Thursday, December 7, 2017

D&C 11:21 - Seek to obtain

Last Sunday a teacher pointed out a very interesting word in D&C 11:21 that I had glossed over up to this point.  Re-read this scripture and think about the word “obtain” 

"Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men. (D&C 11:21)

What does it mean to “obtain my word”?  In the past I have thought that it simply meant to study your lesson so you are prepared.  

As I thought about that scripture, D&C 84:84 came to mind.  Does this scripture support or contrast with the one in section 11? 

"Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man”  (D&C 84:85)

The two key words from this scripture are “treasure” and “continually”.  The first phrase of that scripture might lead you to believe that we don't need to prepare for our lessons or talks, but it appears to be a simple juxtaposition.  Don’t just think about it, but treasure it up continually.  Perhaps that is what President Monson his trying to get us to do in his April 2017 conference talk.  Consider his statement: 

"We live in a time of great trouble and wickedness. What will protect us from the sin and evil so prevalent in the world today? I maintain that a strong testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and of His gospel will help see us through to safety. If you are not reading the Book of Mormon each day, please do so. If you will read it prayerfully and with a sincere desire to know the truth, the Holy Ghost will manifest its truth to you.” (Thomas S. Monson, “The Power of the Book of Mormon”, April 2017 LDS General Conference) 

Why do we need to read the scriptures every day?   I have often used the metaphor that you can’t pour water from and empty bucket.  However, It is more than simply filling our bucket of knowledge.  We need to fill our hearts and our souls.  By nourishing our spirits with the good word of God each day, our scripture study goes from reading to treasuring and obtaining.  

Elder Henry B. Eyring said:

"We treasure the word of God not only by reading the words of the scriptures but by studying them. We may be nourished more by pondering a few words, allowing the Holy Ghost to make them treasures to us, than to pass quickly and superficially over whole chapters of scripture. (Henry B. Eyring, “Feed My Lambs”, October 1997 LDS General Conference)

So, going back to the beginning, when we see “to obtain my word”, we are doing more than simply reading and preparing activities for our lesson, but we need to make the “word” a part of us.  It needs to become ours.  Then when we teach, our tongue will be loosed and we will receive that portion in the very hour we need it.   We will start to approach the ideal of teaching in the Savior’s way.  We will say what He would say, we will love as He loves, and we will teach what He would teach.