Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Studying the scriptures in one word- A new way to study.

What if I told you that you could exercise for 1 minute at a time and see great benefits?

Believe it or not this is actually a thing. And it works. High intensity 1 minute workouts. There is research that surrounds it. Its not for me I will be honest, I like my full morning workout but it is actually researched based. But this post is not about that...(even though as many of you know I love fitness).

What if I told you, you could study the scriptures in one word increments and actually get a lot out of it and see great benefits...

Sound too good to be true?

Well its not! It really is as miraculous as it sounds and more, especially when you have the greatest teacher in the whole universe at your side to coach you. We all know who that is right? The Holy Ghost!

Let me explain about this one word study method!

One Word- No Problem!
This weekend I gave a 90 minute presentation at a retreat for women. It was great. There were a lot of women there. We all felt the spirit, We laughed. We cried. It was awesome!

Despite my message the one thing that most of them took away (because I asked them) was how I mentioned, as a side note, that I sometimes study the scriptures by studying one word for a while. I guess no matter what your message is as a speaker the true messenger is always the Holy Ghost. I hope that is true in written posts as well.

In college I took a "Bible as literature" class. We read the entire bible front to back. We also read the Apocrypha in this class. Now that was fun.

I guess it isn't any different than other text books right?

During the class and for our final research project the professor had us do an in depth study of one word and how it was used in the scriptures and write a research project on it. We used nothing but the scriptures to study this one word and its many meanings.

This was and will forever be my favorite project of college. I chose the word "salt". You would be amazed at how many references to salt there is in the scriptures, "Ye are the salt of the earth", "Lots Wife", "salting sacrifices". The more I studied the more excited I became about what I was learning.

You see, the scriptures ARE INCREDIBLE! They are like mathematics.

In math 2 + 2 =4, 2x2=4 if you look at it up or down or across it all meets back together again.

The scriptures do much of the same but instead of using numbers and metrics the scriptures use ideas, prophecies and languages that have had to endure several translations. Now isn't that incredible?!

For example, in the scriptures Christ can speak to a small group of farmers yet his words apply to the entire house of Israel (a multi-generational span of people consisting of billions of people) but it can also apply to individuals. He can speak on a micro level as well as a macro level at the same time. There is such a divine layering to his meaning. He can speak to a publican but yet his words can come back to my heart and answer a personal and holy prayer while walking through a grocery store almost two thousand years after they were given. By small and simple things shall great things come to pass.

I have no doubt that God could call down the stars to fall and align and show great wonders in heaven. Or that angels could dance before us and tell us tales of creation but instead he chooses to use the words of scriptures to be our guides.

The study of scriptures take a pure act of agency, a diligent conviction without accolades or immediate praise of on lookers. Like Naaman washing in the river Jordan 7 times (2 Kings 5:1-15) it is no great thing we are asked to do but it is a personal session with an unseen power. But "Because of the simpleness of the way and the easiness of it many will perish" (1 Nephi 17:41) because the chose not to practice the holy dedication and diligence that personal daily scripture study requires.

Joseph translation of the scriptures holds a parable in itself. His struggle to discipher the scriptures and their meaning is not to far from our own personal translation of what the scriptures mean to us in our lives. In the beginning he used stones, in the beginning we may require many helps, many aids but in the end we may need nothing more than the pages that lay before us and the eyes of our understanding.

How incredible are the scriptures!

Another example(because I am long winded...)- Christ quotes Isaiah who is speaking Messianically, (meaning Isaiah is quoting the pre-earth Christ). So Chirst is essentially quoting Isaiah, who is quoting the pre-earth Christ. So Christ is quoting himself, but doing it in a way that sounds really cool. Wow!

Again you can read the scriptures forward and back ward and across just like mathematics and when you add latter day scriptures it is another added measure of richness and how grateful I am for the latter day scripture that we have.

So back to salt. With this research paper. I learned a lot about salt, covenants and promises.

So now I read the scriptures at times in one word increments. I have studied the scriptures in one word increments. Sometimes a word will call out to me. Or a phrase.

I have studied fruit- What a glorious thing to study!

I have studied hope, faith, charity, vessels, rich, fish, seeds, ground and many more topics.

My favorite so far has been charity. I spent an entire year studying the word charity. Every day for a year I would open my scriptures and I would read and research and learn and repeat. I poured over the scriptures relating to charity and the love of God. What I learned was incredible but by the end of the year I felt I had barely scratched the surface of this amazing topic.

I concluded that the whole purpose of this life was to learn charity and that it all comes back to charity.

Now I have dragged this post on for far too long and if anyone is still reading I commend you.

Anyone that can endure a read like this could surely read and study any topic they desired.

Studying the scriptures in one word sessions truly can be an incredible experience.

Try it...and then try exercising 1 minute at a time high intensity with breaks in between

...it could be fun.

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