Mormon Channel Blog

Self Reliance: Personal Scripture Study - Insights from Stephanie Nielson

February 7, 2015

My personal scripture study begins on the mountains above my home. Up there, I exercise every day. I make my way there after dropping my four children off at school. Before I begin my hike, I choose a talk from LDS General Conference to listen to on my smartphone. Sometimes I feel inspired to pick a special talk/topic and sometimes I just choose randomly.

The talk plays and I listen intently as I exercise on the trail. My feet carry me to the top of the mountain, while my heart and mind are feasting on divine words. I take mental notes and plead for the Lord to help me retain the inspired messages. When the talk is over I pray. Sometimes in my head and sometimes aloud (when no one is on the trail). I usually express gratitude to God for such remarkable men and women who have authority to reveal necessary guidance in my life.

After my hike I go home and look up the scriptures that were referenced in the talk I just listened to that morning.  Sometimes this type of thorough scripture study isn't practical because of how time-consuming it can become. After my youngest is napping I go back and read the referenced scriptures in these talks, or at least write them down in my scripture journal for another time. Occasionally I have extra time to focus on eager studying, and some days I do the bare minimum, but most importantly, I have learned that going without, is not an option.

No matter how diligent I am about personal scripture study, it really doesn't do anything for me if I haven't prayed. I pray for a personal understanding of the scriptures. I pray that my heart will be softened and that I can honestly use the principals I am being taught.

My husband has a different time for meaningful scripture study. For him, it is early in the morning, when it is still dark outside. The house is quiet and he can think, feel, pray and study quietly.

I know that through reading my scriptures and meaningful prayer, I can better comprehend the men and women who boldly lived the stories in these scriptures. I am learning valuable lessons that will guide my life, and help me raise my young children. The knowledge that I have attained brings me peace in a hectic world, and the choices I make are clearer, and my energy is more focused on eternal matters.

Because I read my scriptures and listen to the counsel from the Lords chosen servants every day, I have learned so much about my Savior Jesus Christ and my relationship with my Heavenly Father.

I love what Julie B Beck said about scripture study in a talk she gave that I recently listened to on the trail: "Just as eating and breathing sustain my physical body, the scriptures feed and give life to my spirit."

Watch the Mormon Message about Stephanie called My New Life.

Listen to Stephanie talk about her experience on our 'Conversations' series.