perhaps for the first time. He had talked and seemed reachable, and we had discussed the principles I had tried to talk of before.
“A few months later I heard his voice at the counter. I hadn’t heard a thing from him since our first meeting. He was standing there with two rather rough looking men. They turned out to be his wife’s brothers, born in the Church. He had a copy of the Book of Mormon opened to Alma 11 and was reading to them those wonderful words, testifying of their truth, telling them that in his search through the record he had found it to be the word of God. He bought a book for them and sent them home to read, these men who had been born into the faith.
“I thought then and have thought since many times of the statement that one who will not read is no better off than one who cannot”
Elder D. Todd Christofferson said, “In the end, the central purpose of all scripture is to fill our souls with faith in God the Father and in His Son, Jesus Christ – faith that They exist; faith in the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which animates this plan of happiness; faith to make the gospel of Jesus Christ our way of life; and faith to come to know “the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom [He has] sent” (John 17:3).
May we all listen to Sister Sheri Dew when she says, “If we have not yet found that ongoing immersion in the scriptures… could we consider incorporating the word of God into our lives more consistently and regularly, and with greater intent? There is not better time to begin than today.”
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