Questions and Answers

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    Answers are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.

    The scriptures seem boring to me. I don’t see what’s so great about them. Is there anything I can do to enjoy them more?

    Our Answer:

    Other people have shared your problem, but you can get past your boredom to the adventure in the scriptures.

    The main thing is to prepare spiritually. You don’t have to do anything special to read an ordinary magazine or watch a television show. Those things appeal to your more worldly side and are not usually hard to understand. But you have to make a special effort to understand spiritual things. Here are some ideas to help:

    Read as a disciple of Christ. Remind yourself that you are reading the scriptures because that’s what the Master wants you to do. Look for whatever it is that he wants you to know right now.

    Read prayerfully. Pray before you read. Ask the Lord to guide you to what you need to know. Then be alert! The Spirit will give you feelings of peace and understanding. But these feelings are easy to miss, and you’ll probably miss them if you’re trying to keep one ear tuned to the radio.

    Find yourself in the scriptures. In the story of Zaccheus (Luke 19:2–6), is that little man up there in the sycomore tree really you? Is the Lord trying to get your attention? In the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11–32), are you the “good” brother? And have you come to realize that you are the wayward brother—along with everyone else in the world? We should remember the advice in 1 Nephi 19:23 [1 Ne. 19:23] that we should “liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning.” We should consider ourselves as the ones receiving the instruction.

    Ask questions. A question at the back of your mind may be a clue from the Spirit to a path that you are called to explore. At the very least, always ask, “Who wrote or said this? Who was he speaking to? Why was he saying it? How does this apply to me?”

    Talk with people about what you are reading. A kind of spiritual fire is lit when reverent people share thoughts and feelings about the scriptures. It may have something to do with Matthew 18:20 [Matt. 18:20]: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Ask your parents what they think of a scripture. You might be pleasantly surprised at what happens.

    Read in different ways. You don’t always have to read straight through, verse by verse. Read about one subject or about a particular person. Look at all the footnotes on some verse—you’ll find that words don’t always mean what you think they mean. Try reading aloud.

    Don’t give up! When you’re out hiking and struggling up a steep hill in the hot sun, you may wonder why climbing that mountain is such a good idea. But when you get to the top and look out at the beauty of the valley, then you know it was worth it. Reading the scriptures can be like that.

    Youth Answers:

    I became a member of the Church two years ago. As I first read the Book of Mormon, I realized that the contents applied to the situations we are facing in our lives today. I did not read the scriptures much when I was a child, but when I did begin to read and understand them, I felt close to the Lord. I know that there are blessings for those who read the scriptures and keep the commandments.

    When I don’t read the scriptures, I feel that I am not developing spiritually, and I am not learning about the kingdom of God and the things I need to do to inherit eternal life.

    Elder Sione H. Lãtü, 20
    Afã Branch, Nuku‘alofa East Stake
    Tonga

    When I read the scriptures, I try putting myself in the story and living the experience as I read, just like reading an adventure story. This makes everything much more interesting to me and helps me value the teachings of the scriptures.

    Claudia Alvarez N., 15
    Cornella Branch, Barcelona Stake
    Spain

    I found that it helps to have an attitude of curiosity when we read the scriptures—what am I going to read about today? How can I be even more converted to the gospel by reading this?

    I know that I am growing spiritually by reading the scriptures every day. When we read the scriptures, we learn the words of our Heavenly Father, and we learn from the wisdom of the ancient prophets.

    Kim, Hee Jin, 19
    Ul San Branch, Pusan Stake
    Korea

    I make time for scripture study right after I get home from school. If I try to read after supper or homework, I cannot concentrate because I become too tired.

    I write down scriptural passages that particularly impress me or that I don’t fully understand. Then I can refer to them and study them further.

    I receive many blessings and a sense of peace through studying the scriptures.

