Monday, November 14, 2016

President Howard W. Hunter on consistent scripture study

President Howard W. Hunter (1907-1995) was called to the Quorum of Twelve in 1959.  He served as Church President for only nine months, from June 5, 1994 to his death on March 3, 1995.
"When we follow the counsel of our leaders to read and study the scriptures, benefits and blessings of many kinds come to us. This is the most profitable of all study in which we could engage...
"Reading habits vary widely. There are rapid readers and slow readers, some who read only small snatches at a time and others who persist without stopping until the book is finished. Those who delve into the scriptural library, however, find that to understand requires more than casual reading or perusal—there must be concentrated study. It is certain that one who studies the scriptures every day accomplishes far more than one who devotes considerable time one day and then lets days go by before continuing. Not only should we study each day, but there should be a regular time set aside when we can concentrate without interference....
"It would be ideal if an hour could be spent each day; but if that much cannot be had, a half hour on a regular basis would result in substantial accomplishment. A quarter of an hour is little time, but it is surprising how much enlightenment and knowledge can be acquired in a subject so meaningful. The important thing is to allow nothing else to ever interfere with our study."
- Howard W. Hunter, "Reading the Scriptures," Ensign, Nov. 1979, p. 64
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

President Hunter starts this excerpt by reiterating an eternal truth: following the counsel of leaders results in benefits in blessings. In this case, he applies that principle to studying the scriptures, and promises blessings that will come as we learn to study faithfully and consistently.

He then offers counsel on how to study effectively, emphasizing that there are many styles and approaches that work well; the key is to study consistently:

Once a time is chosen and "set aside," it is our responsibility and privilege to make that time sacred. "The important thing is to allow nothing else to ever interfere with our study." Consistency brings rewards of its own, and our understanding and appreciation of the scriptures will grow and bring great blessings to us. It's as if we plant new seeds each day, then give time for them to grow and mature as we ponder them through the day; but each new day needs a new seed planted in order for the growth to continue.

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