Yesterday in church the talks were on reading the scriptures. I was sitting with a woman who had been baptised at around the age of twelve in Australia, but she’d never really returned to church after that. She was maybe in her late forties now, and had found the chapel as she was taking a long walk through South Kensington. She came inside and asked to come to sacrament meeting to see if it was the same as she had remembered.
I chatted with the woman about her upbringing and her young life in London. Her partner had tragically died recently, and she seemed a little lost. I wondered what her experience in church would be like. How would I feel if I were not familiar with our sabbath day meeting? Would the quiet stillness of the sacrament feel eerie, or peaceful? Would I remember the hymns sung from the radio or movies? Would I be surprised that all the speakers in this meeting were young women, dispensing counsel and personal experiences while others listened intently?
Well, back to the main point of my writing. The talks were about scripture study, which I’ve personally been feeling is such a needed safety net in my life. It’s a safety net, but it’s also so enjoyable lately. This has not always been the case for me, and I am finding that my personal style for study is reading by topic rather than reading consecutively. When I study by topic, I find I learn more and I grow more. I’m just more useful to others and more mindful of the spirit when I’m enthusiastically searching the scriptures.
One girl shared Alma 37: 35 & 36,
“O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God. Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.”
I’ve loved my study lately because it seems to encompass my life. It’s the string that pulls pieces of my day together. I don’t know how that magically happens- a talk I listen to directly relates to the quote that pops up on instagram, and somehow my scripture study weaves into the counsel I have with a girl on my visiting teaching list. It just seems to me that when we really study, we really see how beautifully connected the gospel is to our lives- and also how centred and center-ing it is. It’s designed to do one main thing: bring us closer to Heavenly Parents who love us. One of the speakers reminded me of this scripture in Ether 4:12,
“And whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do good is of me; for good cometh of none save it be of me. I am the same that leadeth men to all good; he that will not believemy words will not believe me—that I am; and he that will not believe me will not believe the Father who sent me. For behold, I am the Father, I am the light, and the life, and the truth of the world.”
The last scripture that I treasured from this day was Jacob 4:6,
“Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea.”
How blessed I felt to read this perfectly formed verse. It puts into perspective the journey of discipleship: we study and we listen, and as we do we become better at listening to the spirit and receiving personal revelation. We grow in spiritual stature and we learn who we really are- gods and goddesses in the making, associates with Christ, nurturers and administrators of His priesthood.