Posts Tagged 'Scripture Study'

366 Days of the Book of Mormon Challenge

This coming year in our Sunday School classes in the LDS church, we will be studying the Book of Mormon. This makes me so excited. The LDS general Sunday School presidency is encouraging us to study the Book of Mormon every day, in order to draw closer to God. I wanted to extend this as a challenge to all my readers this year.

For the year 2015, I followed a blog that listed a section of verses each day, which helped me to stay on track with a goal to finish the Book of Mormon in one year. The blog went down, but I continued with it on my own and officially finished this morning. I’ve decided to do the same thing for my own readers, since it was something I enjoyed. So, starting tomorrow, I will be posting verses in a 366 day challenge. These posts won’t include my own comments, but will simply be a copy of the verses quoted for convenience. I look forward to reading along with you.

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Ponderizing

It amazing how quickly the last 12 weeks had gone. When I took on the ponderizing challenge, I was not sure how long I would continue to do it. I have enjoyed it a lot. About 6 weeks into my posts, however, I made a decision that it would be a short term addition to my scripture study. I had several daily study items and continuing with this could eventually cause a bit of overload. So, my goal became to see it to the end of the year, and here we are.

2015 has been a year of trials and personal growth for me. Not huge trials, but difficult ones for me in my own little world. I would not have gotten through them as well as I did, without daily study and prayer. I am so grateful for the suggestion to uplift my thoughts through focusing on one verse of scripture each week. My plan is, to continue to pick a verse and make it a focus in my thoughts, but I will not be sticking to some specific schedule or posting regularly about it. That being said, I encourage anyone reading this blog, to ponderize the word of God. It is a blessing to feast upon His word. I know it can bring true happiness to your life, because it does to mine.

Happy 2016!

Ponderizing – Week 9 Thoughts

The verse I have chosen to ponderize this week, is
Doctrine and Covenants 90:24.

Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good, if ye walk uprightly and remember the covenant wherewith ye have covenanted one with another.

This promise is amazing. I love this verse, because it is a reminder that no matter what I am experiencing, it will all work out. If I can remember the covenants I have made with God and do the little things that I have been taught to do each day, things will be for my good. Scripture study (ancient and modern), continual prayer, believing in the Lord, keeping the commandments and covenants, are the things I must do. Earlier in my life, I looked at that simple list as daunting. I thought I would never be able to do all that was required of me each day. I have learned and continue to learn, that as we do these specific things, God blesses us with the capacity to do them and so much more. When we make the time to study the scriptures, diligently and with purpose and dedication, we begin to truly understand the purposes of prayer. Then finding the time to formally pray often, and to keep a prayer in our hearts throughout the day, becomes easier and even something we have a natural desire to do. Experiencing the results of regular study and prayer, helps to build our faith and belief in Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven. The more we believe in Them, the greater desire we have to live in a manner that is pleasing to God. Likewise, we will think more often about the promises, or covenants, that we have made and the blessings hoped for by keeping them. For myself, doing these things has blessed me with a greater perspective in my life. It is awesome to me, how something that could have broken me in the past, becomes something I can not only handle, but also something that I can see good in. This does not mean that it always works out the way I want it to, or may have thought it would, but it does work out. God’s ways are better than my own, in fact, they are the best ways for where who I will ultimately become from this life experience. Through following these steps, I can see that my experiences provide opportunities for growth and learning, help me to have greater empathy and compassion towards others, and give me strength to do more and become more like the Savior.

Deuteronomy Chapter 31

At this point in the books of Moses, the prophet had finished preaching the word of the Lord to the people. They had made covenants to keep the law, so that they could prosper in the land of promise. Moses was near the end of his mortal life at this time, and was ready to help them finish the final preparations before they continued on their way to their inheritance. This chapter begins as follows:

1 And Moses went and spake these words unto all Israel.
2 And he said unto them, I am an hundred and twenty years old this day; I can no more go out and come in: also the Lord hath said unto me, Thou shalt not go over this Jordan.
3 The Lord thy God, he will go over before thee, and he will destroy these nations from before thee, and thou shalt possess them: and Joshua, he shall go over before thee, as the Lord hath said.
4 And the Lord shall do unto them as he did to Sihon and to Og, kings of the Amorites, and unto the land of them, whom he destroyed.
5 And the Lord shall give them up before your face, that ye may do unto them according unto all the commandments which I have commanded you.
6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

