- Through the scriptures, God does indeed “show forth his power” to save and exalt His children. By His word, as Alma said, He enlarges our memory, sheds light on falsehood and error, and brings us to repentance and to rejoice in Jesus Christ, our Redeemer.
These three roles he expands upon.
The Scriptures Enlarge Our Memory
- The scriptures enlarge our memory by helping us always to remember the Lord and our relationship to Him and the Father. They remind us of what we knew in our premortal life. And they expand our memory in another sense by teaching us about epochs, people, and events that we did not experience personally.
He then gives us examples of things we know today because we have the scriptures. Imagine where our personal faith would be without knowing of these great experiences of the past.
- None of us was present to see the Red Sea part and cross with Moses between walls of water to the other side. We were not there to hear the Sermon on the Mount, to see Lazarus raised from the dead, to see the suffering Savior in Gethsemane and on the cross, and we did not, with Mary, hear the two angels testify at the empty tomb that Jesus was risen from the dead. You and I did not go forward one by one with the multitude in the land Bountiful at the resurrected Savior’s invitation to feel the prints of the nails and bathe His feet with our tears. We did not kneel beside Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove and gaze there upon the Father and the Son. Yet we know all these things and much, much more because we have the scriptural record to enlarge our memory, to teach us what we did not know. And as these things penetrate our minds and hearts, our faith in God and His Beloved Son takes root. The scriptures also enlarge our memory by helping us not forget what we and earlier generations have learned.
The Scriptures Are the Standard for Distinguishing Truth and Error
- God uses scripture to unmask erroneous thinking, false traditions, and sin with its devastating effects. He is a tender parent who would spare us needless suffering and grief and at the same time help us realize our divine potential.
- His commandments are the voice of reality and our protection against self-inflicted pain. The scriptures are the touchstone for measuring correctness and truth, and they are clear that real happiness lies not in denying the justice of God or trying to circumvent the consequences of sin but in repentance and forgiveness through the atoning grace of the Son of God (see Alma 42 ). Scripture tutors us in principles and moral values essential to maintaining civil society, including integrity, responsibility, selflessness, fidelity, and charity.
The Scriptures Bring Us to Christ, Our Redeemer
- In the end, the central purpose of all scripture is to fill our souls with faith in God the Father and in His Son, Jesus Christ—faith that They exist; faith in the Father’s plan for our immortality and eternal life; faith in the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, which animates this plan of happiness; faith to make the gospel of Jesus Christ our way of life; and faith to come to know “the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom [He has] sent” ( John 17:3 ).
Finally, Elder Christofferson speaks of the role the Holy Ghost plays in revealing truth to us. The scriptures are used to shine light and the Holy Ghost confirms that truth to our hearts and minds.
- Because they expound the doctrine of Christ, the scriptures are accompanied by the Holy Spirit, whose role it is to bear witness of the Father and the Son (see 3 Nephi 11:32 ). Therefore, being in the scriptures is one way we receive the Holy Ghost. Study the scriptures carefully, deliberately. Ponder and pray over them. Scriptures are revelation, and they will bring added revelation.
I am grateful for the scriptures and being able to read the words that inspire me to live a more Christlike life. How grateful I am to have the stories of faith and courage from the prophets of old. As I read the scriptures, I find that my mind is open to listening more throughout my day to the promptings of the spirit. And as I act on those promptings, I am able to help the Lord bless those around me that need a little light in their life.
I wanted to share one final thought. I love to listen to podcasts on my drive to work. A podcast I have committed to listening to over the next six months is the Scripture Study Podcast found in iTunes. It sends to me a chapter or two a day from the Book of Mormon for me to listen to and I will complete the Book of Mormon before the next General Conference. I started again this week. I would encourage you to join me in my desire to listen to the Book of Mormon between now and the next conference. The link to the iTunes podcast can be found by clicking here. You can also find the podcast on Stitcher Radio if you use that app on your smart phone. Join me in reading the Book of Mormon over the next six months.