Making Scripture Study Meaningful

“So, I know we’re supposed to study the scriptures, but why? What is so important about it?” I asked my mom this question several months ago during a gospel discussion. And she didn’t really have an answer that satisfied me.

At that point, I was purely reading my scriptures out of duty. Throughout my life, I have struggled with scripture study. But I knew we were “supposed” to do it, and so I was trying to be more consistent about reading.

However, I kept feeling really frustrated as I tried. I was reading the words but not absorbing or learning anything. I was just going through the motions. I found my mind wandering when I tried to study, and I frequently felt bored. The prophets speak often of feasting on the scriptures, and yet that was the last thing I could imagine doing. I tried to read as fast as I could so that I’d be finished as soon as possible.

Sometimes I’d skip scripture study because I felt like it wasn’t beneficial to me. Sleep and homework were more important because I wasn’t really gaining anything anyway. It was hard to be motivated; I simply wasn’t sure why scripture study was important or what I should be looking for or learning from the scriptures.

But then I read “Created in the ‘Image and Likeness of God’: Apprentices in the Master’s Workshop” by David Rolph Seely. This devotional isn’t even about scripture study, but somehow it gave answers to my questions and motivation to my frustrated scripture study.

To Become Like Him

The premise of Seely’s talk is that we are here on earth to reach our divine potential and to become like God and Jesus Christ. He shared a moment when he realized that part of his task was to “fulfill the measure of [his] creation—to be in the image and likeness of God, to be holy and perfect like Him.” It is our divine destiny to become like God, and part of our purpose on this earth is to gain divine qualities. When Seely said this, it rang true with my personal beliefs; I have a strong testimony of our divine destiny.

Seely compares the process of becoming like God to the process of apprentices becoming like their master. In both cases, the first step is to come to know the master.

Here’s what changed my scripture study: Seely explains that “we can come to know the Lord by studying the scriptures” and that “through reading the accounts of the life of the Savior, we can learn what He is like, what He values, and how He treated others.”

Reading scriptures isn’t just something we’re “supposed” to do: it’s something that guides us and helps us understand what we are to become. If we read the scriptures with this perspective in mind, we come to know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. We learn about who They are and about the qualities They possess so that we know which qualities to cultivate in ourselves.

—Denya I. Palmer, editorial intern, BYU Publications & Graphics

Through reading the accounts of the life of the Savior, we can learn what He is like. David Rolph Seely (designed quote)

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