At the age of 120, after about forty years of being their leader, Moses could no longer lead the Israelites. The Lord had told him that his work was done and that he would not enter the promised land. (Side note: Moses lived as an Egyptian prince for about 40 years, then he fled and lived with the family of Jethro, a priest of Midian, for another forty years. At the age of 80, the Lord called Moses to save his people, and then after about 40 years of wandering in the wilderness and leading the children of Israel, he was taken from this life. It is interesting how his life was broken up into these 40 year periods, each marking a major change for him.) Moses told the people that God would go before them, with Joshua as their prophet and leader. The nations in the land would be destroyed with the Lord’s help. Moses told them have courage and to not fear the other nations that would be in the land, because God was with them. The Lord’s promise that he would not fail them or forsake them, is a promise to all the people of God today as well. In Doctrine and Covenants 68 we read the following:

5 Behold, this is the promise of the Lord unto you, O ye my servants.
6 Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come.

Anyone who serves God and strives to live righteously during the constant battle we wage against the adversary, has this promise. The Lord will always be with those who are fighting for His cause.

7 And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the Lord hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.
8 And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

Moses gave counsel of encouragement directly to Joshua, where he again told him to “be strong and of good courage”. Joshua had the responsibility of leading the people to victory, so that the promised inheritance would be received by all the children of Israel. They would have to fight nations that were stronger and more numerous then they were. They would also need to continue to be strong in keeping the commandments, in order for the Lord to remain on their side. Joshua needed confidence in the Lord at this time, because the task he was facing was going to be extremely difficult. He also needed confidence in himself. It would have required a great deal of faith and trust in the Lord, to go forward in this calling and it must have been difficult following in the footsteps of a spiritual leader, such as Moses. I am sure that this counsel was needed and appreciated by Joshua. The fact that Moses was instructed to say these things to Joshua and the people, reminds me of the love of God for each of us. He wants us to know that He is aware of us and our difficulties, and that he can help us to accomplish great things. The Lord promises us help as well, if we will go forward with faith in our own callings in life. I am so grateful for this promise and I believe that it is the power of the atonement that gives us the strength to endure. If we have faith in the Lord and His power, we will have the ability to endure all things well, even the giants that we have to conquer.

9 And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and unto all the elders of Israel.
10 And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles,
11 When all Israel is come to appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing.
12 Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the Lord your God, and observe to do all the words of this law:
13 And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.

Moses gave a record of the law to the elders of Israel. They were commanded to read the law every seven years in the feast of tabernacles. This they were to do, so that they would know the law and continue to obey it. It would not have been long, before the message would have been forgotten, so it was important that they have the opportunity to be reminded. We are told to gather often, so that we can be instructed and edified by the word of the Lord as well. In this, we will be able to remember the commandments we have been given, the covenants we have made, and the love of God for His people. The strength that comes from gathering and hearing the word of the Lord, provides the knowledge to be obedient, and the ability to endure through the difficulties that every day life throws our way.

I think it is important for us to realize that because Moses had these words recorded and preserved, we have the words today. The books of Moses were part of the brass plates which the family of Lehi took with them to the Americas, and so they effected the people of the Book of Mormon who would then live the law of Moses. Without the law, they would not have been able to continue in righteousness for the times that they did. The books of Moses were also preserved in the old testament of our bible today, which allows us the opportunity to have these words, so that we might know and live the way God wants us to live. Record keeping is vitally important, especially when it comes to things of a spiritual or eternal nature nature, such as inspirations and commandments received from the Lord.

In their days, they did not have the ability to provide all the words of Moses in every home. They had been told to keep the commandments and covenants written and carried on themselves and placed around their homes so that they could remember, but they needed to gather together in order to hear the complete law. We are so blessed to live in a time when not only can we have a copy of the written word of the Lord in a physical book, but we have devices of all sizes and computers, which mean we can easily keep the word of the Lord with us at all times. This is such a blessing and I think it is taken for granted by many. We need to be grateful for the access we have to these words, and show that gratitude by studying them regularly and making them a part of our lives.

