Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Scriptures—The Most Profitable of All Study

President Howard W. Hunter had a great love for the scriptures and was a dedicated student of them. This love and study were reflected in his teachings, which were filled with stories and other passages from the standard works. Often when teaching a gospel principle, especially in general conference, he selected at least one story from the scriptures, told it in detail, and drew applications from it.
President Hunter knew the importance of the scriptures in helping a person gain a testimony of Jesus Christ. Accordingly, he often taught from the scriptural accounts of the Savior’s ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection. He declared:
“I am grateful for the library of scripture through which a greater knowledge of Jesus Christ can be learned by devoted study. I am grateful that in addition to the Old and New Testaments, the Lord, through prophets of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has added other revealed scripture as additional witnesses for Christ—the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price—all of which I know to be the word of God. These bear witness that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
  When we follow the counsel of our leaders to read and study the scriptures, benefits and blessings of many kinds come to us. This is the most profitable of all study in which we could engage. …
Scriptures contain the record of the self-revelation of God, and through them God speaks to man. Where could there be more profitable use of time than reading from the scriptural library the literature that teaches us to know God and understand our relationship to him? Time is always precious to busy people, and we are robbed of its worth when hours are wasted in reading or viewing that which is frivolous and of little value.
n order to be obedient to the law of the gospel and be obedient to the teachings of Jesus Christ, we must first understand the law and ascertain the will of the Lord. This is accomplished best by searching and studying the scriptures and the words of the prophets. In this way we become familiar with what God has revealed to man.
e urge each of you to carefully consider how much time you are currently giving to prayerful pondering of the scriptures.
As one of the Lord’s servants, I challenge you to do the following:
1. Read, ponder, and pray over the scriptures daily as individual members of the Church.
2. Hold family scripture reading on a regular basis. We commend those of you who are already doing this and urge those of you who have not yet started to begin doing so without delay. …
May each of us go forth with a firm resolve to be more prayerful; to seek to live more fully by the Spirit; and to draw closer to our Father in Heaven and his Beloved Son through consistent study of the holy scriptures.
One of the most significant resources the Lord has provided to assist us in accomplishing this divine work is the Book of Mormon, subtitled “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.” [President Ezra Taft Benson] forthrightly admonished us not to neglect reading and abiding by the precepts of this sacred volume of scripture. “Its great mission,” he taught us, “is to bring men to Christ [and thus to the Father], and all other things are secondary.” (Ensign, May 1986, p. 105.) We hope you brothers and sisters are feeding your spirits by regularly reading the Book of Mormon and the other scriptures and using them in your ministries.
The Book of Mormon is the word of God. We invite you to read this wonderful record. It is the most remarkable volume in existence today. Read it carefully and prayerfully, and as you do, God will give you a testimony of its truthfulness as promised by Moroni (see Moroni 10:4).
“Reading, studying, and pondering are not the same. We read words and we may get ideas. We study and we may discover patterns and connections in scripture. But when we ponder, we invite revelation by the Spirit. Pondering, to me, is the thinking and the praying I do after reading and studying in the scriptures carefully” 

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