Have you ever considered the power that is available to you as you learn to study and search the scriptures instead of reading them? The scriptures aren’t given to simply show us what other people experienced. They were given so we could learn to experience the same things they did.
The most important thing we can learn is getting revelation which leads us from where we are, to where we can have these experiences. The foundation trigger for these things is prayer and scripture study.
In the book of Moses we read this fascinating section.
Moses 6:4. And then began these men to call upon the name of the Lord, and the Lord blessed them;
5. And a book of remembrance was kept, in the which was recorded, in the language of Adam, for it was given unto as many as called upon God to write by the spirit of inspiration;
6. And by them their children were taught to read and write, having a language which was pure and undefiled.
7. Now this same Priesthood, which was in the beginning, shall be in the end of the world also.
What does this mean? Paul gives us a partial answer in this letter to Timothy.
2 Timothy 3:16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
And thus we see that if we call upon God for inspiration, learn to attune ourselves to the Holy Spirit to obtain the mind of God, the Lord blesses us with knowledge we can record as personal scripture.
In fact, Moses 6:7 above seems to inform us that not only is it scripture, but it’s a priesthood function to seek and record inspiration from God, and to teach our children to read and write those things as well.
In his October 1989 conference talk, then Bishop Henry B. Erying shared this, “Remembrance and Gratitude.”
“You could have an experience with the gift of the Holy Ghost today. You could begin a private prayer with thanks. You could start to count your blessings, and then pause for a moment. If you exercise faith, and with the gift of the Holy Ghost, you will find that memories of other blessings will flood into your mind. If you begin to express gratitude for each of them, your prayer may take a little longer than usual. Remembrance will come. And so will gratitude.
You could try the same thing as you write an entry in your book of remembrance. The Holy Ghost has helped with that since the beginning of time. You remember in the record of Moses it says: “And a book of remembrance was kept, in the which was recorded, in the language of Adam, for it was given unto as many as called upon God to write by the spirit of inspiration.” Moses 6:5
President Spencer W. Kimball described that process of inspired writing: “Those who keep a book of remembrance are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance in their daily lives. Journals are a way of counting our blessings and of leaving an inventory of these blessings for our posterity.” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982, p. 349.)”
The same action applies as we study the scriptures. Write your questions out in a thoughtful way. Then record the answers that come to your mind. This journaling is a book of remembrance. It’s a way of recording what the Lord has revealed to you. When you record it, it is scripture. In some way, it is priesthood. It may be that what you have written by inspiration, is also recorded in heaven (D&C 128:8) as part of your consecrated efforts to always remember the Lord and receive guidance and direction from him.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks shared this in the January 1995 Ensign magazine article, “Scripture Reading and Revelation.”
“Just as continuing revelation enlarges and illuminates the scriptures, so also a study of the scriptures enables men and women to receive revelations. Elder Bruce R. McConkie said, “I sometimes think that one of the best-kept secrets of the kingdom is that the scriptures open the door to the receipt of revelation” (Doctrines of the Restoration, ed. Mark L. McConkie, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1989, p. 243). This happens because scripture reading puts us in tune with the Spirit of the Lord.
The idea that scripture reading can lead to inspiration and revelation opens the door to the truth that a scripture is not limited to what it meant when it was written but may also include what that scripture means to a reader today. Even more, scripture reading may also lead to current revelation on whatever else the Lord wishes to communicate to the reader at that time. We do not overstate the point when we say that the scriptures can be a Urim and Thummim to assist each of us to receive personal revelation.”
What does this mean? One explanation can be found in this quote.
“In this respect the testimony of Lorenzo Brown about the preparation the Prophet made for his translation of the Bible may be instructive. He records the Prophet as saying: “After I got through translating the Book of Mormon, I took up the Bible to read with the Urim and Thummim. I read the first chapter of Genesis and I saw the things as they were done. I turned over the next and the next, and the whole passed before me like a grand panorama; and so on chapter after chapter until I read the whole of it. I saw it all!” (as cited in Robert J. Matthews, A Plainer Translation: Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible, a History and Commentary, pg 25).”
Can we experience this? If we don’t think so, we are laboring in unbelief which needs repented of. Brigham Young taught:
“Do you read the scriptures, my brethren and sisters, as though you were writing them a thousand, two thousand, or five thousand years ago? Do you read them as though you stood in the place of the men who wrote them? If you do not feel thus, it is your privilege to do so, that you may be as familiar with the spirit and meaning of the written word of God as you are with your daily walk and conversation.” (Discourses of Brigham Young, comp. John A. Widtsoe, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954, p. 128.)
The scriptures can become a catalyst for revelation and teach us to obtain the gift of revelation which leads to the Spirit of revelation.
The most important thing we can do is learn to study the scriptures with prayer, pondering, questioning, and writing the answers. It may be that this is exercising priesthood authority in some respect, but at the very least, we are learning to obtain revelation from heaven through a written Urim and Thummim, until the time comes that our minds become a Urim and Thummim to obtain the constant flow of revelation on the will of God.
This is why the Scripture Notes application exists. To accelerate the process of asking questions and receiving revelatory answers.
Have you had an experience with the scriptures where they became your gateway to revelation? Your personal Urim and Thummim? Please share it.
(Featured image by simplyamazing at 123rf.com)