Sunday, October 16, 2011

Scripture Power

Scripture Power -- everyday I need...
The power that I get each time I read."

Our good and kind friend, Clive Romney, wrote those words twenty-five years ago and Primary children have been enthusiastically belting them out ever since.

There is so much truth in that simple phrase. We need the power of holy scripture in our daily experience, and as we teach Institute we are witnessing the results of the habit of scripture reading in the lives of our students. It has given us a powerful object lesson.

The generation that we are now teaching has grown up during the twenty-five years since President Benson gave his epic sermon in General Conference calling upon all members of the Church to make the reading of scripture, and particularly the Book of Mormon, a daily habit. Many of these students' parents took President Benson's counsel to heart when their children were young, began to read together daily with their families, and we now see the result. Their children have become our students, full of love for and understanding of the scriptures. The scriptures are their friends, just as Elder Scott described in his Conference talk a few weeks ago:

"The scriptures... can become stalwart friends that are not limited by geography or calendar. They are always available when needed.... Learning, pondering, searching and memorizing scriptures is like filling a filing cabinetwith friends, values and truths that can be called upon anytime, anywhere in the world."

The scriptures guide the lives of many of our students. You can see it in their actions, their attitudes and their choices. These students are normal young single adults facing uncertainty, trials, and weighty decisions. They struggle. They do the best they can. But what we see is that they are grounded in truth through their friendship with the scriptures. They turn to the scriptures for answers. They know the teachings and the stories found therein and they turn to them for guidance. The scriptures help them make better decisions. And the scriptures help them find their way back when they stumble.

We are seeing the cumulative effect of the years that both the students and their families have invested in scripture study, as well as the power the students have gained from that habit. And it is a cumulative effect that has been acquired once day at a time. Just as it would not be effective to pile seven days worth of toothpaste on a toothbrush every Sunday so you only had to brush your teeth once a week, scripture study, too, is most effective on a daily basis. It invites the Spirit of the Lord into our minds and hearts each day.

As we have taught two classes each week on the power of the scriptures, we have been reminded of the blessings and benefits of habits we have long practiced. I am really grateful for the effect that the scriptures have had on my life. Because I am "old" and have lots of years of experience to look back on, I can now see how regular scripture study has taught me things I needed to know, improved my ability to learn and comprehend truth, opened me up to receive inspiration when I needed it, protected me from some mistakes I might have made, and gradually changed my heart and my mind over a period of many years. I wish I could say that reading the scriptures has made me perfect, but, alas, I've still got a long way to go on that count. Nevertheless, my life has been greatly blessed by the scriptures and I do not regret one minute I ever spent reading them.

Isn't it amazing that we can carry them with us everywhere we go now -- on our phones, our laptops, and our iPads? Here's to scripture power! ~Pat~

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