14 And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, thy days approach that thou must die: call Joshua, and present yourselves in the tabernacle of the congregation, that I may give him a charge. And Moses and Joshua went, and presented themselves in the tabernacle of the congregation.
15 And the Lord appeared in the tabernacle in a pillar of a cloud: and the pillar of the cloud stood over the door of the tabernacle.

Moses, who was nearing the end of his life, was commanded to call Joshua to go with him to the tabernacle. They presented themselves there and the presence of the Lord appeared there.

16 And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.
17 Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us?
18 And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods.
19 Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel.
20 For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant.
21 And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed: for I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware.

Moses was told that it was his time to die and be with those who had gone before. He was also told that the Israelites would follow after false gods, forsake the Lord and brake the covenants they had made. The Lord told the prophets that this specific law being broken so many times throughout the Bible, and it makes me think about the things that our prophets and apostles warn us of today. I that the some of the sins that are spoken about and warned against quite frequently, are those of sexual nature. One warning in particular is about the effects of seeking after and indulging in pornography, which can lead to destruction of those things that should matter most. I know that the modern prophets continually repeat their warnings, because they know this is a challenge in our day, the way idolatry was in the days of Moses. We can look back at the story of the Israelites and see that if they had listened to the warnings of the prophet, Moses, they would have been able to continue with the Lord by their side, but do we look at ourselves the same way? We have modern prophets called to lead the Lord’s people in the ways of righteousness, and we need to listen to their words of warning, so that we can also have the Lord by our side.

The Lord told Moses that the people would be forsaken and the Lord would no longer be among them. The curses that had been promised, would come to pass among the Israelites. Moses had to record the law as a witness against the disobedient, so that the judgements that would come upon them would be just. The Lord knew their weaknesses and knew what they would do in the face of temptation. I hope that I am a person who the Lord can see as loyal and faithful. I know that having the word of God in my life is the key to remaining obedient to the commandments.

22 Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel.
23 And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee.

Moses did as he was commanded by the Lord, both in giving the words to the people, and in charging Joshua, who would be his successor in leading the people, with the responsibilities of leadership and sharing words of faith and hope with him.

24 And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished,
25 That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, saying,
26 Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.
27 For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the Lord; and how much more after my death?

The written law was to be put in the ark of the covenant as a witness, along with the commandments received at Sinai, and I believe a basket of manna. All these were to be kept there by the Levites, to be had in remembrance of the commandments, covenants, promises and blessings that the people had received from the Lord. Moses knew that the people were not a perfect people, and that the natural man in them was an enemy to God. He also knew that they would grow further from the Lord after he had been taken from them, because greater knowledge and priesthood would go with him, and they would not always remember these things they had been given. It is so important for us to have the law of God, but it is more important for us to live it so that we can be worthy of the spirit. The spirit helps us to recognize truth, and he will continually testify of Christ to our hearts, if we will listen and obey. We can keep the spirit with us, when we hold a remembrance of our own covenants, blessings, promises, and commandments.

28 Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them.
29 For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.
30 And Moses spake in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song, until they were ended.

Moses called the elders of Israel again, so that he could speak to them of those things that were most important. If Moses had not done this, he would have been held accountable for not doing all that he could to bring the Israelites to the Lord. In doing this, his words were a witness against all those who would choose to rebel against the commandments. Moses gave the words to those who were gathered, as he had been commanded.

There are many things that we can fear in the world today. In this day, there is easy access to some of the most dangerous and frightening things. The adversary of us all, is seeking to do all that he can to destroy the happiness of mankind by causing us to fear. The message to have courage and not fear, is so important for us today. We cannot win our own battles without the Lord on our side. We can know that we have the promise of His companionship, if we follow the commandments and put the Lord first in our lives. When we do what is right, in the sight of God, he can bless us with greater courage and faith. We will know what is right, if we make a constant effort to read, study and ponder the scriptures. These books of Moses, as well as all the other inspired words of the prophets, need to be a guide in our lives. I am so grateful that Moses was obedient to the commandments he was given, and that because of his obedience, we have these ancient scriptures today. I know that these words are for us today, as much as they were for the people of ancient Israel. My life as been greatly blessed by striving to learn and live the principles found in the scriptures. My hope is that I can influence others around me, to have a love of the scriptures as well, so that they can obtain the courage needed to endure in our day.

