I’m so happy and blessed to be taking part in the beautiful Mormon.org Christmas campaign, Light the World. Not only is it an opportunity for me to reflect on my feelings about Christ and all He has done, and DOES for me, but it’s a chance for me to write about one of my most favorite topics… the scriptures. Jesus read the scriptures. He loved them. And, as I have incorporated the scriptures in my life, I have come to love them too. They teach me. They answer my prayers. They bring me closer to God. They change me.
I thought it would be fun to think about 5 of my most favorite scriptures. Have you ever thought about your favorites? It’s hard to narrow it down to five, but to make the cut, I’ve decided on scriptures that have made a big impact on my life and who I try to be. I also want to share with you some AWESOME ways to really amp up your scripture reading motivation. … but, more on that later. 😉
5 Scriptures That Changed Me
SCRIPTURE #1 ~ Doctrine & Covenants 64:9-10
Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.
I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.
I remember memorizing this scriptures way back when I was in high school and I’m so glad I did, because it has popped into my mind MANY times over the years, reminding me that I am required to forgive. Holding grudges is such an ugly thing that does incredible damage to the soul. I’ve felt that happen. And, isn’t that what Satan loves? To damage your soul? Make you miserable? Prevent further spiritual growth? He’s a jerk to the highest-degree. Seriously. I love a good scripture where God puts me in my place and lets me know that He’s the boss. It’s not my place to not forgive, so when I have a beef, I need to do all I can to get over it. Sometimes it’s doable, but sometimes it seems so impossible. It has often required a lot of effort and prayers, but I am a witness to the miracle of God healing my heart and helping me forgive, when it felt so difficult.
SCRIPTURE #2 ~ Alma 7:12 (The Book of Mormon)
And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
Christ didn’t only suffer for our sins, He experienced all the negative feelings that we have had, and will have. Why? As the scripture said, so he can know how to “succor his people.” That deepens my gratitude and love for Him even more. I have had plenty of negative feelings in my life… loneliness, sadness, confusion, etc. For Him to have felt those VERY SAME feelings means something HUGE. It means that more than anybody in the world, He knows how I feel and He knows how to heal me. I could always turn to my mom. I could always turn to my best friend. But, there’s nobody that it makes more sense to turn to than Christ. He’s been there too. I’ve felt His comfort and I’ve felt His love and there’s nothing that can succor me more.
SCRIPTURE #3 ~ Doctrine & Covenants 18:10
Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.
This is such a short scripture, but one of GREAT importance. There are so many people in the world. So many. We all have our own story. We’re all different. Some look to Christ as their Savior, some don’t know Him at all. But, the worth of souls is GREAT in the sight of God. He loves all of us. Our Father in Heaven loves all of us. It’s easy to understand when you consider the feelings of a loving parent. Your kids can love you or they can break your heart, but you still love them and long for their happiness. Heavenly Father is that way. Our brother, Jesus, is that way. They love us, no matter who we are or what we’ve done. They hope we love them back. They hope we treat our brothers and sisters, as we are all His children, as if their souls are of great worth.
SCRIPTURE #4 ~ Alma 37:36-37
Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou rises in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.
If there ever was a scripture to tell you how to live your life, gosh… those two verses are perfect. Everything these verses say, I need to hear over and over. There is something so much bigger than this life we’re living right now. The things we often think are big and of great importance are often so trivial in the grand scheme of things. It can be so easy to get caught up in the trends and happenings of the world and it takes REAL effort to stay focused and keep the proper perspective. Family is HUGE. Keeping God’s commandments is HUGE. Loving and servings others is HUGE. Putting any of those off as unimportant is a HUGE MISTAKE. I don’t know about you, but I’m all for being “lifted up at the last day.” That sounds pretty amazing. I have a lot of work to do on myself! Stay focused… stay focused… stay focused…
SCRIPTURE #5 ~ Doctrine & Covenants 64:33
Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.
