Katie raised her hand. She had a very good question. Feeling OK to stray from the flow of the lesson, the teacher directed the class to a scripture that would help with an answer. Another hand rose with another question. Again, we turned the pages of the Book of Mormon for help with the answer. After the third time in this process, Katie raised her hand again. Almost before the teacher could call on her, she blurted out, “How do you know your scriptures so well? How can you find all that?”
The teacher thought for a moment. He said he was nothing special. He didn’t have a photographic memory, or even a very good one. And then he answered with another scripture: “By small and simple means are great things brought to pass” (Alma 37:6). The teacher testified that he read his scriptures often. He read them daily. And years of daily scripture study add up.
I’ve reflected on that moment several times. I believe I caught a glimpse of the bigger picture of daily scripture study. Prophets have taught of its importance and how it will bless our lives. President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “You may think you are too busy. Ten or fifteen minutes a day with the scriptures, and particularly with the Book of Mormon, can give you a marvelous understanding of great eternal truths” (“Rise to the Stature of the Divine within You,” Ensign, Nov. 1989, 97).
Prophets have taught that there are consequences for inconsistent or casual attempts at scripture study. President Harold B. Lee taught, “If we are not reading the scriptures daily, our testimonies are growing thinner, our spirituality isn’t increasing in depth” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee , 59).
When beginning the scripture study habit, do not be surprised if it is difficult. But the effort is worth it. President Thomas S. Monson taught, “The holy scriptures are an unfailing guide in our lives. Become acquainted with the lessons the scriptures teach. Learn the background and setting of the Master’s parables and the prophets’ admonitions. Study them as though each were speaking to you, for such is the truth” (“A Time to Choose,” Ensign, May 1995, 97).
I read my scriptures daily. I read them personally and with my family. I need them every day. I know the Lord has many more things to teach me. And every little sincere attempt adds up.
Illustration by Steve Kropp