“Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled” (D&C 1:37).
The Promises of a Prophet04284_000_029
Throughout my life I have learned that when we follow the teachings of our prophets, we receive promised blessings. In the April 1986 general conference, President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) promised that if families would read the scriptures together regularly, the Spirit would fill their homes. 1
My dear wife and I decided to follow that counsel. We set a goal to read a chapter a day from the Book of Mormon with our three children—Jorge, 10; Susi, 9; and Luis, 3. We read every day, each of us reading one verse at a time. Even though Luis could not yet read, he wanted to participate. He sat on my lap, facing me, with the Book of Mormon between us. When it was my turn to read, we both followed my finger as I pointed to each word, and Luis repeated out loud every word I read while he looked at those words upside down.
Just before he turned five years old, Luis asked, “When is it my turn to read?”
We explained that when he was older, he would go to school and learn to read.
He responded, “I already know how to read!”
Astonished, I handed him a Book of Mormon. He opened the book upside down and began to read perfectly. He had learned to read by following along in the Book of Mormon!
When he was six years old, Luis sometimes went with me to visit Church members. I asked him to share his testimony as well as a short scripture message that I had taught him. Whenever he read from the Book of Mormon, he held it upside down and read perfectly.
I testify to you that if you start to read the scriptures from the time you are a little child, you will better understand the Lord’s promises and you will know what He expects from you. Someday you will become a parent and have little children of your own. Teach them to read the scriptures, and you will see a fulfillment of the promise in Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Luis is now finishing his university studies and working full-time. No matter how late he gets home from work, school, or a Church assignment, he still reads a chapter from the Book of Mormon before he goes to bed. The prophet’s promise has truly been fulfilled: as a result of our reading this sacred book, our family has been richly blessed and we are more united.
I invite you to read the scriptures every day. If possible, read them with your family. I urge you boys to prepare to serve missions. I invite all of you to have a goal of being sealed in the temple for all eternity. And finally I want you to remember the inspired counsel of President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008), who told us: “You need all the education you can get. … Whether it be repairing refrigerators, or the work of a skilled surgeon, you must train yourselves.” 2
My dear children, listen to your teachers, be obedient in the classroom, do your very best, and learn all you can. The Lord has rich blessings in store for you and your families. Our duty is to “follow the prophet; he knows the way.” 3
Photographs courtesy of Elder Octaviano Tenorio; illustration by Robert A. McKay