Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave a speech at BYU in 2007 entitled "A Reservoir of Living Water." In the address, Elder Bednar stated that of all the treasure on earth, the most valuable commodity is water.
"Life springs from water. Life is sustained by water," he explained. "Water is the medium required to perform the various functions associated with all known forms of life."
Elder Bednar also spoke about the necessity of water in sustaining life, drawing a parallel between the physical substance and the "living water" in the scriptures. Referencing the story of when Christ invites a woman of Samaria to draw water, he quoted scripture from John 4:
"If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water," he tells her.
The living water in this story represents Jesus Christ and His gospel, Elder Bednar explained. Just as literal water is necessary for physical life, the living water of Christ's doctrines, principles and ordinances are necessary for eternal life.
The scriptures are a "reservoir of living water," Elder Bednar said. Reading, studying, searching and feasting upon the words of Christ as found in the scriptures allows spiritual direction and protection throughout life's journey, he said.
Today's scriptures contain extensive footnotes, cross-references, study aids, maps and information that make scripture study more accessible than ever before. That availability brings a responsibility to be more familiar with scripture and the Savior's teachings, Elder Bednar stated.
"I believe this generation of youth is more immersed in the scriptures, more deeply acquainted with the words of the prophets, and more prone to turn to the revelations for answers than any previous generation," he said.
Elder Bednar gave three tips for drawing living water from that scriptural reservoir:
- Reading the scriptures from beginning to end.
- Studying the scriptures by topic.
- Searching the scriptures for connections, patterns and themes.
Doing these things can "satisfy our spiritual thirst," he said. Using these three approaches can lead to "a more constant flow of living water."
Turing back to his earlier analogy, Elder Bednar reminded members that water is essential on an everyday basis, not just occasionally or under special circumstances. Bodies lose water each day through normal activity and need to be replenished frequently.
"It frankly does not make sense to occasionally 'fill up' with water, with long periods of dehydration in between," Elder Bednar said. "The same is true spiritually. Spiritual thirst is a need for living water. A constant flow of living water is far superior to sporadic sipping."
Elder Bednar concluded by asking members to constantly check in with themselves to ensure they are studying scriptures daily in a way that enables them to stay faithful.
"Are you and I daily reading, studying and searching the scriptures in a way that enables us to hold fast to the rod of iron — or are you and I merely clinging?" he asked. "Are you and I pressing forward toward the fountain of living waters —relying upon the word of God? These are important questions for each of us to ponder prayerfully."