Why should I seriously study the scriptures?
“As we seek to be disciples of Jesus Christ, our efforts to hear Him need to be ever more intentional. It takes conscious and consistent effort to fill our daily lives with His words, His teachings, His truths. We simply cannot rely upon information we bump into on social media. With billions of words online and in a marketing-saturated world constantly infiltrated by noisy, nefarious efforts of the adversary, where can we go to hear Him? We can go to the scriptures. They teach us about Jesus Christ and His gospel, the magnitude of His Atonement, and our Father’s great plan of happiness and redemption. Daily immersion in the word of God is crucial for spiritual survival, especially in these days of increasing upheaval. As we feast on the words of Christ daily, the words of Christ will tell us how to respond to difficulties we never thought we would face” (President Russell M. Nelson).
“There is a power in the book [of Mormon] which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of [it.] You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called ‘the words of life’ (see D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance (President Ezra Taft Benson).
“We often hear…that the scriptures have the answers to all of our questions. Why is this so?…Reading…the scriptures will…put us in a position where we can obtain inspiration to answer any doctrinal or personal question, whether or not that question directly concerns the subject we are studying in the scriptures. That is a grand truth not understood by many….Again, even though the scriptures contain no words to answer our specific personal questions, a prayerful study of the scriptures will help us obtain such answers” (Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Studying the Scriptures,” Fireside given November 24, 1985).
“I do not know of a better way to always remember him than to daily study the scriptures. That covenant is not an abstract notion. It can be honored in meaningful, personal prayer every morning and night and in diligent study of the scriptures. When I served as a stake president and interviewed literally hundreds of members of the Church, I frequently would ask, ‘Do you remember and keep the covenants you have made?’ I do not recall many people answering no. When I would inquire further and ask about their scripture study, some would say, “I do not have time.” Then I would ask about their personal prayers, and the answer often was, “I am not as consistent as I should be.” On some occasions I would then inquire, ‘Do you, in fact, keep the covenant to always remember Him?’” (Elder David A. Bednar).
How Much Time Should I Spend in Scripture Study?
“We should not be haphazard in our reading but rather develop a systematic plan for study. There are some who read to a schedule of a number of pages or a set number of chapters each day or week. This may be perfectly justifiable and may be enjoyable if one is reading for pleasure, but it does not constitute meaningful study. It is better to have a set amount of time to give scriptural study each day than to have a set amount of chapters to read. Sometimes we find that the study of a single verse will occupy the whole time” (President Howard W. Hunter).
“You should care more about the amount of time you spend in the scriptures than about the amount you read in that time. I see you sometimes reading a few verses, stopping to ponder them, carefully reading the verses again, and as you think about what they mean, praying for understanding, asking questions in your mind, waiting for spiritual impressions, and writing down the impressions and insights that come so you can remember and learn more. Studying in this way, you may not read a lot of chapters or verses in a half hour, but you will be giving place in your heart for the word of God, and He will be speaking to you” (Elder D. Todd Christofferson).
“Let there be study of the scriptures at least thirty minutes of each day” (Harold B. Lee).
“I plead with you to make time for immersing yourselves in the scriptures. Couple scripture study with your prayers. Half an hour each morning privately studying, pondering, and communicating with your Heavenly Father can make an amazing difference in your lives. It will give increased success in your daily activities. It will bring increased alertness to your minds. It will give you comfort and rock-steady assurance when the storms of life descend upon you” (Elder M. Russell Ballard).
“I have heard many well-intentioned Church leaders and teachers instruct congregations to find time for daily scripture study, ‘even if it’s only one or two verses per day.’ Though I understand the point they are trying to teach and applaud the sincerity of that conviction, may I gently suggest that if we are too busy to spend at least a few minutes every day in the scriptures, then we are probably too busy and should find a way to eliminate or modify whatever activities are making that simple task impossible (Elder M. Russell Ballard, When Thou Art Converted, 68).
How Should I Study the Scriptures?
“The only way you can be sure that a busy schedule doesn’t crowd out scripture study is to establish a regular time to study the scriptures” (President Henry B. Eyring).
“If possible, set a consistent time and place to study when you can be alone and undisturbed” (Elder M. Russell Ballard).
“My experience suggests that a specific and scheduled time set aside each day and, as much as possible, a particular place for study greatly increase the effectiveness of our searching through the scriptures” (Elder David A. Bednar).
“You will be taught more easily as you approach the scriptures if you search with a question and with a determination to act on the answer. We can receive what seems to us new truth when we go back to the same scripture with new questions” (President Henry B. Eyring).
“Please…read more slowly and more carefully and with more questions in mind…Ponder, [and] examine every word, every scriptural gem…Hold it up to the light, and turn it, look and see what’s reflected and refracted there…such an examination may unearth a treasure hidden in a field: a pearl of great price; a pearl beyond price” (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Summer 1992 CES Satellite Broadcast, 4).
“I suggest that you memorize scriptures that touch your heart and fill your soul with understanding. When scriptures are used as the Lord has caused them to be recorded, they have intrinsic power that is not communicated when paraphrased. Sometimes when there is a significant need in my life, I review mentally scriptures that have given me strength. There is great solace, direction, and power that flow from the scriptures, especially the words of the Lord” (Elder Richard G. Scott).“Crash courses are not nearly so effective as the day-to-day reading and application of the scriptures in our lives. Become acquainted with the lessons the scriptures teach. Learn the background and setting of the Master’s parables and the prophets’ admonitions. Study them as though they were speaking to you, for such is the truth” (President Thomas S. Monson).
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