    Natsuko Mikumo
    Nobeoka Branch, Kumamoto District
    Japan

    I learned in institute class that we need to read, ponder, and pray about the scriptures. Sometimes I spend an enormous amount of time on the same scripture. I’ll compare various scriptural passages and gain further insight by asking older people to help me better understand what I am reading. I have had some incredible experiences by placing myself in the events of the Book of Mormon. The best experience came when I imagined myself as one of Lehi’s children as he explained his vision of the tree of life.

    Whenever I have a problem, regardless of what it is, I search the scriptures for comfort. Sometimes, I find the answer to my prayers in the scriptures.

    For me, studying the scriptures has become better than watching television or going out for an evening. The scriptures are a fundamental part of my life.

    Silvania do Nascimento Chagas, 23
    Atalaia Ward, Aracaju Stake
    Brazil

    Over the years I have had problems that I have not been able to overcome by myself. Once when I had such a problem, I remembered President Benson’s challenge to read the Book of Mormon. I took the book from the shelf and began to read. I was surprised! The answers to my problems were there in the scriptures.

    From that time on, the scriptures have become very special to me, and I have learned to consult the scriptures whenever I have a problem. The Lord gave us the scriptures for our instruction and to comfort us when we are feeling low. They guide us along the right path.

    Gilbert F. Ceniza, 19
    Tetuan Ward, Zamboanga Stake
    Philippines

    There are times when I don’t feel like reading the scriptures. But on these occasions I remember the advice of my bishop, and I pray for the Lord’s help.

    I know that my Heavenly Father hears me, answers my prayers, and has helped me come to love the scriptures.

    Marisa Yoris, 16
    First Ward, Resistencia Stake
    Argentina

    If you read the scriptures and apply what you have learned to your life, you will be blessed. You can overcome your problems and be unafraid to face the trials that may come into your life.

    I know that Satan wants to distract us, deceive us, and weaken our desire to read the scriptures. But we must trust in the Lord and ask for the help of the Holy Ghost as we seek guidance through the scriptures. Remember the admonition of our Savior to “search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39).

    Marilou Barreo, 15
    Fourth Ward, Tuguegarao Stake
    Philippines

    When I started seminary, I began to study the scriptures in depth. I learned what the ancient prophets had done for the gospel’s sake. I realized that I had been born for a purpose, the purpose of building up the kingdom. I also came to a knowledge that the gospel is true. I still have much to learn, but I love our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

    Jacqueline Carolina Mazariegos Castellanos, 18
    Utatlán Stake
    Guatemala

    Reading and studying the scriptures has given me a whole new perspective on life, and I know how to better love others. Most important, studying the scriptures has brought me closer to my Heavenly Father.

    In addition to praying for understanding of the scriptures, I find it helpful to do the following things:

    • Find a time and place for yourself so you won’t be disturbed. It will help you think.

    • Liken the scriptures unto yourself. You will gain so much.

    • Discuss or share the scriptures with your friends.

    • As you gain a testimony of the scriptures, share it with your friends. The joy of such sharing is incomparable, and it will make you love the scriptures even more.

    Lu, Ya-ru, 17
    Hsin Ying Branch, Kaohsiung Stake
    Taiwan

    While I was serving as a missionary, I learned that reading the experiences of the prophets causes us to feel the love that God has for all of his children.

    We also find in the scriptures the perfect map for returning to our eternal home—a treasure of incalculable worth. Open the scriptures and start walking!

    Virginia Villa F., 25
    Colón Ward, Cochabamba Universidad Stake
    Bolivia

    As I read the scriptures, I think of how I am making Heavenly Father happy by reading his messages. He wants us to learn wisdom in our youth. (See Alma 37:35.)

    If we have the potential of becoming like God, we need to help prepare ourselves by reading the scriptures.

    Dionicia Apaza, 14
    Villa Dolores Ward, El Alto Satelite Stake
    Bolivia

    When we begin reading the standard works, we may find things that we don’t understand. Or the length of some chapters may cause us to get bored. But keep in mind that the scriptures show us the way to return to our Heavenly Father. Through them, we can gain a personal testimony.

    Participating in the seminary and institute programs gives us the opportunity to study with other young people who have the same principles.

