Q. Survey question for all authors: How does reading the scriptures help you? Haven’t you read them several times by now?
Thaddeus: Reading the scriptures is like eating breakfast. It gives me the spiritual nutrition I need for that day. Some people are overwhelmed by the volume of verses in our canon, but you don’t look in your fridge and say, “Oh man! I couldn’t possibly eat all that food!” Somehow you do, but it isn’t really a chore. In fact, it’s more of a disappointment when the food is gone. Reading through all the scripture stories just once gave me a cursory superficial glance at the treasures that are available. That first read-through was essential to understanding the basic plots and doctrines, but I see it as the primer coat to learning much deeper truths. Each time I read the Book of Mormon or the New Testament, etc. I keep a study journal to record new insights I receive along the way. Sometimes the insights are answers to prayer unrelated to the topics I read, but reading puts me in a mindset to receive revelation.
Jan: Scripture study is totally vital to my day. It helps me in every way because when I study the scriptures, I am letting Heavenly Father know that I would like His help that day in whatever I am going to be doing. So even if the words from the book of Isaiah (where I’m reading right now) aren’t explicitly applicable to my day, the Spirit that accompanies me throughout the day is. I have found that the more I am involved in reading, thinking and discussing the scriptures, the more they come together in my mind and give me the perspective that I need to live my life well. And yes, I’ve gone through them several times already but each time through I have noticed more beauty and depth. Again, I would attribute that to the Spirit.
Bret: For one thing, just because I’ve read the scriptures several times, doesn’t mean I won’t learn anything new from them. Every time I read through a passage, not only is my memory refreshed, but different points that I passed over previously are brought to my attention. Often times that is because that particular point is relevant to my life here and now. Sure I knew that Jesus loves us, but until I read the words, “Jesus wept” while I struggled in my own life, I didn’t realize how individual and how deep that love goes. Scripture reading also tends to calm a person down and invoke reflection when taken seriously.
Bus: Interesting, we just talked as a family yesterday about how many times we had read each of the standard works; our reading of the Bible is lacking. What do I get out of reading scriptures? A broader perspective of the daily tasks I have before me and a comfort in knowing that there is an ultimate truth and a loving father that wants what’s best for me.
Dave: There are currently 3.1 million good things in the scriptures. Guidance, doctrine, advice, inspiration. There’s no way I could pick them all up from one, two, or a hundred reads (much less remember them). I also find that reading the scriptures opens my heart to the personal inspiration that God is constantly trying to give me.