Feast upon the Word Blog

A blog focused on LDS scriptures and teaching

General Conference message: immerse yourself in the scriptures

Posted by Robert C. on November 3, 2010

John C.’s post at BCC on Elder David McConkie’s talk, “Gospel Learning and Teaching,” reminded me that I wanted to draw attention to what I think was a great talk. Here’s the part that I think esp. bears pondering and rereading:

How, then, do we develop the attitude necessary to be a successful teacher? I would like to discuss four basic principles of gospel teaching.

First, immerse yourself in the scriptures. We cannot love what we do not know. Develop a habit of daily scripture study, separate and apart from your lesson preparation. Before we can teach the gospel, we must know the gospel.

The Lord said to Hyrum Smith, “Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word.” This admonition applies to each of us.

The Lord has commanded us to search the scriptures, to feast upon them, and to treasure them up. As we earnestly search and ponder the word of the Lord, we will have His Spirit with us. We will become acquainted with His voice.

Other parts of the talk are also very good, but for the purposes of this site, I think the above is particularly apropos.

I also like John C.’s point that it is conspicuous that Elder McConkie does not mention the manual. The danger, as we’ve discussed frequently here over the years, is that we approach the Gospel and the scriptures, with manual in hand, but without genuine humility, thinking we already know the Gospel, thinking we already know the scriptures, thinking that the manual is a kind of magical short-cut panacea for understanding the mysteries contained in the scriptures, there for the grasping without having to put in the soul-searching work otherwise called for.

If we don’t consistently approach the scriptures with a genuine desire to learn, then I think the rest of our spiritual life will ultimately unravel, whether we become aware of this sooner or later….

3 Responses to “General Conference message: immerse yourself in the scriptures”

  1. Nathan E. Rasmussen said

    Hear, hear. The subject of scripture study came up in one of my recent Gospel Principles lessons (Elders’ Quorum). “The manual” in general, and particularly that manual, contains the bones of the Gospel. The meat is in the Scriptures and the words of prophecy. The manual, and the explanations we get from the manual, lend us a structure to start from and refer to — but we cannot, must not be content merely to gnaw the bones.

  2. joespencer said

    Yeah, let me add my retroactive thanks for this post, Robert. Now that I’m actually teaching from the Gospel Principles manual, I have fewer complaints about it, since it is not at all difficult to move from it to the scriptures.

  3. kirkcaudle said

    “Develop a habit of daily scripture study, separate and apart from your lesson preparation.”-McConkie

    As much as I love the scriptures I am ashamed to say that I personally struggle with a strange from of this. I seem to find time study the scriptures daily, academically, in research, discussion, and to find personal answers. However, I have a hard time doing scripture study with my family.

    Why? I have no idea. I mean, we do it on an off (a couple times per week) but I just have a hard time getting motivated to do it. My kids are small so we only read for about five minutes, so it is not a time issue. However, the strange thing is I have no problem just rushing the kids off to school and then studying on my own. Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that I like to study the scriptures “personally” a little too much. I say too much, because it often excludes my family. I think on some level every time I read/study the scriptures I should be “preparing” for something.

    “First, immerse yourself in the scriptures. We cannot love what we do not know.”-McConkie.

    I think I have both of these things down. On the other hand, maybe I do not. We must be careful not to immerse ourselves to the point of forgetting the little things. And when I say little things, I mean reading 2 Nephi (Isa.) to a 5 year old that is rolling around on the ground saying “are we done yet” and when you say “no,” he starts hitting his sister.

    Now I know this entire comment is a bit (or maybe even more than a bit) of a tangent from the original talk. However, it is what it made me think about.

    Not sure if anyone else on this blog deals with related issues, but I will (not proudly) admit that I sure do!

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