Regularly feasting upon the words of Christ is as essential to our spirits as eating and drinking is to our physical body. However, we tend to be more deliberate in feeding our physical bodies than we do our spirits. Such is one of the tests of mortality.
Like many Asian countries, rice is a staple food in the Philippines. We eat rice three times a day every day. I have had occasion to spend time with Filipino friends as they participate in a week-long training in Utah. After a few days of not being able to have rice, almost everyone says: “I have got to have rice. I don’t get full by just eating bread or potatoes.” I am sure though that they are not wanting for food nor are they starving. However, for someone who grew up having rice with every meal, the familiar sensation and satisfaction of eating rice was missing. I believe that studying the scriptures is one of the staple foods of our spirits. Without a daily regimen of scripture study, our spirits are never going to feel satisfied.
“It Beginneth to be Delicious to Me”
Have you ever felt that studying the scriptures can be boring at times? I think we all have had and may continue to have those feelings occasionally. If so, persevere and “liken all scriptures unto us”, until we develop a love for them.
Start small. Sometimes when we want to change, we want it to happen immediately, and we become frustrated. Developing a habit of regular scripture study does not happen overnight. “It is line upon line, precept upon precept.” Perhaps you begin by reading for 15 minutes a day and then build from there. The important thing is to be consistent. Committing to do it every single day without fail. This was the intent of the “21-day challenge.” I invite you again to take the challenge. You will be amazed to discover that you have more capacity and a greater desire to “feast upon the words of Christ” at the end of twenty-one days. The scriptures and words of living prophets “beginneth to be delicious to (you).”
“If the language of the scriptures at first seems strange to you, keep reading. Soon you will come to recognize the beauty and power found on those pages”President Boyd K. Packer
Language of the Scriptures
Have you ever felt that the language of the scriptures seems unfamiliar and hard to understand? President Boyd K. Packer counseled: “If the language of the scriptures at first seems strange to you, keep reading. Soon you will come to recognize the beauty and power found on those pages” (“The Key to Spiritual Protection,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2013, 27).
I remember each of my two grandchildren when they were just learning to say a few words. I felt so bad that I could not understand them! It was as if their words were lifted off some ancient and extinct language. However, the miracle of it all was that their mother, our daughter, understood every word because she was constantly with them and was familiar with their language.
An Instruction Manual
As a young missionary, I began to discover the joy and blessing of scripture study. I cherished the many hours of study allocated in our daily schedule. We were also given a list of key scriptural passages that we were encouraged to become thoroughly familiar with and, if possible, memorize. These passages were very helpful as we taught the gospel and helped our friends resolve their concerns. I later learned that those scripture passages were not just for our friends. Gratefully, they have become powerful nuggets of divine truth for me to this day. One of those nuggets is contained in the Apostle Paul‘s tender letter to his beloved missionary companion Timothy.
“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
(2 Timothy 3:15-17)
As a budding student of the scriptures, this passage had a powerful impact on me. It impressed upon me more profoundly how much the scriptures can guide us on our journey through mortality. It taught me that in addition to the wonderful feeling I get from studying, I can also receive inspiration. I can receive corrections. I am given instruction in righteousness and help to become “wise unto salvation.” Elder D. Todd Christofferson taught: “In the end, the central purpose of all scripture is to fill our souls with faith in God the Father and in His Son, Jesus Christ.” (“The Blessing of Scripture, Ensign, May 2010)
President Russell M. Nelson said: “We all need guidance through life. We obtain it best from the standard works and teachings of the prophets of God. With diligent effort, we can achieve that guidance and thus qualify for all of the blessings that God has in store for His faithful children.” (“Living by Scriptural Guidance”, Ensign, November 2000)
I testify that the power of the scriptures will permeate our lives if we study them throughout our mortal journey.