    Victor Olivares V., 19
    Granja II Ward, La Cisterna Stake
    Chile

    When I was baptized at thirteen, I didn’t enjoy the scriptures. I didn’t understand them, and I read them only once in a while—preferring to read other literature instead. Then one Sunday, I heard two members bear their testimonies about how the scriptures had changed their lives. I felt bad that I hadn’t done my part to learn. I began praying that the Holy Ghost would help me understand. Later, I began attending seminary and reading the scriptures before going to bed. Now I have my own testimony that the scriptures are the word of God and that through them we can know the will of our Heavenly Father.

    Raquel Herrera, 19
    El Ejido Branch, Ibarra District
    Ecuador

    What if we did not have the scriptures? How would we know our Heavenly Father? Where would we be without the light and knowledge in the scriptures?

    We would be in darkness not knowing of the plan of salvation. We would not know of the Savior. We would not understand our existence.

    I used to find the scriptures boring. But once I started really reading them, the Spirit helped me, and I couldn’t resist reading them.

    The daily study of the scriptures has helped me greatly. I feel they are letters from my Heavenly Father to all his children. They are the recipe, the guidelines, for all that I should do to strive for perfection.

    Eliana Dias Severo
    Trancredo Neves Branch, Santa Mariá District
    Brazil

    Make a note of the scriptures that are important to you. You can use the scriptures that teach certain principles by writing them down on paper and keeping it somewhere it can be easily seen.

    You must remember that scriptures are as important to your spirit as food is to your body. Your mind doesn’t forget what it registers, and certain things can elevate it, while others can lower and harden it to the promptings of the Spirit.

    Marylène Bamalé, 21
    Carcassonne Branch, Languedoc District
    France

    I was baptized almost two years ago. At first the scriptures seemed boring to me, and I didn’t understand them. To remedy this situation, I did a number of things.

    I organized and managed my time; I chose a certain time each day during which I would spend the entire time reading the scriptures. I set a goal to read the Book of Mormon within a certain time. I used my imagination to become a participant in the events recorded in the scriptures. I always asked my Heavenly Father for help in understanding what I was reading. Sometimes I would discuss a certain passage with my bishop or someone else to help with that understanding.

    The scriptures have become my best friends, and I know that they are of God.

    Yngrid M. Heining, 17
    San Lorenzo Ward, Fernando de la Mora Stake
    Paraguay

    If you pray and ask God for help, the feeling that the scriptures are boring will disappear. The scriptures comfort us when we most need it. They teach us that we have to experience the bitter as well as the sweet. (See D&C 29:39.) Through the scriptures, the Holy Ghost will help us find solutions to our problems.

    José Gregorio Duque Morales, 23
    San Antonio Branch, Cúcuta District
    Colombia

    I believe this is a time when Satan tempts us the most and tries to discourage us. I was falling asleep as I tried to read the Book of Mormon. Then I realized that I was falling asleep because I was lying down and reading at night. I decided to sit at a desk and read sometime during the day. (We can develop good study habits.)

    I believe the scriptures play a very important role in our life, because through them we can know what God expects of us. Also, through them we can lay the foundation of a life of joy.

    Ericka A. Acosta Carrillo, 16
    Nacionalista Ward, Mexicali Stake
    México

    When you read the scriptures, imagine seeing a movie of what you are reading. I have imagined such spectacular events as the Savior teaching the Sermon on the Mount, and Captain Moroni leading his armies.

    I have set a goal to become a scripture scholar. That means reading and re-reading the standard works. I also refer to a dictionary when I come across words I don’t understand.

    Christian Ramírez, 18
    Barahona Batey Branch, Barahona District
    Dominican Republic

    I find it very helpful to color-code the scriptures so that certain colors represent certain topics.

    I also write inspiring words from the scriptures on cards that I keep with me and can refer to when I need a little help or comfort. I feel that by doing this I can come closer to the scriptures.

    Yuki Okamoto
    Kamagaya Ward, Tokyo East Stake
    Japan

    Photography by Craig T. Moyer