Notes on Patience – A Lifetime Work

Patience is something that is tested in my life every day, as I am sure it is for most of us. I thought that perhaps it would be a good idea for me to begin a study that was a bit more in depth so that I could know how to gain a self-mastery that I do not have right now. I hope that my readers will enjoy following this series of posts on patience and that it may help someone else out there, as much as it has helped me. To see more posts, check out Notes on Patience

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (Romans 15:4)

  • We live in a time, where people desire immediate gratification for everything. This constant need to find the quickest way to get what we want, takes away the opportunities for us to learn the lessons we were sent here to learn. The scriptures teach us amazing principles of the gospel, which we can almost never learn overnight. To truly understand the scriptures, it takes a lifetime of applying the principles. This lifetime search for spiritual knowledge takes a great deal of patience. If I devote myself to studying the scriptures every day of my life, then through the patience it takes, I will learn what I need to. The truths found in the word of God, will give me comfort in this life, and hope in the blessings in life after I die.
  • Do We Study the Scriptures to Increase Our Testimonies of Jesus Christ?

    As a woman in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), I am a member of one of the largest women’s organization in the world. This group is called the Relief Society. Several years ago, a declaration was written for the Relief Society and the posts in this series are an attempt to apply this declaration to my life more. In this attempt I will be breaking down the parts of it into questions that I would like to try to answer through study. To view other posts related to this declaration, go here: Relief Society Declaration.

    We are beloved spirit daughters of God, and our lives have meaning, purpose, and direction. As a worldwide sisterhood, we are united in our devotion to Jesus Christ, our Savior and Exemplar. We are women of faith, virtue, vision, and charity who:
    Increase our testimonies of Jesus Christ through prayer and scripture study.

    Do we study the scriptures to increase our testimonies of Jesus Christ? I was raised with the gospel in my life, but as I have learned over the years, that means nothing unless I make the attempt to gain my own testimony of it. When I read the scriptures growing up, it was purely because of a duty I had to be obedient to my teachers at one time or another. On one occasion I read the Book of Mormon because a missionary, that I thought was cute, had asked me to read it. It wasn’t until 2008, that I began studying the scriptures because I wanted to learn from them. My desire since then, has been to learn greater doctrine of the gospel. I have wanted to understand the gospel principles in a way to help me have the desire to live them at all costs. I can’t say that I have made the conscious decision to study the scriptures to gain a greater testimony of Jesus Christ, because it just seemed like that came with the study no matter what I was trying to gain. One of the things that I love about the scriptures, is that they truly do testify of Jesus Christ continually.

    I don’t think that one can study the scriptures, with a real intent to be taught by the spirit, without recognizing that they are designed to teach us of Christ and the power of the atonement, which he has given to us. One of my favorite scriptures relating to this is found in 2 Nephi 25:26, where we read, “And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” The prophets of all the ages, have taught their people of Christ.

    Studying the scriptures for me gives me a greater hope in eternal life and exaltation, which are promised by God to those who faithful and make and keep their covenants. We can not attain these things if we are not made clean. In Matthew 1:21 we read, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Jesus Christ is the only way that the blessings are possible. Hebrews 5:9 says, “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him”. He truly is that author of our salvation and without a testimony of Him, we cannot receive the blessings that he made possible through the greatest sacrifice of all time. A testimony of Christ is absolutely necessary if we hope to have the rewards after this life.

    I can think of no greater way to strengthen our testimonies of Christ, then to learn of Him. The place to learn more, is in the Holy word of God, found in the standard works of the gospel and have collectively been written for our days. We can gain a testimony of his hand in the lives of mortals as we study the books of the Old Testament. We can gain a testimony of his earthly ministry and resurrection as we study the New Testament. We can gain a testimony of his ministry after his resurrection as we study the Book of Mormon. We can gain a testimony of the things he expects of us as we study the Doctrine and Covenants. And we can gain a testimony of his role in the entire plan of salvation, as it has been taught through the ages, as we study the Pearl of Great Price. I am so grateful for the scriptures in my life today. I am so glad that I live in a time when they are so accessible. I love that there are so many helpful guides to aid me in understanding what is written in the scriptures. I am eternally grateful for the spirit and how it teaches me so many wonderful things. I am so glad that these wonderful writings can teach me how to be a disciple of the Lord, Jesus Christ. I know that as we study the scriptures, we can strengthen our testimonies of Jesus Christ, and have a greater hope in his atonement and saving grace.

