13 January 2012

How Do You Know That?

That is the question my husband asked me once when we were having one of our rare discussions about the gospel. I didn't even know how to answer him, except that I knew. 

Now I have a better answer. I was born into a family with a father who studies the scriptures and used them to teach his children. We rarely had a "normal" family home evening with lessons and such, at least I don't remember those. What I do remember is reading the scriptures as a family once a week for an hour. We read the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, the New Testament, and in lieu of the Old Testament we read Cleon Skousen's books The First Two Thousand Years, The Third Thousand Years, and The Fourth Thousand Years. They were easier reading for children and teens than the real thing. 

As a teen I loved Seminary and took second place in our Stake Scripture Chase, this when there were 40 scripture mastery verses (today there are only 25 per year). I studied diligently and read the church magazines voraciously. I loved learning the gospel, still do.

When I was a missionary in the MTC (Missionary Training Center) I would smile to myself every time I heard an Elder say "I wish I'd paid more attention in Seminary and studied harder." 

In 2000 I had a burning desire to read the Old Testament from Genesis to Malachi for myself so on January 1 I began and I managed to finish on schedule December 31. The Sunday School course for 2001 was the Old Testament and I was prepared to make significant contributions to the class discussions. 

Part of our homeschool education for our children was reading the scriptures, learning the Articles of Faith and establishing the habits of righteousness (prayer, scripture study, Family Home Evening, and attending church). When they were very young we read the Scripture Story books and The Friend. In 2005 when they ranged in age from 16 down to 7 we answered the call of President Hinckley to read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year. I knew that a straight reading would take longer than that so I decided to have us listen to the book on tape, following along in our books. I thought it was a great success. We had some good discussions about what we were reading and the children got a good overview of the message of the book. Plus we were obedient to the prophet. We finished early enough that I was able to read the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price before the end of the year. It was a great year for reading scriptures!

I'm getting to the point here, be patient.

Our stake president here in Iowa asked us to read the Book of Mormon in the six months between conferences (September to March) so we looked for a way we could accomplish this. We decided that we would read right after breakfast each day before the guys left for school. We got up a few minutes earlier and faithfully read. We finished and felt a great sense of accomplishment. 

I didn't want to let the habit die so I suggested to TopDad that we continue the habit and read the New Testament, which was the subject of the Sunday School Gospel Doctrine class. We completed that in December and after a couple weeks off during the holidays we began our next book which is The Pearl of Great Price on January 2. 

Now here is point. While reading the Pearl of Great Price I realized (or remembered) how I know certain things. The revelations of Moses and the writings of Abraham are where we learn profound truths. My father advised us to read the Pearl in preparation for going to the temple for the first time. I advise it too, and advise reading it from time to time to refresh our minds with the truths therein. It is RICH!

Daily scripture reading has been an important habit to add to our lives. Reading after breakfast, followed by family prayer is such a good way to start the day. I highly recommend it.

1 comment:

  1. Hi I just stopped by, I love this post;
    "here a little, there a little
    line upon line
    precept upon precept"
    My name is Ramona and I converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 4 years ago. One of the things that drew me to the church was the wealth of knowledge concerning God and Jesus and even "me".
    When I joined I felt so intimidated by everyone who seemed to have a "history" of knowledge. I thought I might neede a "_____ for Dummies" book.(LOL:)
    But I have taken to heart the words of Nephi concerning those who diligently search. Blessings will be unfurled.