I am a cross-country and track distance runner. Sometimes three miles on rough terrain can seem like an eternity. I have learned to endure to the end and to tolerate hard work and many physical and emotional challenges. Sometimes my mind screamed to stop and quit the race or the difficult practice, but I had to mentally and physically endure to the end. I have found that no matter how hard it was to run a race or finish a tough practice, nothing beats the satisfaction I get from knowing that I didn’t give up.
In 3 Nephi, chapter 15, verse 9, Jesus told the Nephites: “Behold, I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life.” [3 Ne. 15:9]
The concept of endurance can also be applied to studying the scriptures. It has not always been easy for me to study the scriptures. They always seemed too difficult, the terrain too rough. In seminary I was encouraged to form a habit of reading ten minutes every day. I was assured that it would be worth it in the long run. I began my training. Every time I read from the Book of Mormon, I found different messages that related to the problems going on in my life. It was very exciting for me, and tonight I hope you will catch this excitement. I know it’s hard for you. We’ve all been there, but I promise you that if you open up the scriptures and read every single day, this same excitement and testimony will come. One of the greatest blessings is growing closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
The scriptures also provide a way for the Holy Ghost to prompt me to choose the right every day. In 2 Nephi, chapter 32, verse 3: “Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.” [2 Ne. 32:3]
As long as I endure to the end and make scripture reading a lifelong habit, I will be able to say with Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7).
I testify to you that it has been well worth the struggle. I love the Book of Mormon and the truths it holds. It has taken a few years, and it will take many more, to learn how to apply the scriptures to my daily life, but the guidance I get from scripture study is a calming influence on me and brings peace into my daily activities. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.