Studying the Scriptures
The scriptures are a great source of inspiration and revelation. Through them one can gain experience in listening to the spirit. They tutor the seeker, not just in doctrine, but in hearing the voice of inspiration, as well. “Through scripture study you can develop a greater spiritual sensitivity. If you have not begun to do that, you will need to start. Find time to be alone. Take the time to study, not just read, the scriptures. Pray before you begin. Think about the phrases used, and don’t try to digest whole chapters at once. Be silent, so that you can hear the still, small voice. If there is some serious sin in your life, repent of it. Let the Lord know you are doing so because you want the spirit as a guide in your life. He will respond. You will find He is no respecter of persons. He will send His spirit to any sincere seeker for truth. And when He does, it will be as a result of you seeking the light and obeying the commandments. The Comforter’s purpose is to guide you into greater truths. There is a library of truth waiting to be discovered inside the scriptures. Use this library and experience the inspiration it offers.”1 If someone is not willing to receive the contents of the revelations already recorded in the scriptures — by studying them and learning such mysteries as they contain — then what makes that person think he can qualify to receive revelation of yet greater things? Why would Heaven violate the rules of its own economy and do for that person what he can do for himself? No miracle is required to teach many of the mysteries of Heaven. They are already in the scriptures and in the ordinances. But if they are ignored with a refusal to receive what is in them, there is little reason to part the veil and teach more. “We prove our need to be taught by Heaven when we have done our part to study what Heaven has already revealed. When we have exhausted the available information here, we are permitted to receive more because we ask and we are ready to receive. You can know a person is ready to receive because they have paid heed to what has been delivered to mankind already. Nephi has done this. This is why we find ourselves gaining a new flood of light from him. As we will see, however, not all scripture is of equal value. When it comes to the scriptures, the Book of Mormon is plainly the best source for learning the mysteries of God. Within its pages is the fullness of the Gospel, set out in plainness like no other volume. Joseph Smith was perhaps understating the matter when he proclaimed ‘the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on Earth, and the keystone to our religion, and a man could get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book’ (DHC 4:461; also TPJS, 194). In addition to other important matters, as Nephi’s visionary encounter with the Second Comforter will teach us, the scriptures from all other sources have been corrupted.”2 “There are two things that will bring you closer to God than anything else. First, personal scripture study. Learn from them when you have time. Your private study will be more important than what others tell you about the scriptures. Second, personal prayer. Your private time spent in prayer will have the power to shape your life. If you study the scriptures when you are alone, and you pray in private, these two things, more than anything else, will draw you to God.”3See also PATTERN FOR UNDERSTANDING TRUTH.