Today’s lesson comes from an old Melchizedek Priesthood Manual Come to Me Priesthood Personal Study Guide 1983/1987. The purpose of this lesson is to increase your commitment to regularly studying and coming to know the scriptures. This lesson is presented as part of our ongoing understanding, and journey, of what it looks like to live an authentic Christian life.
President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:
Everyone should learn something new every day. You all have inquiring minds and are seeking truth in many fields. I sincerely hope your greatest search is in the realm of spiritual things, because it is there that we are able to gain salvation and make the progress that leads to eternal life in our Father’s kingdom.
The most important knowledge in the world is gospel knowledge. It is a knowledge of God and his laws, of those things that men must do to work out their salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord.” (See, Ensign article ‘The Most Important Knowledge’, May 1971).
1. How do we get this most important knowledge in the world today?
2. Does it come by casually reading the scriptures?
3. Or, does it come by searching and pondering and praying and keeping the commandments?
We must study and know the Holy Scriptures
The following admonition is given by President Spencer W. Kimball:
I feel strongly that we must all of us return to the scriptures…and let them work mightily within us, impelling us to an unwavering determination to serve the Lord….
So I ask all to begin now to study the scriptures in earnest, if you have not already done so. (See, Ensign article “How Rare a Possession – the Scriptures, September, 1976)
Another admonition is given by President Kimbell, this one concerns the excuse of being too busy to study the scriptures: “No father, no son, no mother, no daughter should get so busy that he or she does not have time to study the scriptures and the words of…prophets. (See, Conference Report, April 1976, May 1976 edition of the Ensign).
1. What adjustments can you make in your schedule to spend more time to study and know the scriptures?
2. Based on 2 Timothy 3:15-17 (ESV), what are the scriptures able to do?
3. Is this possible if we never study the scriptures? According to verses 16 and 17 what additional benefits come from studying the scriptures?
4. Based on Doctrine and Covenants 1:37-39, what do we know about the prophecies and promises that are in the scriptures?
5. According to John 20:31, what is one of the great purposes of Scriptures?
We are to live the teachings of the Scriptures
According to John 7:16-17, we have a way to know that the teachings of the scriptures are true, and those who preach from the scriptures are true as well. How is this so? President Romney has taught:
Learning the gospel from the written word, however, is not enough. It must also be lived. As a matter of fact, getting a knowledge of the gospel and living it are interdependent. They go hand in hand. One cannot fully learn the gospel without living it. A knowledge of the gospel comes by degrees: one learns a little, obeys what he learns; learns a little more and obeys that. This cycle continues in an endless round. Such is the pattern by which one can move on to a full knowledge of the gospel. (See, “Records of Great Worth”, Ensign September 1980).
1. How important is this to understand?
2. Based on Alma 12:9-11, what determines how much of the Lord’s word are we able to receive and understand?
3. What will be the result if we do the things necessary to obtain “the greater portion of the word”? (See also Doctrine and Covenants 50:24).
We are to do in all things what Jesus would have us do
President Joseph Fielding Smith taught:
We are the Lord’s agents; we represent him; he has given us authority which empowers us to do all that is necessary to save and exalt ourselves as well as his other children in the world.
We are ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our commission is to represent him. We are directed to preach his gospel, to perform the ordinances of salvation, to bless mankind, to heal the sick and perhaps perform miracles, to do what he would do if he were personally present – and all this because we hold the holy priesthood.” (See, In Conference Report, April 1971; published in the June 1971 edition of the Ensign.)
John 15:1-5, we learn the relationship that exists between Him and his followers through a beautiful analogy.
1. What are we to do, after reading verse 4?
2. How is this accomplished?
3. What does the Savior mean when he says, in verse 5, “Without me ye can do nothing”?
President Marion G. Romney has taught:
Countless times as I have faced challenges and vexing decisions I have asked myself, ‘What would Jesus do?’ Fortunately, I was exposed early in life to the standard works of the Church…It was therefore natural for me, as I pondered the question, ‘what would Jesus do?’, to turn to the scriptures in search of the answer. There in the Gospel as recorded by St. John, I found the clear and certain answer: Jesus would always do the will of his Father….
Having learned that Jesus would always do the will of his Father, my next objective was to find out what Jesus would do to ascertain the will of his Father. Searching the New Testament, I discovered that one thing he did was to thoroughly familiarize himself with what his Father had declared his will to be, as recorded in the Old Testament…
Finally, and most importantly, I learned that he communed constantly with his Father through prayer. (See, “What Would Jesus Do?” New Era, September 1972).
Immerse yourself in the Scriptures daily
President Kimbell, while serving as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, said:
I find that when I get casual in my relationships with divinity and when it seems that no divine ear is listening and no divine voice is speaking, that I am far, far away. If I immerse myself in the scriptures the distance narrows and the spirituality returns. I find myself loving more intensely those whom I must love with all my heart and mind and strength…I find it easier to abide their counsel. We learn the lessons of life more readily and surely if we see the results of wickedness and unrighteousness in the lives of others. (See, “What I Hope You will Teach My Grandchildren,” Address to Seminary and Institute Personnel, Brigham Young University, July 11, 1966, p. 6)
1. How are you immersing yourself in the scriptures to find answers to daily problems?
2. What challenges are you faced with today and how does today’s study and lesson help you seek out those answers?
3. What commitment will you make to begin studying and applying the scriptures to your life today?