“Questions and Answers,” NewEra, Dec 2010, 14–15
Responses are intended for help and perspective, not as official pronouncements of Church doctrine.
Studying the scriptures can be hard at first. There are so many concepts to learn, and the people and places seem so foreign. But scripture study will become a rewarding experience if you stick with it.
Try the experiment the prophet Alma described (see Alma 32:27–34). He taught that if you “give place” in your life for the word of God, it will enlarge your soul and enlighten your understanding. It will also motivate you to continue reading the scriptures because, as Alma promised, the word of God will begin to be delicious to you (see Alma 32:28).
Another way to find motivation is to seek out the many blessings that come from studying the scriptures:
• Regular and sincere scripture study will invite the Spirit into your life, answer your questions, help you have clean thoughts, motivate you to serve others, help you pray more effectively, and build your testimony of Jesus Christ and the Restoration.
• The scriptures will teach you how to have faith, how to recognize the Holy Ghost, and how to repent. They will teach you why we need a Savior, why opposition is necessary, why this earth was created, and much more.
As you experience these blessings, you won’t need to force yourself to read—you will look forward to it.
Scriptures Contain Answers
By reading 2 Nephi 32:3, you can immediately understand why we need to read and study the scriptures. I know that the scriptures contain all the answers to our questions! We should understand that the scriptures are given to help us progress towards perfection, which is such a necessary part of this life. Each day we all have a few minutes to set aside for reading the scriptures.
Sergij C., 21, Novosibirsk, Russia
A Stronger Testimony
I hadn’t been reading the scriptures until my Young Women president suggested that I work on Personal Progress. It asked me to read the scriptures every day for some weeks. After doing this, I never stopped reading them. My best advice is that you ought to work on your Personal Progress or Duty to God. Challenge yourself to read the scriptures more and more, and you will see a change within yourself. I tell you this without a doubt—you will see that you have a stronger testimony.
Paola S., 16, Cortés, Honduras
Pray for Understanding
Even when I have many projects and assignments for school, I set aside those things and start reading the scriptures first. I start with a prayer to invite the Holy Ghost in understanding the word of God. And through the help of seminary manuals, my motivation to read the scriptures has developed and continues to grow.
Elieser N., 16, Ilocos Norte, Philippines
Armor of God
The key to developing any habit is desire. Make it your desire to read every day. Keep a log of how much you read, and try to read at the same time every day. This helps you to develop consistency. Reading the scriptures is like putting on the armor of God. You would not go into battle without your armor. Don’t go into a world of sin without the armor of God. Protect yourself—read the scriptures.
Andrew G., 18, Maine, USA
Something for Everyone
It helps me to think about what’s in the scriptures. Not only do they contain the gospel, Christ’s teachings, and the commandments, but they—especially the Book of Mormon—are a big adventure book, full of wars, heroes, good guys, and bad guys. The scriptures have something for everyone.
Eve W., 15, Nevada, USA
Not Just a Book
Don’t think of the scriptures as just a book you have to read for seminary or because you’re supposed to. You get to read the word of God. It has adventures, afflictions, wars. The scriptures are a testament of Jesus Christ—that He is our Savior, that He bled and died for us. The prophets prophesied of His divinity. Many died because they would not deny what they knew was true. Their faith was unshakable. We should all strive to become as faithful as they were.
Kaleb L., 14, Utah, USA
He Wants to Talk to You
Our Heavenly Father has the answer to each question you ask Him; the only thing you have to do is read the scriptures and apply them to your life. Knowing that Heavenly Father wants to speak to you and answer your prayers will help you seek Him daily in the scriptures. As you obey His word, your life will improve, and you will find refuge and tranquility. You will be happy as you hear His voice.
Elberth R., 18, Ixtapaluca, Mexico
Form a Reading Habit
Forming a habit can help tremendously. Start off slowly; read maybe a chapter or two each day. Soon you should have a habit of reading the scriptures. I usually read a couple chapters each evening and sing a hymn. This routine uplifts me and keeps me optimistic for what the next day will bring. And I have a better understanding of the lessons in seminary. The scriptures are a blessing. Take advantage of them.
Taylor C., 15, Washington, USA
Counsel for Your Life
The scriptures relate the experiences of people who go through difficulties similar to ours. When beginning your reading of the scriptures, offer a prayer and have faith that you will find counsel for your life. The scriptures are one of the means by which Heavenly Father communicates with His children. In the scriptures we find the strength to meet all kinds of trials, and I bear my testimony that when we are well instructed, we will succeed in discerning good from evil and will avoid the snares of Satan.
Anderson F., 19, São Paulo, Brazil
“I am grateful for emphasis on reading the scriptures. I hope that for you this will become something far more enjoyable than a duty; that, rather, it will become a love affair with the word of God. I promise you that as you read, your minds will be enlightened and your spirits will be lifted. At first it may seem tedious, but that will change into a wondrous experience with thoughts and words of things divine.”
President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008), “The Light within You,” Ensign, May 1995, 99.
“In these troubling times, how can I keep a positive attitude about the future?”
Send your answer and photo by January 15, 2011.
Go to newera.lds.org, click Submit Your Material, and then select Questions and Answers.
You can also write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
New Era, Q&A, positive attitude
50 E. North Temple St., Rm. 2420
Salt Lake City, UT 84150-0024, USA
Responses may be edited for length or clarity.^