10943_000_012Why does it seem that the answers to so many questions seem to be things like “pray” and “read your scriptures”?
Illustrations by Curvabezier/iStock/Thinkstock
Have you ever sat in Sunday School and didn’t answer a question because it seemed so obvious? “Pray, read your scriptures, attend the temple.” We hear those answers so often, but have you ever thought about why they are usually the best answers?
In order to become more like Christ, we constantly repeat many simple and important spiritual steps. As we repeat these small and simple things, we can see that “he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day” (D&C 50:24).
Here are some reasons why these steps help us strengthen our testimony and lead us to deeper conversion.
Keep the Commandments
We can learn of the commandments through the words of our prophets and apostles and the scriptures. President Thomas S. Monson has said, “If we heed His words and live the commandments, we will survive this time of … wickedness—a time which can be compared with the waves and winds and floods that can destroy. He is ever mindful of us. He loves us and will bless us as we do what is right.”1
The ability to communicate with our Heavenly Father is one of the greatest blessings, privileges, and opportunities we have, and it’s essential for our spiritual development. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, said, “We can speak to Him of our life experiences, trials, and blessings. We can listen for and receive celestial guidance from the Holy Spirit. We can offer our petitions to heaven and receive an assurance that our prayers have been heard and that He will answer them as a loving and wise Father.”2
As we pray and learn to communicate with our Heavenly Father, we can come to know that He is mindful of us and that He loves us. Our faith in Him and His plan will grow. Then no matter what we face, we can trust—because of our experiences in communicating with Heavenly Father—that He will give us the strength, comfort, and help we need.
Read the Scriptures
“The scriptures hold the keys to spiritual protection,”3 taught President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Daily, meaningful scripture study helps us become more receptive to the Holy Ghost and have a clearer understanding of the gospel. Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said, “Because scriptures are generated from inspired communication through the Holy Ghost, they are pure truth. … Scriptures are like packets of light that illuminate our minds and give place to guidance and inspiration from on high.”4
As we faithfully study the scriptures individually and with our families, we will find answers to our questions. We’ll also learn more about Jesus Christ and how we can become like Him.
Go to the Temple
Prophets and apostles have always encouraged temple attendance. As you attend the temple you will be enabled to receive the highest blessings available, which will allow you to fully take upon yourself the name of Jesus Christ. Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said, “I bear solemn witness that the fire of the covenant will burn in the heart of every faithful member of this Church who shall worship and honorably hold a name and standing in the Lord’s holy house.”5 Within the temple you will feel peace and receive spiritual guidance.
If you live too far from a temple to attend often or are not currently worthy to enter the temple, prepare now to one day participate in sacred ordinances in the temple.
Listen to the Spirit
Learning to hear and understand the Holy Ghost takes practice. Elder Scott has said, “I am convinced that there is no simple formula or technique that would immediately allow you to master the ability to be guided by the voice of the Spirit. Our Father expects you to learn how to obtain that divine help by exercising faith in Him and His Holy Son, Jesus Christ. Were you to receive inspired guidance just for the asking, you would become weak and ever more dependent on Them. They know that essential personal growth will come as you struggle to learn how to be led by the Spirit.”6 With time, your confidence will grow as you recognize and follow the promptings of the Spirit. You will know that the Lord is mindful of you and is guiding you.
For more on how daily prayer and scripture study can help you, visit lds.org/go/strengthNE3.
By Small and Simple Things
“We should find great comfort in the fact that ordinary people who faithfully, diligently, and consistently do simple things that are right before God will bring forth extraordinary results.”
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “‘By Small and Simple Things Are Great Things Brought to Pass’ (Alma 37:6–7),” (Brigham Young University Women’s Conference address, April 29, 2011), 2, ce.byu.edu/cw/womensconference/pdf/archive/2011/Elder_David_A._Bednar.pdf.
Thomas S. Monson, “Closing Remarks,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 109.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Prayer and the Blue Horizon,” Ensign, June 2009, 6.
Boyd K. Packer, “The Key to Spiritual Protection,” Ensign, Nov. 2013, 26.
Richard G. Scott, “The Power of Scripture,” Ensign, Nov. 2011, 6.
David A. Bednar, “Honorably Hold a Name and Standing,” Ensign, May 2009, 100.
Richard G. Scott, “To Acquire Spiritual Guidance,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 6–7.