Latter-day Prophets Speak about Scripture Study

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    Joseph Smith (1805–44), First President of the Church

    “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” (History of the Church, 4:461).

    Brigham Young (1801–77), Second President of the Church

    “We consider the Bible … as a guide … pointing to a certain destination. This is a true doctrine, which we boldly advance. If you will follow the doctrines, and be guided by the precepts of that book, it will direct you where you may see as you are seen, where you may converse with Jesus Christ, have the visitation of angels, have dreams, visions, and revelations, and understand and know God for yourselves” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young [1997], 120).

    Joseph F. Smith (1838–1918), Sixth President of the Church

    “I see too many of our people who are very much better read in the things that are written by some of the popular authors of books than they are in the things of God. They don’t know one thing about the real essence of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they don’t know or comprehend one thing about the rites of the Priesthood and the principles of government that God has revealed to the children of men to maintain the kingdom of God in the earth. They know more about novels than they do about the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants—yes, far more” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith [1998], 46).

    Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985), Twelfth President of the Church

    “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” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, edited by Edward L. Kimball [1982], 135).

    Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–), Fifteenth President of the Church

    “[The Book of Mormon] came forth as a voice from the dust, from Cumorah’s hill, to go forth to the world in declaration of the divinity of the Lord. … It carries with it an inspiration, a power that is wonderful to behold. It is more than just an ordinary book; it is something which touches the hearts of those who read it prayerfully and carefully” (“Inspirational Thoughts,” Liahona, August 2000, 5).

    Portrait of Joseph Smith by Alvin Gittins; Brigham Young, America’s Moses, by Ken Corbett; portrait of Joseph F. Smith by Albert E. Salzbrenner; portrait of Spencer W. Kimball by Judith Mehr

    Photograph of Gordon B. Hinckley by Jed Clark