Today I read Doctrine and Covenants section 26, a short two verse section with some very good counsel. In this section the doctrine of doing things by consent of the congregation is started. I often wonder just how much of how we do things in this day and age is the same as when the church was on the earth in ancient times. Certain things, like the ages of a deacon, seem quite different. But I like to think that certain others like consent of the congregation is the same as in ancient days.
The first verse, and commandment, has more meaning to us now. In this verse the Lord commands Joseph and Oliver to search the scriptures by way of preparation. This is of course relevant to us as we have in our day and age, been counseled by our prophets to spend at least 30 minutes each day reading the scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon.
The reasons are a little different though I think. Joseph and Oliver were commanded to search the scriptures in order to study to prepare to go preaching. Young people attend seminary for the same purpose, to learn the scriptures preparatory to serving a mission. At least that has always been my understanding of it. Older folks, and young folks alike, are counseled to read the scriptures daily because of the protection it provides.
It's really hard to explain to someone who has not experienced it for themselves but reading the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon, provides a very real protection from Satan and his temptations. I remember when I was not living the commandments like I should have been, I was also not reading the scriptures. When I decided to get back on the road to behaving like I should have been, yes it was because I met my wife :), the first thing I started doing was reading my scriptures. It was very sporadic though but it helped.
It wasn't until I had been married for over a year that I really made the transition to reading my scriptures every single day and wow what a difference it made in my life! I was able to feel the Spirit more often. I was calmer and got less riled up during the day. Things didn't bother me nearly as much, life was just generally a lot more pleasant. There is a strength in the scriptures and the Book of Mormon in particular, that any Latter-day Saint would be a fool to pass up. Daily, sincere scripture study may feel like a chore to some, but it is a gift from heaven that lets the Spirit flood into your life and should not be passed up by anyone, especially those that struggle. I'm sure there are dozens of stories like mine that some of you could even share. But you all already know all this since this is a blog about reading scriptures so I am sure you all are very good at scripture reading. Stay with it and the Lord will teach you amazing things. That I can promise you and you will never be left alone in your time of need by the Spirit or the Lord. Until tomorrow.