I have been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints all of my life. I had wonderful parents who labored to help me learn and understand the scripture stories and the doctrine within scripture passages. I am so grateful for this strong foundation they helped me to build. However, it was not until my mission when I actually began to love the scriptures specifically the Book of Mormon. Previous to my mission, I knew that the scriptures were true, but I did not have a love for them. Now I can say that the people who lived so long ago are now my heroes and my friends. Their experiences give me hope, courage, and peace. I am grateful that they recorded their experiences with the gospel and the atonement of Jesus Christ for my benefit.
After I returned home, I slipped up in my daily scripture studying habits. I still read, but not everyday. I saw a decline in my spirituality and my happiness. It was startling. I was upset that I had made this mistake but I remembered that I could repent and change just like many in the scriptures had done before me when they too made mistakes and drifted away from Heavenly Father. I can't say that it was a quick and easy change, but it was well worth my change in lifestyle. I was and am happier and closer to my Heavenly Father. It is vital to your spiritual growth to study the scriptures daily. You wouldn't just run out of time to nourish your body with food and water on a daily basis; your spirit needs nourishment too.
In the Book of Mormon, Nephi explained the reason for writing and keeping his record. He explains that his purpose is to bring others to God (Sound familiar RMs??). He then says, "Wherefore, the things which are pleasing unto the world I do not write, but the things which are pleasing unto God and unto those who are no of the world. Wherefore, I shall give commandment unto my seed, that they shall not occupy these plates with things which are not of worth unto the children of men" (1 Nephi 6:5-6). I love these scriptures because they teach us three specific things about the purpose of the scriptures in helping us return to our home in Heaven.
1. Only the things that are pleasing to God are written in the scriptures. The doctrine in the scriptures will go against the things of the world.
2. The doctrines will help you to become not of the world and more like God.
3. Because of these promises, the scriptures are of great worth to us as children of God.
I invite you to reevaluate your personal scripture study habits and take action to make your studying even more meaningful. Take the steps needed to nourish your spirit on a daily basis. I hope and pray that you will be able to feel as Nephi did when he said, "my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them" (2 Nephi 4:15). I know that as you study the scriptures daily in a way that is meaningful to you, your happiness and peace in life will increase. Heavenly Father will use the scriptures to answer your prayers and the yearnings of your heart. I know this is true because Heavenly Father has given me these blessings in my life. As you study the scriptures daily, He will extend these blessings to you as well.