Learning is Eternal
Diligently Preparing for Spiritual Learning
Part 5 of a 5 Part Series
Sunday School General Presidency Encourages Daily Book of Mormon Study in 2016
Contributed By R. Scott Lloyd, Church News staff writer
29 December 2015
“Our hope would be that people would read [the Book of Mormon] on a daily basis, pray about it and, as a consequence, they would get closer to God than they’ve ever been in their lives.” —Brother Tad R. Callister, Sunday School General President
“A timeless element of the Book of Mormon that stands out for me is that through obedience you prosper,” Brother Durrant observed. “Oft times, we think of that as material prosperity. I think the message is that prosperity comes through enjoying an abundance of the Spirit, and throughout the Book of Mormon we watch that happen. As the people are obedient, they enjoy a greater outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord, and as the cycle tends to turn down, they learn that they lose the influence of the Holy Spirit, and we see the impact of that.”
Brother Ashton said that for people living today, “there’s strength in feasting upon the Book of Mormon.” Citing 2 Nephi 33, Nephi’s expressed desire that his words will be consecrated by the Lord for the spiritual benefit of people in the last days, he said, “It’s in the constant reading, studying, and application of the Book of Mormon that we receive a power into our lives that is palpable, and it changes us.”
Brother Durrant noted that in the account of the visit by the resurrected Christ to the Nephites, He outlines a pattern in teaching them the gospel, inviting them to ponder the things He has taught them and then to pray about them.
“We could maybe reverse that pattern and say that as we approach our study of the Book of Mormon, we start with a prayer, then we read, and as we go throughout the day and the week, we ponder the things we’ve prayed about and read,” he suggested. “As we read the Book of Mormon, it’s a way to prepare ourselves to march out into the world and face the challenges that confront us day to day.”
Reading and pondering is also a way to prepare in advance for the Sunday School gospel doctrine class experience, Brother Durrant said. “As we become familiar with the doctrine, we might have an opportunity to share our testimony with our brothers and sisters.”
Brother Callister cited 2 Nephi 32:3, “Feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.”
“I struggled with that scripture for a long time, because I wondered how the words of Christ could tell me the things I should do. Can I go to the scriptures and find out who I should marry or what career I should pursue or who my counselors should be?
“I finally realized the scriptures, in particular the Book of Mormon, do two things that make it possible to answer all the questions in life we have. One is that it teaches the correct principles in life that decisions are based upon, and the other is that it invites the Spirit to help us use those principles in an inspired way. So, to me, the truthfulness of that passage came to me in a way that was personal and profound.”