Sunday, December 4, 2011

Scripture Study

In testimony meeting today, somebody said (like many people say) “I would like to bear my testimony.” And I thought to myself “I would not like to bear my testimony, but the spirit would like me to.” Now I feel very bad that I could not find the courage to get up—not just once, but twice. I have been thinking a lot about how you can miss some of the most important revelation if you do not respond to and write down the first smaller impressions. How, then, could I not take the opportunity to respond to the prompting to bear my testimony and miss anything that might come from that? This is so far from comfortable for me so even if I am hiding behind my computer screen instead of standing in front of my ward, at least I am still responding to the prompting. And I can be a little bit more verbose.

I have never been good at studying my scriptures. Except for when I was at BYU-Idaho and I was so surrounded by wonderful people and teachers and activities that kept me centered on the gospel. I have always felt like I could never attain true studying of the scriptures. Well, if I at least read them, that was good enough, right? Better than not at all. But I would always feel a twinge of guilt when I heard “study” or “learn” or “feast” or anything like unto it.

Sometimes in my studies, I would come across a phrase that would repeat itself to me throughout the day. Was that studying? Sometimes I would focus on applying just one thing to me. Was that studying? Sometimes I would mark my scriptures. Sometimes I would keep a scripture journal. I always felt like I was lacking. I found myself praying—almost to the point where it felt like begging. “Please, please, please, plleeeeeeeease help me learn something today.” This would lead to a cycle of something breaking my reading streak and then me taking a while to get back to reading daily. I did not like this and something had to fill the missing piece.

A few weeks ago, I came across a resource that just amazed me. She was who I wanted to be like in terms of studying the scriptures. And she showed me the way. One thing she wrote was “You probably think that you can’t do this—but you’re wrong. You can. It takes time and it takes practice. You can do it.” Everything that I felt was a struggle for me was answered in her.

Since that time, I have been putting her and her tips to work in my personal scripture study. Could this really be the missing piece for me? Would this teach me how to fish so I could feed myself for eternity?

I was up reading one morning when my mom called. I realized what time it was and that I had been studying for 45 minutes. That was such an amazing feeling. That was when I knew that I could do it for myself. My testimony of scripture study really grew that day and continues to grow as I recognize the changes in my daily life just from going from reading to studying the scriptures. I thought I would rely on studying examples of how to study the scriptures for a long time, but I’m not.

I always knew that reading the scriptures helps us strengthen our relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Now I know that studying the scriptures deepens our knowledge and understanding of how to live our life and how to reach our goal of living with God again. It gives me a daily peace that if I am doing the things that take care of my family’s spiritual needs, then it is more okay that I didn’t get to all of our physical wants. (Is a clean house a want or a need?)

If any of you want, I would love to hear how you structure your scripture study. What do you find works best for you? What are the struggles you face with young children? What are the struggles you face just ... because?

1 comment:

  1. I am exactly the same way as you (were). I WANT to be good at studying, and I'm awful at it. Could you forward on to me the tips that were shared with you?

    I've tried to be better at even just READING every day (which I still don't). With the boys, and especially since Andrew doesn't take any naps, it's hard to get through more than 10 or 15 verses before someone gets into something or steals a toy or gets hurt. :( So probably one thing that would be good for me is to study without the kids...