The Best Gift I’ve Found

December 4, 2012

Ren and Hiedi

In the spirit of Christmas I thought what is the greatest gift I could give you?

Greater then any present you could ever receive?

The SCRIPTURES

Now just hear me out…

I’ve just felt for a while that I need to just tell you what we do. So here goes…

I’ve heard this quote before that:

If you want to talk with God Pray.

If you want God to talk to you read the scriptures.

But it never really made sense to me.

I hate reading!!

I’m that guy at school that reads those cliff note books and the summaries at the end of the chapter in order to get through school.

The only book I’m able to read is the Book of Mormon and it’s no small book but somehow someway I’m able to read it.

I’m 40 years old and I’m embarrassed to say that it hasn’t been since recently that I’ve got into the scriptures.

I maybe read the Book of Mormon once on my mission.

I didn’t understand it.

The way it was written with all the thees and thous. It made no sense to me until recently.

Growing up I did karate, soccer, guitar, scouts, swimming etc…Life was great but there just wasn’t room for the scriptures nor family prayer with everything else. Ever so often we would set off to do it but it petard out after a while.

For my family NOW we do the BASICS including the study of our Sciptures and if there’s enough room we do the other stuff.

WHY?

Because it brings a peace in our home for the spirit to dwell despite any kind of circumstances.

Many times after vacation it’s hard for us to get back in the habit. I don’t care if we are camping in the woods or everyone has the flu. In my home we read the scriptures.

It doesn’t make sense to carry large scriptures in my backpack camping so some times we might look at a picture on my phone and discuss the scripture story.

Sometimes it’s just going through the motions and other times it opens up huge discussion but how will the great moments happen if I’m not doing it consistency.

You never know when lightning strikes.

Sometime our oldest daughter Lucky (nickname) will ask some pretty deep questions. Like what do the Baptist’s believe. I don’t know let’s find out. So we will get on the internet.

I’d much rather have her take it to the edge religiously in my home then when she moves out. This is one reason why I took the long way in life is because I didn’t have my own testimony when I left home.

My main goal is for our kids to gain their own testimony so they can avoid some of the challenges I had. One time we went to midnight mass. It was great! Why not go to it with my kids and show them the difference there is. There is a spirit there but it’s just not the same. Jehovah Witnesses knock on our door and we have great conversations.

The biggest thing for our family is CONSISTENCY.

One of the reasons I think why it was hard for me in the past is because if it’s not perfect then I won’t do it.

It’s like with exercise. I made every excuse why I couldn’t exercise.

  • I didn’t have the right running shoes
  • I didn’t have the proper sweat suit
  • My kids are too young.

I finally got sick of my own excuses. Hiedi makes fun of me because I now ride my bike around the block in my flip flops.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. CONSISTENCY is the key.

Is our scripture study perfect?

Far from it.

Many times it’s crazy at our home!

We have 6 small kids ranging from 4 months, 18 months to 11. I swear it’s like we have twins with the smallest ones.

But the SCRIPTURES are the one thing that has held our family together despite our circumstances.

Children Scriptures

Our kids are small so we read those little picture scriptures with small words on it.

Each child is in charge for that night and assigns who reads next. They love to be in control.

Our scripture study is less then 5 minutes a night and I don’t wait around till everyone is there or it won’t happen. Sometimes there’s only 3 there.

Same thing applies to family prayer and as a side note. Same thing for family home evening on Monday night. Sometimes it’s elaborate with little Doyle’s and other times it’s nothing more then a song Pop Corn Popping on the Apricot tree and a little game of charades.

Is it perfect? No but it’s all about CONSISTENCY.

Then there’s Personal study of the Scriptures.

The Scriptures have been the Gateway to personal revelation for me. In one of my posts I talked about my journal and how God speaks to us each day. The scriptures are the gateway to personal revelation for my journal.

Sometimes I’ll read a chapter and wont remember what I’ve just read but the spirit will be communicating to my mind about something I’ve been struggling with. The windows of heaven will open.

When ever I feel the WORLD bearing down on me with all its force I read my scripture until that un-easy feeling goes away. Sometimes it takes a couple of pages other times 10 but there is a power I’ve found in the scriptures especially in the Book of Mormon.

Since I finally committed to scripture study I’ve read the book of Mormon 10 times and it’s changed my life forever.

You might think I read a whole bunch each day. I don’t. I read maybe 5 pages a day and on the weekends maybe 1 or 2 pages.

Here’s my Book of Mormon. I love it with all my heart. I’ve ripped it apart in every way. I’ve got dates on major events in the world. Church history. Post it notes etc…

Another thing that’s helped me is a Compact Book of Mormon that fits in my pocket. I put it in the truck. Read it while I’m waiting for the dentist or going to the bathroom. I’ve got the scriptures on my smart phone but it’s not the same as having a tangable book that I mark up.

I’m also able to be discreet about ready it without anyone bugging me about trying to be spiritual.

Here’s some BOLD questions I’ve ask myself in the scriptures:

Why me?

I read about Nephi challenges or Abinidi who was burned at the stake for his testimony.

What do you want me to do?

 Keep Going.

Many times I get so frustrated because I’m only given 1 foot at a time but it’s a Protection for me.

I think if I knew all the challenges I would face it would be much harder then just focusing on 1 foot at a time.

So I read about Nephi who wandered for 8 years in the wilderness and lived on raw meat in tents. He left his home and all his possessions.

Did he live comfortably? No but God took care of him.

What about the Israelites that wondered in the wilderness for 40 years?

Why didn’t God tell Joseph Smith to come directly to Salt Lake? Why did the pioneers have to build a temple that was burnt.

Why did they have to establish so many cities before coming to Salt Lake? They could have avoided a lot of pain. So why didn’t God give them a more direct route? There is a profound reason.

So how have the scriptures helped me?

Line upon line precept upon precept. Here a little there a little…

Why cant I know the whole plan?

Because it would be so much harder to follow. Just follow the 1 foot.

If Joseph Smith knew all the heart ache he would face would he do it?

Yes, but it would be much harder then just focusing on the 1 foot at a time.

Did Nephi have children in the wilderness?

Yes, so you can too.

I thought if I was good I would be blessed?

Yes but what’s the true definition of a blessing. It’s not always what you think is best for you.

Anyway I just wanted to share with you what I’ve learned to help you avoid some challenges I’ve had. Life is buetiful when you have your own testimony. It all make sense.

All the Best!

If you enjoyed this post please comment and share…

PS: Click here to learn more about Ren’s story or Hiedi’s story.

This is my most favorite Christmas song called Still, Still, Still.

 

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