Monday, March 8, 2010

Prophets on the Power of the Scriptures

I was reading a talk today by President Benson called, "The Power of the Word." I was impressed by the several prophetic quotes he used, although they are only a small portion of a much larger teaching on this subject. I have included those quotes below with only a short commentary from me at the end. These are powerful quotes from God's prophets; I'm sure there is much we can learn from their counsel. The quotes:

Whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.  Nephi (1 Ne. 15:24)

(Interesting here that Nephi says the temptations and fiery darts of the adversary are intended to blind people, perhaps through pride, rather than immediately destroy them. Then once we are blind, we are led to destruction. But back to the quotes...)

From a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make the wise unto salvation.  Paul (2 Tim. 3:15)

We are convinced that our members are hungry for the gospel, undiluted, with its abundant truths and insights... There are those who have seemed to forget that the most powerful weapons the Lord has given us against all that is evil are His own declarations, the plain simple doctrines of salvation as found in the scriptures. President Harold B. Lee, 1 Oct. 1970

I am convinced that each of us, at least some time in our lives, must discover the scriptures for ourselves-- and not just discover them once, but rediscover them again and again... The Lord is not trifling with us when he gives us these things, for 'unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.' Access to these things means responsibility for them. We must study the scriptures according to the Lord's commandment; and we must let them govern our lives. President Spencer W. Kimball, Sept. 1976

We are so wound up in programs and statistics and trends, in properties, lands and mammon, and in achieving goals that will highlight the excellence of our work, that we have 'omitted the weightier matters of the law.'... However talented men may be in administrative matters; however eloquent they may be in expressing their views; however learned they may be in the worldly things--they will be denied the sweet whisperings of the Spirit that might have been theirs unless they pay the price of studying, pondering, and praying about the scriptures. Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Apr. 1982

Often we spend great effort in trying to increase the activity levels in our stakes. We work diligently to raise the percentages of those attending sacrament meetings. We labor to get a higher percentage of our young men on missions. We strive to improve the numbers of those marrying in the temple. All of these are commendable efforts and important to the growth of the kingdom. But when individual members and families immerse themselves in the scriptures regularly and consistently, these other areas of activity will automatically come. Testimonies will increase. Commitment will be strengthened. Families will be fortified. Personal revelation will flow.  President Ezra Taft Benson, May 1986

I told the Brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.  The Prophet Joseph Smith

There are so many motivations for scripture reading in these quotes. Protection against temptation, coming nearer to God and salvation for ourselves and others are three primary motivators, though even these huge blessings are not a complete summary of what comes from scripture study. It is remarkable how, in light of such enormous blessings given to those who study the scriptures, we sometimes allow even the most trivial cost of time or convenience to divert our path or blind our view.

It seems that if we were always aware of these blessings that we would rather miss a few moments of air than a day of scripture study. If so, what can you or I do to remember these blessings that will also help us be faithful in our daily scripture study?


  1. Remember, remember! For me, when I remember what reading scriptures yesterday was like, it helps me to read them today. (It's not always been so -- we've had periods of angry teenagers in our home when reading scriptures what like trying to float a sailboat in Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack, and times when our little ones were so distracted that we may as well have been reading the phone book -- but in general over time, it's a great blessing.)

    I especially enjoyed the quotation from Elder McConkie. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Paul. I really like your suggestion-- so simple it just might work! :)