By Ashley D.
I love to read, but I admit that I don’t typically get caught up in the scriptures like I do with a bestselling novel. While I believe God would like me to study the Bible and Book of Mormon with great intensity, I’ve often asked myself, “What’s the point of reading the scriptures?” I recently found one pretty solid answer. In the book of 2 Nephi in the Book of Mormon, the prophet Nephi is delivering a message to his people where he describes what he calls the “doctrine of Christ” – the basics of our religion. This doctrine comprises faith, repentance, baptism, the companionship of the Holy Spirit, and then virtuously enduring until the end of mortal life (after which there are great things to come upon being reunited with God in heaven). Some of Nephi’s followers were curious what they should be doing after baptism – what could they do to stay on a path that would lead them to eternal life with God? Here is Nephi’s answer: “Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:3). So there you have it. The words of Christ will tell us all things we should do. And we can’t know the words of Christ unless we study them, and ponder them, and feast upon them. That’s where the scriptures come in. We now know that feasting on the words of Christ (the scriptures) will tell us all things we should do, and we know it will help us gain eternal life, but those two things are a little hard to grasp on a day-to-day basis. I’ve turned to some thoughts from modern-day leaders of our church to help me get a closer look at why scripture study is beneficial to us. One elder called the scriptures “a veritable banquet of insights and divine counsel.” He said, “let us feast at the table often.” So that’s an indication that to receive the benefits of feasting, we have to do it regularly. And then he gives the promise, or the “why”: He says that “if we do [this], the Holy Spirit will fill our lives, helping us to be ‘nourished by the good word of God.’” So there is one practical reason to study the scriptures. If we do so, we’ll not only have the Holy Spirit with us, but it will fill our lives. Another leader taught that we feast upon Christ’s words when we desire and obey them. So simply reading scriptures doesn’t count as feasting – we have to desire them, and then take action after we close the book by obeying the words. He says “to feast means more than to taste. To feast means to savor. We savor the scriptures by studying them in a spirit of delightful discovery and faithful obedience. When we feast upon the words of Christ . . . they become an integral part of our nature.” Finally, feasting upon the words of Christ is one of the best ways for us to learn about Jesus Christ, to become more like Him, to draw near unto Him, and to properly make use of God’s greatest gift to us – the Atonement. There is no better place than the scriptures to learn about Jesus Christ and the Atonement, for that is where it was all originally documented. We can read and study about the actual events themselves, as well as the accounts of all those who prophesied about Christ, those who lived and served with him, and those who continued to spread the gospel after his death.