The scriptures are often referred to as a roadmap given to us from Heavenly Father, a way to find answers to our problems. When I was younger, I didn’t understand how that could be possible. None of the prophets or even Jesus had the same difficulties or situations that I did. Since then, I have gained a testimony to the power of the word of God. There are many wonderful examples of what to do and what not to do and many people we can learn from, but the scriptures are more than just a collection of inspiring stories. They are a way for Heavenly Father to speak to us and to teach us and for us to show Him that we are willing to learn from Him. Reading them unleashes the Spirit in our lives like little else can. I love this quote:
“I sometimes think that one of the best-kept secrets of the kingdom is that the scriptures open the door to the receipt of revelation.”
Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrines of the Restoration, ed. Mark L. McConkie, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1989, p. 243
I know that many of my ah-ha moments about my life have come to me when I am reading or pondering the scriptures, even if they are the same chapters I have read many times and even if the particular scripture has nothing to do with my answer. Just reading them opens the doors so that we are more receptive to the whispers of the Holy Ghost and more prepared to understand the will of God.
I have also had those experiences where I was reading and a verse jumped out at me and was exactly what I needed to hear to comfort me, to tell me what to do or to answer a question. When that happens I feel so overwhelmed by the love of my Heavenly Father who cares enough to give us these wonderful words and prompts me to read them. Of course, what good are those words when they are sitting in a closed book on a shelf?
"The scriptures that are never read will never help us." Elder L. Tom Perry, Ensign, May 1985, p. 23
The times that I feel closest to my Heavenly Father are definitely the times when I am reading the scriptures consistently and taking the time to think about what I have read. I’m so grateful to live at a time when we can have the scriptures in our own homes.
"I fear that many of us rush about from day to day taking for granted the holy scriptures. We scramble to honor appointments with physicians, lawyers, and businessmen. Yet we think nothing of postponing interviews with Deity-- postponing scripture study. Little wonder we develop anemic souls and lose our direction in living. How much better it would be if we planned and held sacred fifteen or twenty minutes a day for reading the scriptures. Such interviews with Deity would help us recognize his voice and enable us to receive guidance in all of our affairs." Elder Carlos E. Asay, "Look to God and Live," Ensign, Nov. 1978, 52