Saturday, November 10, 2007

1 NEPHI 19: 23

23 ... that I might more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer I did read unto them that which was written by the prophet Isaiah; for I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning. (

I'm sure most of you are familiar with this concept -- we should apply what we read in the scriptures for use in our own lives. I'd like to provide my interpretation of this verse (although it isn't the only one that I could come up with.)

With the spiritual stuff, it's really easy to apply the scriptures to ourselves because they deal with that directly. But what about other aspects of my daily life? Relationships, work, etc. There's not a whole lot of specifics with those. But I've heard the saying that when we want to talk to God, we should pray and when we want to hear God we should hear the scriptures. But if my problem is something like "What career should I pursue?" I could read the scriptures for hours on end and not come up with anything. It's obviously something that is very important to me and I would like some Divine guidance, so how can I get it by reading the scriptures. How do I liken the scriptures to myself? I really can't give any specific answers to this general question, but I thought up a method to liken the scriptures to ourselves to receive answers to things that aren't specifically mentioned in the scriptures:

Perhaps the most important thing is the Holy Ghost. For example, I could be reading from the war chapters in the Book of Mormon trying to figure out which career I should pursue. As the Holy Ghost guides me, it will point out specific things in the verses for me to think about. As I think about those things, I can start to apply them to my situation. However, I brought up the war chapters to make a point. Likening the scriptures to ourselves doesn't mean that in a given situation we should behave exactly like someone did in the scriptures. As in war there are lots of different options, each with advantages and disadvantages. Perhaps I'll read something and see how it's similar to my life, but the Spirit will guide me to look at other options. Perhaps the war strategy used isn't the best choice for me, but if I modify it a little it would be the best.

I'm sorry if I'm not very clear with all the steps, but this is the process:
1. Have the Holy Ghost (or at least be in an environment conducive to the Spirit)
2. Read the scriptures
3. PONDER the scriptures, think about what's going on, or what the teachings are
4. As you have the Holy Ghost, think about how to apply this teaching in your life
5. To confirm that you've made the correct interpretation, you should pray and ask God

"When we want to speak to God, wepray. And when we want Him to speak to us, we search the scriptures; forHis words are spoken through His prophets. He will then teach us as welisten to the promptings of the Holy Spirit." (Robert D. Hales, "Holy Scriptures: The Power of God unto Our Salvation," Ensign, Nov. 2006, 26-27)

No comments: