The Holy Scriptures are the inspired writings of holy men of God who spoke and wrote as they were moved upon and guided by the Holy Spirit of God (D&C 68:3-4). Their sacred writings are contained and canonized in the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. These men were Prophets of God! They were some of the greatest men who have ever lived. Their sacred and Holy Scriptural records are priceless. And, it is miraculous they have been preserved and available for us today. To hold and study the Holy Scriptures is one of the greatest blessings we have been given. We can actually hold them in our hands and own a personal copy of each, quite likely translated in our native language.
Think about it! God, our Heavenly Father has revealed truth, light and knowledge to holy prophets who have faithfully recorded His will concerning us: you and me! In these scriptures, we learn grand and profound truths about the creation of the universe, including the Earth we live on, and the very purpose of our existence. We also learn the truth about God our Heavenly Father: He is the God of Heaven and Earth; He is alive and well; He is perfect in all things; He is our Heavenly Father; He loves us; we are all His children, spiritually created by Him before we came to Earth; and, we lived with Him in that premortal existence.
We also learn that it is Heavenly Father’s great plan and desire that eventually, He would “…bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). These sacred books teach of Heavenly Father’s Great Plan of Salvation for His children: including; The Creation, the Fall of Man, earthly experience, the eventual atonement made possible through His Son Jesus Christ, and the path we must follow to qualify for Eternal Life (life hereafter with God the Eternal Father). (John 17:3)
Gaining knowledge and understanding of these and many other glorious truths are the reasons we should study the Holy Scriptures. But, the most important reason is this: we must prayerfully study the scriptures to learn and know of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God the Father in the flesh. He is our Savior and Redeemer. We must learn of Him, repent of our transgressions and follow His teachings and example. Only by knowing Him and following His example can we completely overcome our separation from God (“the Fall of Man”) and return to His presence.
“Knowing Christ” includes learning the truth about His Character, Attributes, and Perfections. He is the perfect example for us to follow. He has taught the truth, set the pattern, and provided the way for us to return to our Heavenly Father. By prayerfully studying the life of Christ, learning of Him, following His example and loving Him, our Faith in Jesus Christ will grow. There is a direct correlation between our knowledge of Christ and the amount of Faith we have in Him. And, honest seekers of the truth will begin to naturally modify their lives to become more like Him.
In addition to “the Life of Christ,” and the great and eternal “Plan of Salvation,” the Holy Scriptures teach us about “the Doctrine of Christ.” The Lord taught that His Doctrine is “…the doctrine which the Father hath given unto Me” (3 Nephi 11:32). In simplest terms, it’s the path our Redeemer has set out which, if followed, will bring His chosen people to a knowledge of Him, and which must be followed if we are to learn of Him and receive Exaltation and Eternal Life (see 2 Nephi 31; 3 Nephi 11; 3 Nephi 15:9; D&C 76:50-70; and, 2 John 1:9).
Faithfully studying the scriptures will have an uplifting and spiritual influence upon our individual thoughts, behaviors, and personalities. If we diligently and faithfully study and follow them, they will draw us to Christ and inspire us to be better in this life …more like the Savior, more Christlike! And, we will be on the path to “Eternal Life.”
Now, if you’re new at this, or if you need a little refresher, here are ten (10) practical steps to follow as you Study the Holy Scriptures. To make it easier to remember, use the letters: PSPO.” They stand for “Pray, Study, Pray and Obey.” But for starters, please read and follow these “Practical Steps” carefully and apply them as much as possible. Eventually, as the Holy Spirit prompts you, this will become natural and effortless. Over time, you’ll become driven as you look forward with excitement to your daily Scriptural Adventure.
10 Practical Steps to Effective and Inspired Scripture Study:
- Each day of your life strive to be obedient to your understanding of God’s commandments and worthy of the companionship of the Holy Spirit.
- Read and study the Holy Scriptures DAILY. Do this faithfully. Put it on your schedule.
- Have a regular (dedicated) time and place for your scripture study. Pick a peaceful quiet setting where you will have the least amount of distractions. Try to return to that same place, at that same time each day. Making it a routine will help program your mind and body to be better focused and alert to receive light.
- Begin each study time with sincere and earnest prayer. Among other things, talk to God about what you are about to do: for example, Read the Scriptures. Ask specifically for the influence of the Holy Spirit that you may be inspired and receive light and knowledge. Expect to be enlightened.
- Read, study and ponder the Holy Scriptures. As you do, be open to, listen for, and anticipate spiritual promptings from the Holy Spirit.
- Have a pencil and paper handy! Take written notes of spiritual thoughts or promptings that come to you while you study. Save and remember your feelings and your notes.
- When a scriptural passage stands out or you feel inspired, mark/highlight your personal copies of the scriptures. Develop your own preferred system of notes and annotations.
- After your study time, return to your knees and pray again to the Father. Pray for the continued influence of the Holy Spirit. Ask for understanding, further instruction (information), light and knowledge.
- Review your written notes. Ponder about what you’ve written. Pray about them. And, edit them according to the promptings you receive from the Holy Spirit. They can become a treasure of personal spiritual promptings.
- Strive to live each day in accordance with your growing understanding of Christlike behaviors.
Well, there you have it; practical steps for receiving Light and Knowledge as we read the Holy Scriptures. Of course, it may seem a little structured, but give it a try. As you do this, exercise your faith. Your knowledge and testimony will grow, and your heart will swell with love and appreciation for the scriptures. Your soul will also be filled with truth; and, it will grow in the pure love of God. As your knowledge grows, exercise humility, love one another, strive to live virtuously, and pray sincerely; “…and the doctrine of the priesthood will distill upon thy soul as the dews from heaven” (D&C 121:46).
Click HERE to return to my Index of Blogs page.