Jesus Christ taught the value of the scriptures to his disciples. He said that “whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived.” Joseph Smith was inspired by the Holy Bible to turn to his Father in prayer, leading to the opening of the heavens and the restoration of the gospel in the latter-days.
The Prophet Joseph Smith taught, “Those who have read [the scriptures], and who have drunk of the stream of knowledge which they convey, know how to appreciate them.” He also said, “He who reads it oftenest will like it best.”
President Monson declared the importance of the scriptures to him:
“The words of truth and inspiration found in our four standard works are prized possessions to me. I never tire of reading them. I am lifted spiritually whenever I search the scriptures. These holy words of truth and love give guidance to my life and point the way to eternal perfection.”
Like President Monson, we too can be spiritually uplifted and divinely guided as we spend time studying the word of God. The following information can help us learn more about the heritage of the scriptures, how other Saints apply them to their lives, ways to study, and prophetic promised blessings we may receive through regular scripture study.
Individuals throughout history sacrificed, at times with their very lives, to preserve and translate the word of God. The sacrifices of these individuals have made the scriptures available to God’s children for generations to come.
Ancient and modern prophets and disciples sacrificed much to preserve and provide the scriptures. These scriptures now help us measure correctness and truth, strengthen our faith, and light our path.
We can be part of this heritage by making sacrifices to study the word of God and share what we learn with others. As we do this, we honor those who sacrificed to bring us the scriptures.
Prophets and apostles speak to the importance of the scriptures in our lives:
- Thomas S. Monson, “Come, Learn of Me,” Ensign, Dec. 1985
- Ezra Taft Benson, “The Power of the Word,” Ensign, May 1986
- Boyd K. Packer, “Scriptures,” Ensign, Nov. 1982
- Robert D. Hales, “Holy Scriptures: The Power of God unto Our Salvation,” Ensign, Nov. 2006
Just as Joseph Smith was inspired as he read from the Holy Bible, God’s children, no matter their situation in life, can receive guidance, comfort, and inspiration from the scriptures. Prophets and Latter-day Saints share with us the role the scriptures have played in their lives and the lives of others.
“What Scriptures Mean to Me”
The scriptures can hold personal meaning for each individual. Elder Richard G. Scott explained that “they can become stalwart friends.” President Gordon B. Hinckley said:
“As I read these sacred volumes I marvel at the wonder and the majesty of the Almighty God and his Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. All of the writers of these testaments sing the praises of God our Father and of our Redeemer. The scriptures testify of the Father and the Son—of their majesty and wonder. The scriptures invite all to come unto the Father and the Son and to find peace and strength in that union between God and man. This, to me, is the essence of these great books of light and truth—the consistency of which becomes more evident through the use of the tools available to us.”
Elder Holland shares his feelings about the Book of Mormon in this way:
- A Testimony, a Covenant, and a Witness, by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, October 2011, Liahona
The scriptures are the cornerstone of our gospel study. Joseph Smith said:
“They are calculated to make men wise unto salvation, and sweep away the cobwebs of superstition of ages, throw a light on the proceedings of Jehovah which have already been accomplished, and mark out the future in all its dreadful and glorious realities.”
As you approach scripture study, remember to pray to the Lord in faith, asking for guidance and inspiration. Listen to the Spirit as you study and ponder what you have read. There are many ways to approach scripture study. Make it a personal or family journey with the word of God, using those techniques that are most effective for you.
Make regular scripture study part of your daily living. President Thomas S. Monson taught:
“Crash courses are not nearly so effective as the day-to-day reading and application of the scriptures 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 they were speaking to you, for such is the truth.”
Read about various ways to enhance your scripture study:
- How to Study the Book of Mormon, by Elder D. Todd Christofferson, October 2011, Liahona
- Ten Scripture Study Tools, September 2010, Ensign
- Successful Scripture Study, by Paul Vandenberghe, January 2012, New Era
- “How do I Study Effectively and Prepare to Teach?” Preach My Gospel
- Learn about My Study Notebook (LDS.org)
Ancient prophets recorded promised blessings that come from studying and pondering of the scriptures. In 1 Nephi 15:24, the prophet Nephi taught, “Whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.”
Modern-day prophets have promised comfort, guidance through the Holy Ghost, and strength to endure and overcome through scripture study. For example, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught,
“The scriptures and the words of modern-day apostles and prophets are the sources of wisdom, divine knowledge, and personal revelation to help us find answers to all challenges in life.”
Elder Richard G. Scott spoke about the power we can receive in our lives from scriptural doctrine:
“Your access to the Savior’s help comes in different ways … by reading, pondering, and applying the teachings of the scriptures. They are a very powerful source of assistance. While examples and anecdotes will help to understand principle, you will find that power comes from scriptural doctrine.”
Many prophets have testified of the promised blessings that flow from immersing ourselves in the scriptures: