“Scriptures More Precious Than Gold, Sweeter Than Honey,” Liahona, Feb. 2006, N9–N10
Young Women general president Susan W. Tanner spoke to young adults throughout the world about the infinite value of the scriptures at the Sunday, September 11, 2005, Church Educational System fireside.
Speaking to thousands present at the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah, and to many more watching the broadcast, Sister Tanner conveyed her deep love for the scriptures. Referring to Psalm 19:10, she said the scriptures are “more to be desired … than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” She said the scriptures are the source of a spiritual feast that all can partake of daily. Through examples from her family, from Saints throughout the world, from the words of General Authorities, and from the scriptures, she illustrated how the scriptures are a rich treasure.
She referred to her missionary daughter’s increased enthusiasm for the holy scriptures. “I am excited that Mom will be talking about scripture study,” her daughter wrote. “I feel like one of the ways I’ve changed the most is in the way I study my scriptures. I love studying the scriptures now. … I can hardly explain it, except that it is like Alma 32:28 where the words become delicious. I used to like them and now I love them.”
Sister Tanner described the sacrifice of African Saints who seek to fill spiritual hunger in spite of great physical hunger by walking long distances to attend church. She said the African Saints spiritually feast on the words of God.
She said the word of God is so sacred that it is considered a covenant, as is illustrated in the actions of her favorite example in the Old Testament, King Josiah. “And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant” (2 Kgs. 23:3). She said that like Josiah, all should read, heed, and stand by the covenants found within the sacred scriptures.
Sister Tanner said the scriptures ought to be so valued that their possessors continually feast upon them. She said that as Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) once asked expectantly, “What scriptures have you been studying today?” the scriptures should be continually on our minds in order to draw closer to the Lord and to keep spiritual hunger at bay.
“I hope that you can learn early in your lives to love the scriptures and feast upon them,” she said.
Likewise, Sister Tanner said learning true doctrine is a sure way to change attitudes and behaviors. She also said the Holy Ghost accompanies those who study the scriptures. She cited an example where women at a concentration camp received light, warmth, and sustenance from their daily gatherings around a Bible.
“It is never too late to start feasting on doctrine in the scriptures,” Sister Tanner said.
Sister Tanner explained that while translating the Bible and pondering the Gospel of John, Joseph Smith received 50 percent of the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants. Similarly, she said, sincere feasting, studying, and pondering of the scriptures can bring personal revelation to each of us.
She said that when President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) encouraged women to study the scriptures, she heeded the challenge. Through fulfilling her responsibilities as a mother and in her Church callings, she has found scriptures that tie directly to her experiences.
She said that those who heeded President Gordon B. Hinckley’s challenge to read the Book of Mormon by the end of 2005 would receive the promised blessings that accompany the study of that sacred book. Those who read the Book of Mormon will gain an added measure of the Spirit as well as a strengthened testimony.
A woman in Guadalajara, Mexico, was converted after being asked by an intuitive mother to teach two boys Spanish by reading from the Book of Mormon. “Every time the boys read from the Book of Mormon, she saw light around their faces,” Sister Tanner said. “She wanted to discover what that light was.”
Sister Tanner said she recently reread the Book of Mormon, and it strengthened her testimony that Jesus is the Christ because the Book of Mormon protagonists endured and overcame burdens and challenges through their faith in Christ.
“I love the Lord; in Him my soul delights,” Sister Tanner said. “I testify with Nephi: ‘My soul delighteth in the scriptures’” (2 Ne. 4:15).