Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New Scriptures

When my grandson, Eli, was just three years old his father was putting him to bed and began to read to him from the Book of Mormon. Eli immediately stopped him saying, “Dad, you don’t need to read that to me. I already know Lehi does what he’s supposed to do.”

While that makes us chuckle, it should also make us take note. How many times do we miss important things in the scriptures because we are reading them with the attitude, “I already know!”  Instead we should be reading the scriptures as if we were reading for the very first time. There are several things that can help us do that. One is to read in different ways. Here are a few suggestions (1) Read looking for the big picture and patterns in the picture. (2) Read slowly looking for details and then ponder on the significance. Scriptural writers are abridging so that when they do choose to give us details those details are important. Find out why. (3) Examine the words and concepts used very carefully. Often a word you’ve used all your life and think you know has several connotations, and using a dictionary to discover how the scripture is using the word is often enlightening. (4) Decipher the symbols. Scripture writers use a “shorthand” that is made up of symbols. Learn their meaning. (5) Along with symbols, take time to ponder on the metaphors used. They often contain more than one lesson. (6) Compare and contrast the teachings on a specific principle by different prophets. (7) Ask questions. Why? What? How?

These are just a few things that can make scripture study more meaningful. But the most important thing is what we started with. The adversary may tempt you to think you’ve already learned it all, but with scripture study there is ALWAYS something new to discover.They are meant to be new every time you read them.

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