Here's a way to care for the body and the spirit at the same time!
One of the things I miss from my mission is intense, purpose driven scripture study - both alone and with my husband/companion. I am trying to find ways to keep that precious experience alive.
The world intrudes and time slips away, but one thing that works for me right now is listening to uplifting talks as I exercise walk. My poor tired body needs a regular pep up workout and my spirit needs daily fuel. In 45 minutes, I can take care of both.
After three years on a mission, my husband and I came home 'technologically deprived.' Our kids helped us choose brand new iphones and I love mine! I can do so many fun things with it - one of which is uploading talks so I can have them with me always. Now, when I walk I grab my iphone, tuck it into a small shoulder bag and off I go - I have a phone (in case of emergency) and an mp3 player. I come back all excited to print off the talk, grab my scriptures and read some of the references.
There are loads of places online to download great talks. Being LDS, I like the ones available on lds.org and BYU Speeches. I also enjoy podcasts. If you don't know what I am talking about or how to download and play talks from the internet - just give me a few days and I will do a blog post with simple instructions.
Yesterday I listened to "A Reservoir of Living Water" by Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. It is a fabulous talk about the why and how of scripture study.
He suggests three possible approaches:
- Reading the scriptures from beginning to end
- Studying the scriptures by topic
- Searching the scriptures for connections, patterns, and themes.
I particularly love #3 - it's so exciting to have new connections suddenly appear.
If you want to get motivated about scripture study, get the talk and read or listen to it. Let me know what you think. Both text and audio formats are available at the BYU Speeches website link here. You can also read it on lds.org here
Here are a few special quotes I liked:
"I believe this generation of youth is more immersed in the scriptures, more deeply acquainted with the words of the prophets, and more prone to turn to the revelations for answers than any previous generation." (The young elders I served with in the West Indies Mission are wonderful examples of this statement)
"The most demanding judgments we ever make are seldom between good or bad or between attractive and unattractive alternatives. Usually, our toughest choices are between good and good."
"In my personal reading, studying, and searching over a period of years, I have focused many times upon the doctrine of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. No event, knowledge, or influence has had a greater impact upon me during my 54 years of mortality than repeatedly reading about, studying in depth, and searching for connections, patterns, and themes related to the doctrine of the Atonement. This central, saving doctrine, over time, gradually has distilled upon my soul as the dews from heaven; has influenced my thoughts, words, and deeds (see Mosiah 4:30); and literally has become for me a well of living water." (Each year we challenged the missionaries to take a clean copy of the Book of Mormon and reread it and highlight references to the atonement. Then they were to write a summary of what they learned. I know this sweet exercise changed many lives.)
"But unto him that keepeth my commandments I will give the mysteries of my kingdom, and the same shall be in him a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life." D&C 63:23