Saturday, November 12, 2011

New Lessons from Ancient Scripture

Elder Richard G. Scott spoke in the most recent General Conference about scripture study. It's a topic most of us have heard about on a number of occasions. Some of those familiar lessons were woven into Elder Scott's remarks. At the same time, Elder Scott also brought up a number of insights about the scriptures that are not as commonly shared and/or understood, at least in the wards where I have attended. Several principles, familiar or otherwise, are worth repeating. Here's a short list.

1. The scriptures are a record of 'solutions to life's most perplexing problems'. Notice the omission here-- not life's most perplexing spiritual problems, but the scriptures contain solutions to work problems, societal problems, family problems, confidence problems, health problems... life's problems.

2. The scriptures function as 'a type of handbook for those of His children who have faith in His plan of happiness and in His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ'. Faith is necessary to unlock the power of scripture.

3. 'Because scriptures are generated from inspired communication through the Holy Ghost, they are pure truth.'

4. The scriptures, 'can become the key to open the channel to communion with our Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ'. The primary goal of scripture study is to commune with God. Remembering that the scriptural definition of enduring to the end is to study the scriptures, hearken to the spirit, pray and keep our covenants, it becomes increasingly clear that the way to endure is to communicate frequently with our Father in Heaven.

5. 'Great power can come from memorizing scriptures. Memorizing scriptures can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change.'

6. 'Pondering a passage of scripture can be a key to unlock revelation and guidance and inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Scriptures can calm an agitated soul, giving peace, hope, and a restoration of confidence in one's ability to overcome the challenges of life. They have potent power to heal emotional challenges when there is faith in the Savior, They can accelerate physical healing.'

7. 'Scriptures can communicate different meanings at different times in our life, according to our needs.'

8. 'Those who consistently read the Book of Mormon are blessed with an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a greater resolve to obey His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the divinity of the Son of God.'

Whether these insights are familiar or new to us, each of us can experience the power of the scriptures in our lives as we have faith in Christ and seek to commune with our Heavenly Father. There we can find the answers to the questions of our souls, strength that can motivate emotional or physical healing, the will to change, and a clear view of reality and truth amid a world swirling with the philosophies of men.

Each of us seeking answers, strength, happiness, peace, communion or clarity will find what we seek as we accept Elder Scott's invitation to study, memorize, and ponder the scriptures.