Sunday, June 29, 2014

Search, Ponder, and Pray

by Katy White

Becky is in the great outdoors right now, so she asked me to write for her today! As I've thought about what to post, one thought has come to my mind again and again: the need we each have to search the scriptures, ponder them, and pray about them.

Over the last several months in the LDS church, there has been a lot of controversy and doubt over doctrine from a small group within the church, as CJ posted earlier this week. When questions come up, I've found that I tend to drop my usual scripture study habits and study the heck out of the issue being discussed. As I've done that over recent issues, I've found that I feel...heavy. Sad. Not uplifted. I may read four or five conference talks on a subject. I find that this reading serves to "back up" what I already know to be true in my heart or to refute what I feel I know to be wrong. (I would imagine most people experience this, whether they call it confirmation or confirmation bias!)

As I was rolling around in the muck and mire recently, I prayed to feel uplifted again in my study. I prayed to feel the Spirit. As I prayed, the answer came to me that in all my study lately, I haven't been reading from the one source I've been commanded to read from: the Book of Mormon.

I quickly repented of that oversight and returned my daily study to this holy, excellent, inspired book. As a result, I found the answers I was looking for there, as well as the applications to my life and to our day. It was all in there. Especially the Spirit I longed for.

Have you had an experience like this? Have you found yourself reading or studying without receiving the insight and inspiration you seek? What do you do to make your scripture study as meaningful as it can be?

6 comments:

  1. Came, read, can't think of a comment

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  2. Thank you so much for this. I really needed it today! The scriptures really have a way of telling you what you need and precisely when you need it

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  3. I have found this to be so true- at one point I was in the midst of some theological discussion with a friend’s husband on facebook. He is an atheist, and although I do not even remotely agree with him, I found myself really bogged down by the ongoing conversation. I could easily counter all of his attacks on my beliefs, but I found myself realizing that I just didn’t want to anymore. The very act of participating in the discussion was making me tense and irritable, and I did not feel the Spirit. It is one thing when you are answering a person’s honest inquiries and doing missionary work; it is something else when you are trying to combat someone’s active attack on your beliefs.

    I finally took the hint and simply told him we could agree to disagree, but I wouldn’t be participating in the discussion anymore. Since then he has posted some outlandish stuff that has tempted me to comment, but I know better. I will love him as a child of God from afar and leave it at that.

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    Replies
    1. I've had to do this with a very good friend recently, too. It's been a forcible reminder that contention-even when disguised as gospel debate-is of the adversary.

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  4. I agree that you have to guide your scripture study with prayer, inviting God to help you see what you need to see and learn what you need to learn. Thanks for the post Katy!

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  5. in the midst of chaos or confusion, I just have to sit still and pray. I have to let God in and calm my mind and bring me back in balance. Reading scripture helps with other things, but when I need to feel empowered again, and peaceful, I just have to be still.

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