Maybe it’s because I’m a mother that this scripture touched me so much. So often I feel overwhelmed at all the small tasks that have to be done to raise a happy, healthy, and righteous family. It can be so much and it’s easy to get discouraged and wonder if I’m even making a difference with my efforts. I recently read this scripture, during a bout of particular self-pity, and felt the Spirit so strongly, telling me that, at that very moment, that scripture was for me. Kind of like, “Buck-up, Mariel! You’re doing great.” I felt so loved by God and I felt so encouraged. It’s true that my life is filled with “little things,” but when my priorities are straight and my intentions are true, those little things matter. They are building something great and part of a great work, God’s work. The teaching moments, the after-school conversations, the hugs, the family prayers around the coffee table, the dates with kid… and yes, even the endless cleaning, the cooking, the diaper changing, the driving to dance classes, etc…. they are bricks in my family’s foundation. Those bricks are laid with love and creating an environment where God can dwell and guide our family in this crazy world. I need to read this scripture REGULARLY. 😉
Friends, before I move on to this next part, I just want to reiterate how thankful I am for the scriptures. I love the good feelings I have when I read them. I’ve learned so much. I’ve had my prayers answered several times while reading them. They are God’s words. We can pray to Him, but to hear Him talk back, we need to read and listen His words. When there is a special part that He wants to tell us, we will feel it. The Spirit will be undeniable. But, we need to give God that opportunity to talk back. So, let’s all give our loving Heavenly Father and also our Savior a gift this year and open up that line of communication even more. Our relationship will grow and the happiness and peace we are all after will increase. I can promise that!
Scripture Reading Motivation
As mentioned earlier, I wanted to share some AWESOME ways to increase scripture reading motivation. This first idea comes from one of my awesome contributors, and authors of The Mormon Home, Rachel. She is one of the most creative gals I know, so I emailed her and asked if she would create something JUST FOR US, to help motivate us to read our scriptures more regularly. What she came up with is insanely fun and I can’t wait to start it January 1st!
Take it away, Rachel…
IDEA #1 ~ Chat Bubble Scripture Reading Chart
“How many times have you sat reading your scriptures only to realize nothing has been sinking in? It has happened to me more than I would care to admit. Some days it’s a true feast, but some days, honestly, it’s a blur! This Chat Bubble scripture reading chart is designed help you really remember and digest what you’re reading and also track your daily reading habits. The idea is to fill in one word per day in each chat bubble. Each time you study the scriptures write in one word that best captures what you read that day. It can be a word to describe what you have read or it can be a word that captures how you felt as you studied. Fill in a word in each chat bubble and get a sense of accomplishment as your words add up.
You have two printable options. The first is 100 chat bubbles on a standard letter-size page. The Word of the Lord is your reminder, both of D&C 68:4 and your task to fill in one word per bubble. Super easy to print on any home printer. It will keep you going for over three months if you are reading daily. It could be a personal challenge to read for 100 days straight!
The second is designed to track an entire year–that’s right, all of 2017! This page has 365 chat bubbles ready to capture one word per scripture study session. It’s would be a great personal challenge to fill in every single bubble and to read every single day of 2017. By choosing one word per day to represent your daily study, your scripture tracking chart serves a dual purpose: both to track daily effort and to deepen what you are learning as you read. This page is 11×17 (tabloid size) in order to fit all 365 bubbles. It is easy to print at virtually every copy shop and this size in black and white are usually about 30 cents.”
~ Rachel @ The Mormon Home
IDEA #2 ~ Group Scripture Texting (worked WONDERS for me!)
This is an idea I shared previously on the blog and it’s the system I’ve been using for the past couple years. It has helped me SOOOO much, has built relationships with my friends and family, and has changed my for the better. Read all about it here: How to Never Miss a Day of Scripture Reading
IDEA #3 ~ Simple Ways to Add Scriptures to Your Day
This is an awesome and inspired post from another one of my super talented contributors, Adelle. Any of her ideas would work wonders. Find them here: Simple Ways to Add Scriptures to Your Day
To learn more about Jesus Christ, what He did to light the world and/or receive a copy free copy of scriptures, visit Mormon.org.
And, PLEASE help #LIGHTtheWORLD this Christmas (and forever) by following Christ’s example and sharing His light with the world.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in: