So, today, I ask do we take advantage of not only the Ensign/Liahona, etc., but also having our own personal scriptures? Do we set aside a time to recharge our spiritual batteries through scripture study? If we don't, or have room to improve (I know I do), how do we get started?
Elder David A. Bednar suggests five principles to more effectively studying the scriptures:
- Pray for understanding and invite the help of the Holy Ghost: Always begin scripture study with prayer. Ask for understanding as you study. Express gratitude for the chance to study.
- Work: Pay the price of regular and diligent study---take the time!
- Be consistent: Set aside a specific and scheduled time each day---don't let anything else replace it!
- Ponder: Think about the truths, experiences, and lessons in the scriptures. Take time—pondering cannot be forced, hurried, or rushed.
- Write down impressions, thoughts, and feelings: Record what you learn, think, and feel. Invite the Holy Ghost to continue instruction.
So, we've got the how---but WHY? Elder Bednar answers that questions too:
Why is studying the scriptures so important? Sincere study of the scriptures helps us progress in the process of coming unto Christ and becoming more like Him. Through daily feasting, we can gain a testimony of the gospel truths for ourselves and learn to hear and follow the voice of the Lord.We become more in tune with the Lord when we take the time to study the scriptures. I definitely notice a difference between the days when I study and when I don't. For some reason, I've always struggled with keeping it up; being consistent. I know the importance of personal study, but I justify by doing other 'important' things. But, when I do this, those days never go as planned. I hardly ever finish my 'to-do' list of the day.
However, when I study my scriptures before anything else, I feel my time open up to me. Are those days perfect? No way; but I remember to have more patience with my toddler because I read about Alma's patience and prayers with Alma the Younger.
Take one of the principles above that you need to work on and focus in on it as you study the scriptures this week---I'm going to work on being consistent. The scriptures are there for us. Let's not forget to use them.