14 March 2012

I Love the Scriptures

A year and a half ago our Stake Presidency challenged us to read the Book of Mormon before the next stake conference in six months. We did so, finishing on time and establishing a good habit for our family. Since then we've finished both the New Testament and The Pearl of Great Price. When we finished the Pearl we began the Book of Mormon again. Today we are at 2 Nephi 9.  

I teach Early Morning Seminary and this year's course of study is the Old Testament, which I really love. We are just finished Isaiah and I find, once again, that I truly enjoy Isaiah. He is so much easier to understand if you've read Genesis through Chronicles. When you know the history of the Israelites what Isaiah says and prophesies is clearer. 

Now I don't claim to understand every word of Isaiah, but I can say with Nephi that my soul delights in the words of Isaiah. The themes I see are repentance, the need for a Savior, testimony of that Savior coming once and then coming again, The Savior's invitation to return to him, the blessings of obedience to the commandments. What's not to love!

I heard President Spencer W. Kimball speak at a special women’s fireside held September 16, 1978 in the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. The following words burned into my heart and I felt a witness that he was speaking to me.

"Study the scriptures. Thus you may gain strength through the understanding of eternal things. You young women need this close relationship with the mind and will of our Eternal Father. We want our sisters to be scholars of the scriptures as well as our men."

This was shortly before I went on a mission to Florida Tallahassee in February 1979. I vividly remember that in every testimony meeting (and there seemed to be lots of them) numerous Elders would stand and say something like "I sure wish I'd studied harder in Seminary." (This was before the bar was raised.) And I'd sit there smiling to myself thinking "I'm so glad I studied diligently in Seminary and Institute." 

The scriptures are the owner's manual, the guidebook, the letters from home for our journey through this mortal life. Almost every day I remember to say thank you to my Heavenly Father for all those who wrote them and preserved them through the years. 

I'll end with this from Isaiah 63:7,8
I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lvoingkindnesses. For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie; so he was their Saviour.

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