    What is the Direction of Our Lives?

    As a woman in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), I am a member of the largest women’s organization in the world. This group is called the Relief Society. Several years ago, a declaration was written for the Relief Society and the posts in this series are an attempt to apply this declaration to my life more. In this attempt I will be breaking down the parts of it into questions that I would like to try to answer through study. To view other posts related to this declaration, go here: Relief Society Declaration.

    We are beloved spirit daughters of God, and our lives have meaning, purpose, and direction.

    According to the first line of the declaration above, daughters of God have direction of their lives. What is that direction? In life, we have choices. Each choice can lead us one of two ways spiritually, either towards our Father in Heaven, or towards Satan. I love listening to Mary Ellen Edmunds and one of the things she talks about is the arrow of a religious life. I like her analogy, which basically says that we can be doing things on one of the three lines of an arrow. The first line is the center line, which isn’t bad exactly, but doesn’t get us anywhere. The second is the line of the arrow point which leads us down to the places we don’t want to go. The third line of the arrow is that which leads us up to our goal of returning to our Father in Heaven. I may not have her words just right, but the idea still applies. Really, we choose between two directions in life; up or down, good or bad, towards God or Satan. When we are taking any path, we have to eventually choose one or the other.

    As a daughter of God, I choose to follow the direction that He has given me to follow him. If I choose anything else, I am not living as a daughter of God, but rather a daughter of the devil. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want that second title for myself. The direction that God has given us, is precise and direct, while anything else can fall into the directions of Satan. We can find that direction in the scriptures and in talks by leaders of Christ’s church on earth today. We are given that direction in the teachings of our Savior, Jesus Christ. In John 14:6 we read, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” He is the way. He is the direction. We should look to His example. 2 Nephi 31:16 says, “. . . I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved.” We need to study his life and mission as they are written in the scriptures. We can also learn more of His way, by attending His holy temples. In Isaiah 2:3 we read, “And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths. . .”.

    He, even Jesus Christ, is the one source that we can look to for the path to follow. In Matthew 7, the Lord taught the following:

    13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
    14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

    His path is that strait and narrow way. He has taught us to live a good life, to repent of our wrongs, to come unto Him through baptism by water and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and how to endure to the end in faith. In 1 Nephi 10:18 we read, “For he is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him.” Also 2 Nephi 31 teaches all of these things:

    18 And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive.
    19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.
    20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
    21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.

    There is a saving power that comes from study of all that the Savior teaches in the scriptures because as He taught the Nephites, “Behold I am the light; I have set an example for you (3 Nephi 18:16).”

    We can also be given the direction personally, through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost in our lives. We can ask God for this personal direction. In Alma 37:37 we read, “Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.” We should do our best to recognize the hand of God in all that we do. Proverbs 3:6 reads, “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Acknowledging God shows Him and others in our lives, that we believe in Him and recognize He has the power to do marvelous things for us. When we do this we humble ourselves and open the door for God to work in our lives. In Doctrine and Covenants 112:10 it says, “Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers.” The idea that the Lord would guide me personally touches me deeply. I can have that personal guide, if I am willing to acknowledge that He is my Lord, my Redeemer, and the only way for my salvation.

    Moroni 7:48 says the following:

    Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons [and daughters] of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

    I know that the Savior has marked the path for us to follow. He is the Savior of all mankind and it is through Him that I can become a true disciple and daughter of God. He is the direction that is in my life and can be the direction in the lives of all the children of God. His example is the way to go. I hope that my testimony can be added to the many that have gone before, I know that the Savior will lead the faithful to eternal life and exaltation. I have hope in the blessings that come from living as He lived. I know that He came to this earth, lived His perfect life, and gave Himself as a sacrifice for all mankind, so that we could become like Him and our Father in Heaven. I am grateful for the guidance of the spirit in my own life, and the direction it gives me, so that I may know how to follow the path the Savior has given me.

