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Which is more important, reading a minimum number of pages in the scriptures each day or pondering what you read?

Which is more important, reading a minimum number of pages in the scriptures each day or pondering what you read?

The Lord has repeatedly taught us to study the scriptures throughout history. John 5:39 teaches, “search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life; for they are they which testify of me.”

Years ago, I attended a two-year college in frigid eastern Idaho by the name of Ricks College. It was very much a small-town school with a worldwide reputation. It was a blessing for me to attend school there as I left my home for the wide-open world. While there, I started getting into the habit of spending time in my scriptures often. With my Bible and the Book of Mormon side by side, I did not watch the clock but allowed my thirst for understanding to direct my studies. This was one of the times in my life when I felt consistent light.

Several things happened as a direct consequence of this habit. The more time I gave the Lord in study and thought, the more I felt His closeness and the more the Holy Ghost was able to reach me and communicate with me in a way I could recognize and understand. It reminded me of the sacrament prayers, saying, “…and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.” Doctrine & Covenants 20:77

The more time I “remembered” Him in earnest study, the more He blessed me with His Spirit. He then rewarded me with an experience that was so vivid and so pure that it anchored me to Him. I know it was because I was dedicated to searching the scriptures with such hunger. My roommates at the time also commented that they had an increased desire to study the scriptures as they watched me day after day. The blessings were beautiful.

Often, in our attempts to check items off the list that lead to righteousness, it is easy to lose the meaning of their purpose. In other times, when my goal was simply to read one chapter a day, I found that I no longer hungered and thirsted after the words of eternal life. I was merely reading, not pondering and feasting, in order to accomplish my goal. I would not have anyone believe it was an unworthy goal, but it missed the mark by far which I had previously attained.

President Ezra Taft Benson remarked, “Success in righteousness, the power to avoid deception and resist temptation, guidance in our daily lives, healing of the soul—these are but a few of the promises the Lord has given to those who will come to His word… Certain blessings are to be found only in the scriptures, only in coming to the word of the Lord and holding fast to it… Recommit yourselves to a study of the scriptures. Immerse yourselves in them daily so you will have the power of the Spirit to attend you in your callings. Read them in your families and teach your children to love and treasure them.”1

Whether you choose to set an amount of scripture to read or allow yourself to ponder them under the influence of the Holy Ghost, strive to make your study a feast of the Spirit. The blessings attributed to diligent scripture study are worth it!




“The Power of the Word,” President Ezra Taft Benson, General Conference, May 1986

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