Scriptures and Firewood

Allan F. Packer

Of the First Quorum of the Seventy

From an interview with Elder Allan F. Packer of the Seventy; by Anna Culp


Allan F. Packer
Seek learning, even by study and also by faith (D&C 88:118).

Scriptures and Firewood

When I was 12 years old, I took my new hatchet on a camping trip. I arrived after dark and volunteered to chop some firewood. I expected it to be easy since the hatchet’s blade was sharp and the handle was strong. But the hatchet didn’t work well at all. I had to chop hard and long to cut the logs. I finished the job feeling very frustrated.

Then I got closer to the campfire and saw the problem—I had left the hatchet cover on! In that moment, I learned that when things seem hard, it is important to look more carefully at what’s going on, instead of just getting frustrated.

We can remember to look more carefully when we read the scriptures too. Sometimes when we read the scriptures, we may not understand them at first. We might feel like we are trying to chop wood with a cover on our hatchet. But we will understand better if we take time to look more carefully.

At the beginning of each chapter, a heading tells us about what is happening in the chapter. We can ask, “What was going on here? What was this person feeling?” When we take time to look more closely at the scriptures, we can better understand what they can teach us. This will build our self-confidence and our testimony.

I have found it helpful to say a prayer asking to understand the scriptures when I read them. Then I ask, “What does Heavenly Father want me to learn from this scripture?” He always helps.

Illustration by Mark Robison