Meditate Upon These Things
Gospel Doctrine Lesson 20
Several weeks ago I received an email from one of our friends on this blog.
This friend asked me a question that I get asked often... How long do you study the scriptures, and how do you decide what to study?
Mostly what I study is driven by the needs of my life. The most pressing needs always seem to draw me into the scriptures...whether it is rearing teenagers, deciding what course to pursue in life, or health challenges ...in the end my seeking seems to lead to the holy words written within those scripture pages and I search until the answer comes. If I wake up and don't feel driven to search for something then I study what I need to for the upcoming lessons that I will attend on Sunday.
As far as how long I study with my scriptures open right in front of me, it varies every single day. Sometimes five minutes. One verse. Other times I will follow footnote after footnote and eventually notice that quite a bit of time has passed by unexpectedly.
But the key to how I study is not really found in either of those two answers.
I was reminded of this key as I looked through the Gospel Doctrine lesson for this Sunday found in chapter 20. The first question in the manual asks, "What circumstances led to the vision that is recorded in D&C 76?" The reference to find the answer is found in D&C 76:11-19.
There are three things we learn about Joseph and Sidney from reading these verses...
They were in the Spirit They were in the process of translating John 5 ––so they were reading the scriptures And then they read something they didn't understand.
"And while we meditated upon these things, the Lord touched the eyes of our understandings and they were opened." D&C 76:19)
While we meditated...
I would say one of the most important aspects of my scripture study is what happens after I close the book. It is as I go through the motions of the day meditating on the scriptures I just read that the greatest learning comes.
In those moments my eyes are opened and I see how the scriptures apply to my life. Every day. When I choose to meditate upon what I read.
The lesson this week is really about the Kingdoms of Glory...and it is a fascinating study.
But the lesson that captured my heart was the reminder of how to receive personal revelation...
Be in tune with the Spirit Read the scriptures Meditate
Understanding will come.
How do you study? Does your current method include time for meditating?
"I think we pay too little attention to the value of meditation, a principle of devotion. In our worship there are two elements: one is spiritual communion rising from our own meditation; the other instruction from others, particularly from those who have authority to guide and instruct us. Of the two, the more profitable introspectively is meditation. Meditation is the language of the soul. Meditation is a form of prayer. We can say prayers without having any spiritual response. Meditation is one of the most secret, most sacred doors through which we pass into the presence of the Lord." ("Consciousness of God: Supreme Goal of Life," [President David O. McKay, 1967 General Conference Address, Improvement Era, June 1967, pp. 80-82])