“What the Scriptures Mean to Me” Video Invites Reflection
Contributed By By Ryan Morgenegg, Church News staff writer.
In a sacred vision, two Book of Mormon prophets saw a rod of iron leading to the tree of life. This rod represented the word of God, and to reach the tree of life, a person had only to hold fast to the rod of iron while continually pressing forward. Millions of people have taken hold of the rod of iron and have come to know the Father and partake of His love.
President Thomas S. Monson has testified: “I know these sacred books of scripture are the word of God. With all my soul, as a special witness, I testify that they are true” (“Come, Learn of Me,” Ensign, Dec. 1985, 48).
Jesus Christ taught the value of the scriptures to His disciples. He said, “Whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived” (Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:37). Joseph Smith was inspired while reading the Holy Bible to turn to God in prayer, which led to the opening of the heavens and the Restoration of the gospel in the latter days.
So what do the scriptures mean to you? How have you seen gospel teachings change the lives of members of the Church? Are there certain passages that have personal meaning? A new video produced by the Church (found at lds.org/scriptures/heritage) shows members describing their personal experiences with the scriptures. Additional testimonies from around the world can be found in various Church publications. Here are some of those voices and some scriptures that complement their testimonies:
“[Reading the scriptures] makes me know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are not just some abstract beings somewhere. They are part of us. They listen to us. They know us. When we go to them in faith and do what is right, the Spirit will direct us and help us. I have a testimony that they are real” (Flint Mensa, Ghana, Africa).
I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth (Job 19:25).
“Seminary taught me that the scriptures are not just to be stored in our memories but to be applied in our lives” (Giccelly Collaguazo, Venezuela).
I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning (1 Nephi 19:23).
“The holy affirmations I have had regarding the Savior and His restored Church first came to me as a young man when I read the Book of Mormon. It was while reading this sacred record that I felt—again and again—the undeniable whispering of the Holy Ghost declaring to my soul its truthfulness” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “A Testimony, a Covenant, and a Witness,” Liahona, Oct. 2011, 80).
“Before joining the Church, I thought life was like drifting in the sea, so I equipped myself with some buoys to prevent myself from drowning—a house, power, position, wealth, cars, husband, and child. Then suddenly some of those temporal buoys failed. They burst into nothing within a week. In that crisis, our loving Heavenly Father threw a lifeline to save me; He sent missionaries who shared with me the teachings in the Book of Mormon. This latter-day scripture was like a dawning light in my dimming life, bringing me the precious peace and comfort I needed” (Hsu Hwei Chi, Taiwan).
And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation (Helaman 5:12).
“Through my scripture reading and the prayers that accompany my study, I have gained knowledge which brings me peace and helps me keep my energies focused on eternal priorities. Because I started reading the scriptures daily, I have learned about my Heavenly Father, His Son, Jesus Christ, and what I need to do to be like Them” (Julie B. Beck, former Relief Society general president).
If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal (D&C 42:61).
“I prayed and knew through the Holy Spirit that the Book of Mormon was true. It is the word, will, and truth of God. The regular reading of the Book of Mormon has helped us to draw close to God and to His Son, Jesus Christ” (Zoltán Horváth, Budapest, Hungary).
And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things (Moroni 10:5).
“I was invited to read the Book of Mormon every day. At the beginning it was kind of difficult because I would get distracted or tired. But as time went on, I couldn’t stop reading the Book of Mormon. I felt something inside that told me to keep going, and I could feel my testimony growing. Now I don’t just believe. I know that it’s true” (Oscar Moroni Zelaya, San Salvador, El Salvador).
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled (Matthew 5:6).
The scriptures were one of the ways God spoke to me—even when I was a child—about my needs, my situation, and my life. They still are. Since our needs change over a lifetime, God has different things to tell us at different times. Sometimes I go to the scriptures for doctrine. Sometimes I go to the scriptures for instruction. I go with a question, and the question usually is “What would God have me do?” or “What would He have me feel?” Invariably I find new ideas, thoughts I have never had before, and I receive inspiration and instruction and answers to my questions” (Henry B. Eyring, “A Discussion on Scripture Study,” Liahona, July 2005, 8).
Reading and studying the scriptures should be a daily activity for all members. Conversion to the gospel is a continuous process. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught, “Those who have read [the scriptures], and who have drunk of the stream of knowledge which they convey, know how to appreciate them.” He also said, “He who reads [scripture] oftenest will like it best” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith , 64, 66). Modern-day prophets also have testified about the need to frequently read the scriptures: “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, and loving them more, I find it easier to abide their counsel” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball , 67).