The savior said, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5: 39 in the Bible). The Apostle Paul stated in his letter to Timothy, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3: 16 in the Bible).
Why Do We Not Read and Study the Scriptures
If scripture study is so important for our eternal happiness, then why do not more people read and study the Bible and other writings of the Savior? I have received the following answers: I do not have time, too tired, they are boring, I do not understand the scripture language and meanings, the scriptures are of a previous time not applicable to my life, and many more excuses.
Experiences of People When the Scriptures Helped Them
“As a person suffering from a chronic illness, I often struggled to stay positive when I felt I could do much more if I were fit and healthy. Then I came across 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 in the Bible and it literally changed my life.
The verses read, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
‘Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.’ I felt that the Lord knew of my frustrations and that through this verse, He was speaking directly to me. From that point, rather than being held back by a debilitating disease, I was able to accept that through my illness, I can learn to be much closer to Heavenly Father”. (Name Withheld)
“2007 was difficult year for me. I started the year pregnant, but I had a miscarriage in early January. After months of trying, I became pregnant again, only to have another miscarriage. As the week of Christmas approached, I fought feelings of frustration and depression. That same week I began to read the book of Revelation. It had always seemed mysterious and difficult to understand, and I felt intimidated. One morning I read chapter 7. As I read verse 17, the Spirit touched me, and I began to cry. It reads, ‘For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.’ I felt a warm, comforting feeling and received a witness that no matter what I am called to suffer in this life, the Atonement of Jesus Christ will make it right. No matter how difficult my circumstances, ‘God shall wipe away all tears from [my] eyes.’ This experience also helped me to see the value of regular scripture study.” (Olivia Dahl Cobian). (These two personal experiences are from an article in the July, 2009 Liahona Magazine)
Purpose of the Scriptures (Words of God)
“Scripture tutors us in principles and moral values essential to maintaining civil society, including integrity, responsibility, selflessness, fidelity, and charity. In scripture, we find vivid portrayals of the blessings that come from honoring true principles, as well as the tragedies that befall when individuals and civilizations discard them. Where scriptural truths are ignored or abandoned, the essential moral core of society disintegrates and decay is close behind. In time, nothing is left to sustain the institutions that sustain society.
In the end, the central purpose of all scripture is to fill our souls with faith in God the Father and in His Son, Jesus Christ—faith that They exist; faith in the Father’s plan for our immortality and eternal life; faith in the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which animates this plan of happiness; faith to make the gospel of Jesus Christ our way of life; and faith to come to know ‘the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom [He has] sent’ (John 17: 3 in the Bible)” (D. Todd Christofferson Remarks in May 2020 Liahona Magazine)
Witnesses of the Importance of Scripture Study
Bruce R. McConkie said, “I have spent many hours poring over and pondering the scriptures. In seeking to learn the doctrines of salvation, I have studied, weighed, and compared what the various prophets have said about the same subjects. Time and again, after much praying and pondering about a given point, new and added concepts have burst upon me showing deep and hidden truths that I had never before known. It can be so with all of us if we will read, ponder, and pray about the holy word…If the Spirit bears witness to us of the truth of the scriptures, then we are receiving the doctrines in them as though they had come to us directly. Thus, we can testify that we have heard his voice and know his words.” (Bruce R. McConkie wrote in the December 1985 Liahona Magazine)