Too Busy For Scripture Study

Have you ever seen a child procrastinate a chore? I think it might be one of the most painful things as a parent– right behind stepping on a Lego in the middle of the night on the bathroom floor.

Right now I have a list of 4 things that my two older boys must do before they can have any screen time. One of the things is to play nicely/quietly for 1 hour. My oldest especially loves to play–he incorporates toys from all different genres- the blocks attack the playmobil castle, the matchbox cars drive over the play kitchen and the train set gets blown up by the stuffed animals. Watching him play is very entertaining.

But– the other day he refused to go play. So I had to watch him wander around, teasing whoever he could find, knocking pillows of the couch and moaning about how he doesn’t have time to play on the i-pad because he has to complete my expectations. I chuckled to myself because -on a different level but same idea– I bet I look the same to God sometimes.

From my all-wise standpoint, I could tell Elijah a million times, “go play for one hour- you love to play! And then you’ve earned some screen time. All you have to do is what I asked and you will earn what I’ve promised.” A million times isn’t enough. Nothing changes until a person makes the choice themselves to put the most important things first.

Parents here on Earth are not the only ones having to watch this painful process of learning to put the things that matter first, first. For the past thousands of years, the Lord has been directing prophets to write down what His children need to know to return to Him. With love, concern and omnipotence, He has vicariously crafted a handbook of instructions for our use.

writing scripture

How much we read and study and ponder them is a direct indicator of how much we believe this to be true.

In the last General Conference, Elder Richard G. Scott said:

Don’t yield to Satan’s lie that you don’t have time to study the scriptures. Choose to take time to study them. Feasting on the word of God each day is more important than sleep, school, work, television shows, video games, or social media. You may need to reorganize your priorities to provide time for the study of the word of God. If so, do it!

Sometimes when I read statements like this from apostles and prophets, I say a prayer to know how God thinks I’m doing. If it were up to me, I’d respond in one of two ways (depending on the day). First: ahh! I’m such a failure! I am so bad at reading my scriptures!” Or, second: “I read my scriptures this morning. Oh Yeah.”  #naturalwoman

Asking God in a prayer what He thinks of your scripture study takes out our natural man emotional responses. As you study today, keep in mind how much God loves you. The commandment to read the scriptures daily isn’t a homework assignment to make us feel overwhelmed. Instead, it is a plea to come and sup with the Lord so that we can face our day with His strength.

Screenshot 2015-01-01 at 11.13.42 PMLara

 

S: (Prayer/Ask) Why is a serious study of scripture so important?

M: (Study)

 And I, Jesus Christ, your Lord and your God, have spoken it.

These words are not of men nor of man, but of me; wherefore, you shall testify they are of me and not of man;

For it is my voice which speaketh them unto you; for they are given by my Spirit unto you, and by my power you can read them one to another; and save it were by my power you could not have them;

Wherefore, you can testify that you have heard my voice, and know my words.

  • Study this short chapter from 2 Corinthians 4  As you read this chapter written by Paul for the early Christians, think about what these verses can teach about scripture study. Look especially in verse 4– “the god of this world hath blinded the minds”

Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;

 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.

 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

 11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

 12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

 13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;

 14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

 15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

 16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

  • In 1832, a few of the returning missionaries were told they “treated lightly” the Book of Mormon (see chapter heading). Here are the verses:

54 And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—

 55 Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.

 56 And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.

 57 And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—

 58 That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion. Doctrine and Covenants 84:54-58

O: (Ponder)

  • Look back at the verses from Doctrine and Covenants 84. What “things” in verse 54 do you think the Lord is referring to? What do you think “treating [the scriptures] lightly means? Look in verse 55- the Lord makes a connection between taking the scriptures lightly and vanity/unbelief. Why do you think the Lord uses these two words?
  • Read this promise from President Ezra Taft Benson and ponder if the way you use the scriptures equals the degree to which you believe this statement is true.

There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called “the words of life” (D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance.

R: (Write) your thoughts, what you learned, impressions you received, and anything else in your scripture journal (include your thoughts on the study session question: Why is a serious study of scripture so important?) Also consider writing down the following:

  • If a person were to ask you if you know God’s words, (see above Doctrine and Covenants scripture), how would you answer? Write your response in your scripture journal.
  • What is the opposite of treating the scriptures lightly? Write down the words that come to your mind as you think. (Tip: instead of first thinking something specific to write, just start writing and the thoughts will come.)
  • In Elder Scott’s footnotes, he complied a fabulous set of quotes from prophets and apostles on scripture study. Read through them, pick your favorite and write it down into your scripture journal.  (Click here for the link within this site and click here for the link on the lds.org/conference site– see footnote 6.)

E: (Prayer/Thank)- thank God for what you’ve learned and ask if there is anymore.

The Challenge: Prayerfully make a study plan -when you will study and what you will study– and stick to it perfectly for a week.

click here for more information on s’more scripture study method

S'mores (4071) - BSP Assignment #206005

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