Is scripture study important? I believe whole-heatedly that it is! As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes mistakenly called the “Mormon Church”), I follow the counsel from our prophets to be immersed in the scriptures every day. I know that both the Bible and the Book of Mormon are the Word of God, they teach Christ’s teachings, and the very words which we have before us can change souls.
In a book titled, Be Not Afraid—Only Believe, written by Ted L. Gibbons, and published in 2009 by Cedar Fort, Inc. (pp 136-137), Gibbons teaches the power of scripture study and how it can bless the reader with protection and strength:
Scriptures that Are Falling Apart
Boyd K. Packer taught, “If [you] are acquainted with the revelations, there is no question—personal or social or political or occupational—that need go unanswered. Therein is contained the fulness of the everlasting gospel. Therein we find principles of truth that will resolve every confusion and every problem and every dilemma that will face the human family or any individual in it.”2
President Packer helps us understand the security of those who cling to the iron rod. That it is constructed of iron must tell us something about it. The rod is not rubber or plastic or chocolate or clay. It is iron! It will not bend or stretch to accommodate us in our wanderings, but if we hold fast it will lead us where we need to go in every part of our lives. That iron rod will keep us from falling into the river of filthiness, which is the depths of hell; from wandering aimlessly in the mists of darkness, which are the temptations of the devil; and from entering that great and spacious building, which represents the vain imaginations and pride of the children of men (1 Nephi 12:16–18).
Years ago I attended a sacrament meeting in which a young woman spoke who had recently returned from her mission. As a part of her declaration of love for the work, she bore testimony of the power of the scriptures in her life, and she made a statement which I have been unable to forget. She said, “Scriptures that are falling apart usually belong to someone who isn’t.” I took a photo a year ago of a man reading scriptures held together with electrical tape and love. I printed it to hang on my wall, and added those words: “Scriptures that are falling apart usually belong to someone who isn’t ” Books of scripture may fall apart, but their messages never will. They are messages to us from our Father. They are a rod made of iron.
I have spent more than thirty years teaching from the scriptures and watching the impact of their messages in the lives of the youth of Zion. I have come to know that what I heard from that young woman is true. I recently concluded years of service as the bishop of a young single adult ward. In the course of that service, I conducted hundreds of interviews, many with Latter-day Saint youth struggling to obey commandments, including the law of chastity. As I sat with these humbled, wonderful, often weeping youth and gave counsel, I almost always asked about their involvement with the scriptures. I do not remember a single interview in more than four years when someone who was laboring under the weight of a moral transgression reported that before their transgression they had been involved in a regular, conscientious, daily study of the scriptures. “Scriptures that are falling apart usually belong to someone who isn’t ” Nephi taught his older brothers that the rod of iron “was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction” (1 Nephi 15:24).
As we navigate the highways of mortality, we are invited to hold fast to the word of God, which is like an inflexible, unbreakable metal rod that will guide our hands and feet and speak to our hearts.
I testify that these things are true. Scripture study of the Bible and the Book of Mormon (companion books) has given me protection and strength to be able to withstand the fiery darts of the adversary. And it has given me courage to live God’s ways and to be filled with joy because of His plan. I want to make men, like William Tyndale, who gave their lives so that we can have God’s words in the palm of our hands, proud. I invite you to do the same; let us resolve to never let our scriptures get dusty on the shelves. And let us commit to apply this principle spoken of by a member of the First Presidency of the LDS Church, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The words written in the scriptures… are for us to “liken them unto [ourselves]” (“Your Potential Your Privilege,” Ensign, May 2011).
I know that the scriptures can help us in every situation we are in. The Book of Mormon testifies of this truth, in 2 Nephi 32:3, “Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.” It has been said before that we talk to God by praying, and He talks to us through His scriptures. I know that those words are more than black ink; the stories, principles, and truths of eternity come alive as we go to the sacred scriptures seeking truth.
This article was written by Ashley Bell, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Ashley Bell is a 22-year old wife, mother, BYU graduate, and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ashley loves to run, cook, garden, read, and most of all spend time with family and friends.