Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Scripture Feasting Tool #5 - Apply

President Monson said, "The aim is to inspire the individual to think about, feel about, and then do something about living gospel principles" (Conference Report, Oct. 1970).  Nephi told us to liken all scriptures to us so they can profit us (see 1 Nephi 19:23). 

Here are some questions you can ask to help apply scriptures to yourself. 

  • “How does this apply to me?” 
  • "What situation in my life could this verse apply to?"
  • "What does God want me to change to follow what this passage is teaching?" 
  • “Am I like that?" or “How am I doing with this?”  For example, when Nephi's bow broke (see 1 Nephi 16), Laman and Lemuel got angry, blamed, complained, and gave up. On the other hand, Nephi stayed calm, took positive action, and received God's help to succeed.  You could ask yourself, "Do I usually respond to stressful situations like Nephi or like Laman and Lemuel?"
  • Insert your name or "I" or "me" in place of scripture people. In Alma 5:19 I could insert my name, "I say unto you Becky, can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands ... having the image of God engraven upon Becky's [countenance]?"

Check out a few examples of ways I apply teachings of the scriptures in my own life. 

Note: Any of these questions would make a great journal entry, asking the question in prayer and then writing down things that come to mind.
  • Captain Moroni worked hard to protect his cities. He kept upgrading his battle plan against his enemies the Lamanites. How do I need to protect my family and upgrade my battle plan against my enemy, the devil?  (See Alma 48-50.) 
  • In Ether 12:27 we're told that God gives us weaknesses as part of His plan and we need to turn to God so God's strength can turn our weaknesses into strengths. What weaknesses has God given me, as part of my plan, that He needs me to turn to Him so they can become strengths? 
  • If "the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray" (2 Nephi 32:8) how does the devil sometimes do that with me?  What ways to I find myself postponing prayer or scripture study - checking email or Facebook, throwing in a batch of laundry, answering a phone call that could be returned later, reading something with more instant gratification than scriptures? How can I not let Satan win in these small ways?  
  • In 1 Nephi 16:28 Nephi tells specific ways the Liahona worked - according to their faith, heed, and diligence. What in my life works according to those standards? The Holy Ghost does. Am I heeding with faith and diligence the messages I receive from the Holy Ghost so I will receive more messages from Him? 
  • Here is a post about applying the story of Lehi leaving Jerusalem to ways we may need to prepare before events of the Second Coming. 

President Benson showed some ways we can apply teachings of the Book of Mormon in our modern culture. 

President Ezra Taft Benson reminded us that Mormon said we should constantly ask ourselves, "Why did the Lord inspire Mormon (or Moroni or Alma) to include that in his record? What lesson can I learn from that to help me live in this day and age? ... For example, in the Book of Mormon we find a pattern for preparing for the Second Coming... how disciples of Christ live in times of war. ... We find lessons of dealing with persecution and apostasy ... how to do missionary work ... and the dangers of materialism" (Ensign, 1986, emphasis added).

He also said, "The Book of Mormon exposes the enemies of Christ. It confounds false doctrines and lays down contention. (See 2 Ne. 3:12.) It fortifies the humble followers of Christ against the evil designs, strategies, and doctrines of the devil in our day. The type of apostates in the Book of Mormon are similar to the type we have today. God, with his infinite foreknowledge, so molded the Book of Mormon that we might see the error and know how to combat false educational, political, religious, and philosophical concepts of our time" (Ensign, Jan. 1988, emphasis added). 

Isn't the Lord amazing to give us those things in the Book of Mormon written just for us? Are we taking full advantage of them by applying them to ourselves? 

Feel free to share a principle from your scripture study this week in a comment below! 

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