“For my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them, and writeth them for the learning and the profit of my children.
“Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard.”2
In addition, during past dispensations and in this last dispensation of the fulness of times, worthy members of the Lord’s Church have been blessed with the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, who aids in our spiritual development and learning.
In this modern age, we have come to expect that knowledge can and should be obtained immediately; when information is not easily known or accessible, it is often dismissed or mistrusted. Because of the abundance of information, some unwittingly give more credibility to available sources with an unknown origin rather than relying on the Lord’s established pattern for receiving personal revelation. Jacob could have been describing our time when he said: “But behold, [they] were a stiffnecked people; and they despised the words of plainness … and sought for things that they could not understand. Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall; for God hath taken away his plainness from them, and delivered unto them many things which they cannot understand, because they desired it.”8
Illustratively, words which we should so “liken” occur twice with regard to Laman and Lemuel, mistakenly regarded by some as merely “stick figures.” Consider, therefore, how the applications of these next words go far beyond those two: “And thus Laman and Lemuel, … did murmur … because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them” (1 Ne. 2:12; see also Mosiah 10:14).
To misread something so crucial constitutes a failure to know God, who then ends up being wrongly seen as unreachable, uninvolved, uncaring, and unable—a disabled and diminished Deity, really—about whose seeming limitations, ironically, some then quickly complain.
The words written in the scriptures and spoken in general conference are for us to “liken them unto [ourselves],”7 not for reading or hearing only.8 Too often we attend meetings and nod our heads; we might even smile knowingly and agree. We jot down some action points, and we may say to ourselves, “That is something I will do.” But somewhere between the hearing, the writing of a reminder on our smartphone, and the actual doing, our “do it” switch gets rotated to the “later” position. Brethren, let’s make sure to set our “do it” switch always to the “now” position!
As you read the scriptures and listen to the words of the prophets with all your heart and mind, the Lord will tell you how to live up to your priesthood privileges. Don’t let a day go by without doing something to act on the promptings of the Spirit.
In some ways, our testimony is like a snowball that grows larger with every turn. We start out with a small amount of light—even if it is only a desire to believe. Gradually, “light cleaveth unto light,”11 and “he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day,”12when “in due time [we] receive of his fulness.”13
Think of what a glorious thing it is to reach beyond our earthly limitations, to have the eyes of our understanding opened and receive light and knowledge from celestial sources! It is our privilege and opportunity as bearers of the priesthood to seek personal revelation and to learn how to know the truth for ourselves through the sure witness of the Holy Spirit.