Relief Society: Strengthening faith through scripture study
It's easy. Send a link to the story you were just reading to a friend. Just fill out the form on this page and we'll send it along.
As Sister Julie B. Beck, general Relief Society president, has traveled she has observed the homes of Latter-day Saint women.
"Wherever I go I find that sisters in even the most humble homes have a small shelf where they keep all of their Church materials, especially the scriptures," she said. "They keep them handy for family scripture study and for family home evening."
Some of these families have benefited from the new LDS edition of the Bible in Spanish, which was made available September 2009. The edition, based on the Reina-Valera translation and titled "Holy Bible: Reina-Valera 2009," contains new chapter headings, footnotes, cross-references to all of the standard works, and other study helps. Many Spanish-speaking Latter-day Saints report that the new edition of the Bible has made their study of the scriptures more meaningful.
The March visiting teaching message — "Strengthening faith in God the Father and Jesus Christ through personal scripture study" — encourages Latter-day Saints around the world to make time each day for meaningful scripture study.
The following Church members responded to the message, sharing their insights:
I testify that scripture study is an essential thoroughfare of communication with our Heavenly Father. Just as we communicate with Him through prayer, He enlightens us through His counsel in the scriptures. I have had numerous experiences when my Heavenly Father's will for me was practically spelled out right before my eyes while reading my scriptures. It works! — Tani Duncan, Pullman University 2nd Ward, Moscow Idaho University Stake
Keeps me going
Frankly put, scripture study is what keeps me going. I was blessed in my youth to have righteous parents who made scripture study a priority in our daily lives. I built on that foundation and started reading my scriptures in my early teenage years. I gained a strong testimony of the gospel by studying the scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon. I didn't fully appreciate the power that the scriptures had in my life until I was married and had my own children. I look back and know that because of regular scripture study, I was blessed to make good choices during my volatile teenage years.
Today, I can say without any hesitation that the scriptures give me hope, daily. The past couple of years with the downward turn of the economy have been, for lack of a better word, difficult. Some of the trials that our family has faced include seeing my husband's successful business fail, a major health challenge and financial struggles. Through these difficulties, here is what I have learned:
I know that God loves me. Because of the beautiful messages and examples of righteous men and women in the scriptures, I know that God does not leave us alone to face the trials of life. He is there with open arms to help us. I have learned that there are many scriptures on hope. Reading and pondering those verses have taught me to not give up and become discouraged. I believe that having hope is tied closely with being of good cheer. Satan would have me stay down, discouraged and to not believe that there is any hope in the future. I am miserable when I let myself entertain those thoughts. Thankfully, with my regular scripture study, I do not stay down and discouraged for long.
Regular scripture study with my children has been a wonderful blessing in our home. With three rambunctious boys and one little girl, it isn't easy to accomplish, but I try to stay consistent. There are days when I wonder if they are learning anything at all, but then I am blessed with "glimpses of eternity," as I like to call them. My 10-year-old, of his own accord, reads two pages in his Book of Mormon every night. Right after my second son was baptized a couple of months ago, he decided on his own that he wanted to read his scriptures every night, too. My 3-year-old daughter will not go to bed until we have "fripures, prayers and songs." These are the moments that I know every effort is worthwhile! — Melanie Shockley, Aspen Meadows 3rd Ward, Spanish Fork Utah East Stake
My family and I have seen great results from reading the scriptures together. When we read as a family, our days go so much better. On days that I forget to gather the family, I have four little ones reminding me that we haven't read yet. When their grandmother gave them each a picture scripture book, the older two set a goal to read it all before the end of the year. When the Primary encouraged each child to have a Book of Mormon and to read it, even my children who couldn't read were "reading" so they could help the Primary accomplish its goals. When I've set goals to take the time to study the scriptures, I've found great personal insight and knowledge. My greatest moments of personal revelation have come when reading the scriptures. At a time in my life when reading the scriptures was incredibly difficult, I had a wonderful bishop tell me to start in Mosiah and read a verse a day. Because of that wonderful bishop's advice, I gained a great testimony of enduring to the end and I gained a love for the scriptures and how much Heavenly Father has givens us! — Alisha Clayson, Warsaw Ward, South Bend Indiana Stake