    Continually Holding to the Rod

    For the next Ensign article towards my Celestial University goal, I decided to read “Lehi’s Dream: Holding Fast to the Rod”, by Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (October 2011 Ensign). This article is a great reference for some further understanding of Lehi’s Vision found in the book of 1 Nephi. I have always enjoyed trying to apply this dream to my own life and see where I am standing in my own life. Elder Bednar explains three groups of people who are heading on or away from paths in this vision. I find that through the history of my life, I have been one of those in the group which cling to the rod when it seems convenient, meaning I have previously only studied the scriptures and really listened to the words of the prophets, when I have felt it fit into my life. I was quick to follow the crowds of people who were leaving the right path to the easy road toward that great and spacious building. My hold was only occasional at times and I could not hang onto the blessings that I knew I needed in my life. One of the points that I get from this article is that I need to continually hold fast to the word of God. I can honestly say that I am holding fast to it now. I hope that I will be constant in this for the rest of my days. I can sense the joy of blessings of eternal life, which I know will come my way if I can endure. To gain these blessings, I have a goal to read the scriptures and words of the modern day prophets consistently for the remainder of my life. I know that if I can keep this goal, I will eventually be able to receive the blessings of eternal life and salvation through my Savior, Jesus Christ.

    The second point is that I do not want to heed the mocking voices of the world around me. Even those voices of people who I love and admire can draw my attention and focus away from what I know is the most important. I do not want to live in a way where I may think or act like I am ashamed of the gospel. I want to stand tall in my choices to do what is right according to the Lord. I want to remain on the path that God has paved for me, and that the Savior has walked upon. I know that as my testimony grows, I am becoming firmer in my beliefs and therefore have the confidence to be happy being different from the world. I love this gospel and I love choosing the right. I am proud to say that I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Study of the Book of Mormon

    For my next Ensign article study for the Celestial University, I decided to read the article “How to Study the Book of Mormon”, by Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (October 2011 Ensign). It is a really good article which gives three areas of focus for why we should make studying the Book of Mormon a lifetime pursuit. These were because it is the keystone of our religion, it is written for our day and it helps us to come closer to God. I believe that these three reasons are completely accurate and I have found that as I make study of the Book of Mormon a priority in my life, I have been blessed with a stronger testimony and a greater faith and hope in my every day life.

    There are several things that this article makes me ponder about, but the two points in particular that I want to focus on are the tips that he gives. First, I think that I would like to get another copy of the book of mormon and study through with a specific topic in mind to mark. I wouldn’t mind having a copy designated as my faith copy or my copy focused on Jesus Christ. I haven’t done this in the past because I tend to let my study get away with myself and I have trouble focusing on one topic in particular, but I think that this would be a great thing to do in the future.

    Second, I want to continually ask myself why this scripture was written for me. Why does the Lord want me to know this story and how does it apply to my own life. I know that these words are the word of God written for us in these latter-days of the earth. Since that is the case, ever verse should be applicable to me in some way and I just need to pay attention enough to find it. I know that if I do this, my life will be better. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon and the great lessons and guidance it gives me in my life.

    Seek and Ye Shall Find

    Chapter 10 of 1 Nephi has a bunch of good principles of the gospel. We learn some things about the characteristics of God and there are prophecies of the scattering and gathering of the jews, as well as prophecies of the Son of God. The verse that sticks out to me at this time is verse 19 which says, “For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.” I think that in my own life I am trying to put this to the test. I have found that when I pray to learn from my scripture study, from the words of the prophets and general authorities, or to learn from attending a session in the temple, I am blessed with a knowledge and understanding of things that I did not have before. I think that a key part to this is the word diligently. This word is defined online (google search) as “conscientiousness in paying proper attention to a task; giving the degree of care required in a given situation; characterized by care and perseverance in carrying out tasks”. Taking care to study out and ponder over teachings found in the scriptures and such, with great care and proper attention, will bring the promised blessing of finding what we seek. I am grateful for this promise from the prophets and I find great joy in putting this into practice in my life.


    About My Scripture Study Buddy

    I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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