In the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints, we are encouraged to study (not just read) the scriptures everyday. Actually, it is a commandment from God’s mouth through the prophets. I haven’t been so good at keeping this commandment. I used to justify with reasons of why I can’t study the scriptures, like “I don’t have time I need to clean my house” or “I am too tired, but I will do it tomorrow. Promise!” One I have been using a lot since I’ve been married is, “I just want to spend time with my husband.” None of these are valid reasons to not study the scriptures every, single day.
Since school started last Monday, I made myself make a decision. Either I could use school as an excuse to not study the scriptures daily or I could stop making excuses and actually do it. The first was tempting, but I chose the latter. I realized that there will always be something for me to do other than studying the scriptures, but that is really all the more reason for me to stop and study the scriptures. I always want to find ways to show my devotion to God and usually I come up with few ways to do so. However, the best thing I can do to show my devotion to God everyday is to study the scriptures as He has asked. This realization actually reminded me of one of my favorite scriptures,
“…I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” 1 Nephi 3:7
That being said, the Lord isn’t going to make us do anything (remember that thing called agency?). Rather He will give us commandments and then provide a way for us to fulfill them, upon our choice. Isn’t that awesome? Maybe that is why Heavenly Father allowed TV to be created (which happened to be by a Mormon, by the way), so we will realize that if we have time to watch a favorite sitcom or two then we have enough time to study the scriptures for ten minutes. Another great thing is that there is no required amount of time or chapters to read to fulfill this command. Some people study one verse day, other a chapter, some study for a set amount of time, so on and so forth. Guess what? All of those different options fulfill that commandment. I even know of some people who listen to the scriptures as they are driving and then they ponder them throughout their work day or errand running. The Lord has truly prepared multiple ways for us to “accomplish the thing which he [hath] commandeth…”
Another interesting thing is how the Lord has said to study other than just read. Studying is an action, it is not passive like reading. It requires thoughts, questions, and possibly answers through our own understand or the Holy Ghost. When teachers try to prepare their students for a test they don’t say here is a guide and read it. Teachers give a study guide, which means the students will have to fill out the study guides in order to be prepared. It is a form of independent active learning. Now I am not saying that we need to study the scriptures so we can pass a heavenly test, but we need to study them so: 1) we know what is expected of us, 2) can constantly deepening our faith in Jesus Christ, and 3) become more like Jesus.
To put things in a different perspective, think of the commandment that Heavenly Father gave Christ. He commanded that His Perfect Son die for all of our sins. That is quite a commandment. Even when Christ was in the Garden of Gethsemane He asked:
“…Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.” Mark 14:36
How humbling it is to study that verse of scripture! I bet giving up ten minutes of TV seems like nothing now. The Father has not asked any of us to make such an infinite and eternal sacrifice. He has only asked that we open His Scripture and study the things He wishes us to know. Like prayer, scripture study is a time to spend with the Lord and who doesn’t need that?
I promise, brothers and sisters, that if we take a little time each day to study the Words of God we will find that we have more time for everything else. I promise we will be less stressed, more humble, and a lot happier. Since I have started reading the scriptures everyday for ten minutes I have found that I have more time for homework and spending time with my husband. I haven’t fallen behind in any of my classes because I take extra time away from my school studies to spend time with my Heavenly Father.
There is always time and we will be blessed if take it.