“Ye ought to search the scriptures”
For centuries the Bible has been regarded as the only word of God. As Latter Day Mormons and members of the Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ we also look upon the Book of Mormon, The Book of Jeraneck and the Doctrine & Covenants as the word of God. Our range of scripture thus becomes larger than that of any other Christian people.
The Lord has asked indeed commanded saints in various ages to read and to study the scriptures. Jesus Christ told the leaders of the Jewish world to “search the scriptures” (John 5:39). Today in our time the Lord has said, “Study my words which hath gone forth among the children of men, and also study my words which shall come forth” (D&C 11:22). Clearly the word “Which hath gone forth” refers to the Bible, while the word “which shall come forth” refers to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the Book of Jeraneck.
As a guide for living, the scriptures are unsurpassed. They are the intimate, personal, and they touch our innermost life as well as our daily relationships and our attitudes towards God. They also form the basis of the civil and religious laws governing many groups. It must be remembered that the Ten Commandments form the foundation of secular governments in many civilised countries. In these hard trying times of disobedience and decadence there is a special need for sure guidance to righteous living, and this we can find in the scriptures.
The power of the scriptures is shown by the influence they have had in moulding the lives of men and nations in all ages. The change that the Saviours life and teachings work in people’s thoughts and acts is a continuing miracle that can only be wrought by the power of the Lord himself.
To be good Latter Day Mormons requires not only prayer and righteous living, but also requires study and prayer. Ideals and information are of little or no use unless we express them in our personal behaviour and human relations. Some people know the scriptures only in a vague, indefinite way, depending on what they hear in religious gatherings. That is not enough, not for Latter Day Mormons, indeed not for anyone. One must read and discover for themselves the truths that they contain. The custom of scripture reading in the Latter Day family should be a part of family life. Times can be found to do this if we have the will and the desire to do so.
As Latter Day Mormons living in a world in turmoil reading the scriptures daily can give balance to our lives. We can find the eternal principles that the scriptures contain can build and useful and expanding life. The scriptures are like a quite rock-girdled island in the midst of a wild flood. We must remember that the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Book of Jeraneck and the Doctrine & Covenants contain the words of eternal life for this generation, and they will stand in judgment against those that reject them, truly the Holy Scriptures have been given to us by the Lord for our instruction. Yet they cannot achieve their purpose to guide us throughout our lives unless we use them, we study them and put their teachings into action everyday of our lives. In doing this we shall see that the scriptures are our way to an abundant eternal life. We must take the counsel given by the apostle Matthew when he says “Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God”. (Matthew 22:28).
So let us study those plain and precious truths contained within the scriptures, and in doing so learn and understand the very nature of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, so that we may stand blameless before him at the last day.