I was writing this email to the sisters in my ward and thought I would share it on my blog (PS. I taught in RS if you don't figure this out). But I have to tell you a neat thing about yesterday. Last night I dropped by my friends home. They have 4 young boys. They were just getting ready to have scripture study, with extended family too (4 other kids, because they blessed their baby yesterday). It was fun to join them. Each of us read a verse. It took a while, but we did it. Probably one of the most rewarding evenings I have had in a while. It reminded me of when all 7 of us had our blue BOM and we would have family scripture study, it was always quite the task, but my parents did it because that is what we did; bless their hearts.
I was talking with a sister yesterday after church about those who missed RS because of callings in Primary or YW or because they were unable to be at church and how we can help you still feel a belonging to RS. It occurred to me that as a presidency we could send you our lesson material so that you can study what was presented the first Sunday of each month. Sending it to all sisters will also give you an opportunity to re-read and study what was presented and those things that I may not have been able to discuss in our class due to time.
I felt the spirit very strongly in all of our meetings yesterday, as I hope you did too. My topic assigned was "Increase our testimonies of Jesus Christ through Scripture Study and Prayer." As I have prayed over this the last few months and because this is such a broad topic, I came to the conclusion that I needed to focus my thoughts on Scripture Study. I really enjoyed this talk from L. Lionel Kendrick of the Seventy presented at General Conference April 1993. He expanded the talk in the following Ensign article.
The primary theme this past month was "Feast on the words of Christ, for behold the words of Christ will tell you all things what you should do." 2 Nephi 32:3. I love this scripture and have a testimony of it. Because of lack of time, I was unable to share the following, "The most important gospel learning and teaching comes through the process of seeking and receiving personal revelation. This process begins by bonding scripture study with personal prayer. Why are these two activities so important and dependent upon each other? They open the channel of two-way communication with our Heavenly Father. When we want to speak to God, we pray. And when we want Him to speak to us, we search the scriptures, for His words are spoken through His prophets. When we are engaged in both, we invite the personal revelation that comes through the promptings of the Holy Spirit. To truly feast upon the words of Christ and be nourished in prayer, however, we cannot ignore the third element of personal revelation: pondering. It is by pondering that we make what is revealed to us part of our every thought and action...I testify that throughout time, the holy scriptures are the word of God given for the salvation of God's children. If you have not heard His voice speaking to you lately, return with new eyes and new ears to the scriptures. They are our spiritual lifeline. As with voices from the dust, the prophets of the Lord cry out to us on earth today: Take hold of the scriptures! Cling to them, walk by them, live by them, rejoice in them. Resist the urge to merely nibble at them. The prophets enjoin us to "feast" on them." Elder Robert D. Hales
The handout that I gave to go along with my lesson was from President Kimball who stated, "We want our sisters to be scholars of the scriptures. You need an acquaintanceship with his eternal truths for your own well being, and for the purposes of teaching your own children and all others who come within your influence. We want our homes to be blessed with sister scriptorians-whether you are single or married, young or old, widowed or living in a family. Become scholars of the scriptures-not to put others down, but to lift them up!"
This morning in my study, I listened and read David M. McConkies talk from the last GC. I loved the following quote: "The scriptures contain the words of Christ. They are the voice of the Lord. Studying the scriptures trains us to hear the Lord's voice." And he quotes President Monson, "We watch. We wait. We listen for that still, small voice. When it speaks, wise men and women obey. Promptings of the Spirit are not to be postponed."
And when I opened to my quote of the day it started with the scripture that I referred to in my lesson, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." Matthew 7:7 "The marvelous thing about prayer is that it is personal, it's individual, it's something that no one else gets into, in terms of your speaking with your Father in Heaven in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Be prayerful. Ask the Lord to forgive your sins. Ask the Lord for help. Ask the Lord to bless you. Ask the Lord to help you realize your righteous ambitions...Ask the Lord for all of the important things that mean so much to you in your lives. He stands ready to help. Don't forget it." President Hinckley.
I pray that you make the time in your busy schedules, to not merely nibble on the scriptures but to feast on them as you would thanksgiving dinner. Enjoy them, keep them close to you, read them at work, while you are waiting in the car pool lane, as your children play at the play ground, whatever you need to do to incorporate them in your daily schedule. I have a testimony that Heavenly Father will answer your prayers not only through ancient scriptures, but through our living day scriptures that we receive every 6 months. I love General Conference and have a testimony that as we incorporate the April and October editions of the Ensign into our daily scripture study our lives will be truly blessed as we follow the instructions from our living day prophet and church leaders.