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Scripture Power: Revelation & Protection

[The second half of my talk given 1/11/15. Read the first part here.]


The second reason why we need scripture power is to receive personal revelation. We can find guidance in the word of God. Nephi wrote, “feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:3). By following the counsel in the scriptures, we can always know what we need to do to stay on the path back to Heavenly Father. A great example is when Joseph Smith read James 1:5 and followed its advice, praying to God and thus bringing about the entire Restoration. We may not be able to find a specific answer in the scriptures as Joseph did, but diligent scripture study invites the Holy Ghost, who will reveal to us answers to our gospel questions and life decisions.

Third, scripture power protects us from temptation and sin. The best way it does so is preventively. President Packer said, “True doctrine, understood, changes attitude and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior” (Preach My Gospel, 19). As we study the scriptures and understand its doctrine, we will have power to put off the natural man and become more like Christ, thus avoiding sin altogether. I truly believe that I survived my teenage years because of reading the scriptures daily, consistently attending seminary all four years, and taking Institute classes all through college. As these powerful tools have fallen by the wayside over the years, I have found myself struggling more with temptation and despair. The solution is to return to scripture study, which gives us the power we need to repent and leave behind discouragement. My favorite example of this is what is known as Nephi’s Psalm, 2 Nephi 4:15–35. I love reading this passage when I feel as Nephi did. Another favorite is Alma the Younger’s account in Alma 36.

Scripture study also gives us power to avoid believing in false doctrine. President Joseph Fielding Smith promised, If we will put [the scriptures] into practice, if we will keep the commandments of the Lord, we will know the truth and there shall be no weapon formed against us that shall prosper. There shall be no false doctrines, no teaching of men that will deceive us. There are many cults and many false faiths, there are many strange ideas in the world, but if we will search these revelations then we will be fortified against errors and we will be made strong (Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, 2).

There are so many false ideas out there, available with a single click, and often mingled with truth to confuse us. It is best to remember that the gospel is simple and all we need to know to reach exaltation has been given to us through ancient and modern scripture (D&C133:57). By diligently searching the scriptures, praying, and fasting, our testimonies will be strong and we can be confident we will not be led astray.

We should focus on having a very firm foundation in “the first principles and ordinances of the gospel” (Article of Faith 4). Elder Nelson promised, “Brothers and sisters, by reinforcing your study of the core doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ, your testimony will grow, your happiness will increase, and you will find a greater abundance of the blessings of the Lord in your life” (Ensign, January 2010). 

Just like babies, we must first receive milk before meat (See 1 Corinthians 3:2, D&C 19:22, Hebrews 5:13–14). Babies who nurse receive their mothers’ antibodies and build a strong immune system. Similarly, the milk of the gospel gives us strong testimonies and immunity to doubt and deception. Babies given solids too soon may end up with tummy issues and allergies because their digestive systems are not ready to handle such complex food. Pediatricians recommend looking for certain signs to determine a baby’s readiness before introducing solid food and starting with soft, non-acidic fruits and vegetables before meat. If babies handle the food well, they may try new ones, and it becomes easier as they grow teeth and learn to feed themselves. Likewise, we must first start with the building blocks of the gospel and build “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little” (2 Nephi 28:30). Once we have proven our testimonies and understanding, we can receive more complex knowledge, finally leading up to a good piece of gospel steak. Then when questions and confusion arise over deeper doctrines, we will have our foundation to fall back on. If it’s underdeveloped, we risk damaging our testimonies and completely falling away from the gospel.

It is easy to understand why past and present prophets continually exhort us to search the scriptures diligently. We need their power to be proficient teachers, leaders, and missionaries; to receive personal guidance; and to avoid sin and deception. I testify that as we use the power found in the scriptures, we will be able to overcome any obstacle put in our way and come out even more powerful. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Challenge: Read your scriptures to receieve guidance and spiritual protection. 

Comments

DAD said…
part 2 is awesome
Anonymous said…
Primary song by Clive Romney:
1. Because I want to be like the Savior, and I can,
I’m reading His instructions, I’m following His plan.
Because I want the power His word will give to me,
I’m changing how I live, I’m changing what I’ll be.
2. I’ll find the sword of truth in each scripture that I learn.
I’ll take the shield of faith from these pages that I turn.
I’ll wear each vital part of the armor of the Lord,
And fight my daily battles, and win a great reward.
[Chorus]
Scripture power keeps me safe from sin.
Scripture power is the power to win.
Scripture power! Ev’ryday I need
The power that I get each time I read.

Mom

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