Sunday, December 10, 2017

#LightTheWorld, Search the Scriptures

Occasionally, I hear of the odd person who realized they were feeling weak because they forgot to eat something that day. Though I don't typically forget to eat, it is easy for me to understand that I function better when I take care of my physical needs. 

Similarly, if I find myself feeling impatient, irritable, or generally down-in-the-dumps, I can sometimes trace those feelings back to a lack of spiritual nourishment. Perhaps I forgot to kneel before I hit the ground running that morning, or perhaps I failed to take time to read from the scriptures. I've heard it said that prayer is how we talk to God, and the scriptures are a way He responds to us. I know that often while I'm reading scriptures, thoughts and impressions come to my mind that have little or nothing to do with what I'm reading, but when I have followed those promptings, I feel happy and at peace. 

A pair of rounded wire-frame eyeglasses lying on top of a Bible, which is opened to Acts chapter 27 and marked with a maroon ribbon.
Photo:  pair of eyeglasses resting on top of a Bible, which is opened to Acts chapter 27. (Source)

Today's #LightTheWorld theme is from John 5:39: "Search the scriptures." As we study and ponder scriptures, we can learn more about Him whose birth we celebrate this season, and as we model our actions after His, we can feel His presence more powerfully in our lives. 

Scripture study can be incorporated into our lives in various ways, both individually, and as a family. During the Christmas season, our family study is often reading a verse from our advent calendar. This year, one thing I am trying to do individually is to memorize "The Living Christ." It is the testimony of the apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was published in January 2000.  I've learned that I don't memorize as quickly as I did when I was younger, but I've also learned that I'm not too old, either. I find myself thinking more about the life and mission of Jesus, as I work to commit to memory the following:
As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, we offer our testimony of the reality of His matchless life and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice. None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth.

He was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New. Under the direction of His Father, He was the creator of the earth. “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3). Though sinless, He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. He “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38), yet was despised for it. His gospel was a message of peace and goodwill. He entreated all to follow His example. He walked the roads of Palestine, healing the sick, causing the blind to see, and raising the dead. He taught the truths of eternity, the reality of our premortal existence, the purpose of our life on earth, and the potential for the sons and daughters of God in the life to come.

He instituted the sacrament as a reminder of His great atoning sacrifice. He was arrested and condemned on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy a mob, and sentenced to die on Calvary’s cross. He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind. His was a great vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth.

We solemnly testify that His life, which is central to all human history, neither began in Bethlehem nor concluded on Calvary. He was the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world.

He rose from the grave to “become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Corinthians 15:20). As Risen Lord, He visited among those He had loved in life. He also ministered among His “other sheep” (John 10:16) in ancient America. In the modern world, He and His Father appeared to the boy Joseph Smith, ushering in the long-promised “dispensation of the fulness of times” (Ephesians 1:10).

Of the Living Christ, the Prophet Joseph wrote: “His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:

“I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father” (D&C 110:3–4).

Of Him the Prophet also declared: “And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!

“For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—

“That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God” (D&C 76:22–24).

We declare in words of solemnity that His priesthood and His Church have been restored upon the earth—“built upon the foundation of . . . apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20).

We testify that He will someday return to earth. “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together” (Isaiah 40:5). He will rule as King of Kings and reign as Lord of Lords, and every knee shall bend and every tongue shall speak in worship before Him. Each of us will stand to be judged of Him according to our works and the desires of our hearts.

We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles—that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son.
I won't be finished memorizing by Christmas--I'm only almost done with the first four paragraphs--but that's OK. Studying the life of Jesus isn't limited to Christmastime. Just as food should be a part of my daily life, so too should spiritual nourishment. 

 Have you noticed the blessings of scripture study in your life? Do you have a favorite scripture?

(Did you know you can request a free copy of the Holy Bible at this link?)



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2 comments:

  1. I love the analogy you used at the beginning of this post. I've never thought about the lack of spiritual nourishment that way, but you're right. Memorizing certainly doesn't come easy anymore. I used to have addresses and phone numbers memorized as well as birthdays. My phone keeps track of all that now which is frightening. I must concentrate on strengthening my mind in 2018.

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    Replies
    1. I also rely on my phone to remember numbers for me. I remember as a child being mortified when an elderly neighbor did not know her own phone number, but I understand now how easy it is to forget something that isn't regularly used.

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Thanks for making this a conversation. I love to hear your comments!