Scripture Sunday

Sunday Scripture: Ask and Ye Shall Receive

I discovered several scriptures today that connect very nicely and taught me an amazing lesson, so I’d like to share them all.

I’ve been reading W. Cleon Skousen’s book, Days of the Living Christ: Volume One, and came across something today that really hit home. Dr. Skousen said, “One of the great disappointments of the Lord occurs when his choice servants lose their spiritual curiosity. They become satisfied with a little when they could have a lot. They stop hungering and thirsting after righteousness and an increased knowledge of heavenly things. This happened to the  twelve apostles in Jerusalem.”

Jesus had just taught them that He is the Good Shepherd, that He knows His sheep, and they know Him (John 10:14). Then, He drops a really big hint:

“And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” (John 10:16)

Who are these other sheep? “Jesus wanted to tell them about the great body of Christians in America,” Dr. Skousen wrote, “but they wouldn’t ask.”

When Christ visited the Nephites after His resurrection – the “great body of Christians in America” Dr. Skousen described – he revealed that they were the “other sheep” that He spoke of, but no one would ask about.

“And now, because of stiffneckedness and unbelief they understood not my word; therefore I was commanded to say no more of the Father concerning this thing unto them.” (3 Ne. 15:18)

Dr. Skousen said, “The Father years to reveal the secrets of heaven to his righteous servants. Therefore Jesus said: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened’ (Matt. 7:7-8).”

I suddenly realized – What does the Lord withhold from us today because we don’t ask? What does He want to share with us, to help enlighten our minds and spirits, but can’t give us because we don’t even live by what we already have? What am I missing out on when I don’t make the effort to study and ponder the message of the gospel found in the scriptures?

In the Book of Mormon, Nephi acknowledges and gives gratitude to God for “having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God (1 Ne. 1:1)”. When the Lord gave command to build a ship to take his family to the Promised Land, Nephi wrote:

“And I, Nephi, did go into the mount oft, and I did pray oft unto the Lord; wherefore the Lord showed unto me great things.” (1 Ne. 18:3)

If we follow Nephi’s example to seek and “pray oft unto the Lord”, what “great things” could the Lord reveal to us?

Categories: Book of Mormon, prayer, Scripture Study, Scripture Sunday | 2 Comments

Ponderizing 2 Nephi 29:4

In the October 2015 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Devin G. Durrant, First Counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency, challenged us to “ponderize” one verse of scripture every week.

I was browsing WordPress’s Blogging Events page this past week, and discovered that the ones that caught my attention the most were the ones on expressing gratitude. I realized that gratitude is something I needed to study more on and apply in my own life, and so went to the Bible Dictionary and wrote down all the topics and scriptures having something to do with thanks, or thanksgiving, and began right away.

One of the verses I came across in my study is 2 Nephi 29:4. In the previous verses, the Lord said that there would be many among the Gentiles who would reject the Book of Mormon, saying “We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible!” (verse 3).

Nephi then writes:

“But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles?”

That second sentence struck me – “And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them?”

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image from LDS.org

How often do we thank the Jews for the Bible that we have? I know it hasn’t occurred to me until now. But how exactly do I thank them? I imagine that I can start by saying thank you to the ancient House of Israel for keeping the records that were eventually compiled to become the Holy Bible that is available to us today. And I’m grateful to God for commanding them to keep these records.

But I’m sure I can do more. I can actually take the time to study their words and learn how to better live by them. These sacred records, after all, help us learn how to become like Christ and Heavenly Father.

That will be one of my goals in this coming year: to learn the Bible and learn how to live by it, and by all the sacred records God has given to the world.

What will you ponderize on this week? What is something you are grateful for, that maybe you don’t express as often as you’d like?

Categories: Book of Mormon, Scripture Study, Scripture Sunday | Leave a comment

Ponderizing 1 Nephi 1:5

In the October 2015 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Devin G. Durrant, First Counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency, challenged us to “ponderize” one verse of scripture every week.

I’ve begun rereading the Book of Mormon this past week, and 1 Nephi 1:5 really stands out to me.

Wherefore it came to pass that my father, Lehi, as he went forth prayed unto the Lord, yea, even with all his heart, in behalf of his people.

Lehi has heard the prophets preaching repentance, or else Jerusalem will be destroyed. I imagine Lehi doesn’t want to see that happen, so he prays for the people himself, even with all his heart. Do we pray for the world today, as we draw closer and closer to the time of the Second Coming? We are seeing fulfillment of prophecy every day.

What scripture are you ponderizing on this week?

Categories: Book of Mormon, prayer, Scripture Study, Scripture Sunday | Leave a comment

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