Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Elder David A. Bednar on coming to Christ through scripture study

Elder David A. Bednar (1952- ) was sustained as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2004.
"Coming unto Christ is not a single event with a fixed point of beginning or ending; rather, it is a process that develops and deepens during a lifetime. As an initial step in the process, we certainly must obtain knowledge and learn about Jesus and His life, teachings, and ministry. But truly coming unto Him also requires consistent obedience and striving to become like Jesus in our thoughts, motives, communications, and actions. As we 'press forward' (2 Ne. 31:20) on the pathway of discipleship, we can draw near unto the Savior with the expectation that He will draw near unto us; we can seek Him diligently with the hope that we shall find Him; we can ask with confidence that we shall receive; and we can knock anticipating that the door shall be opened unto us (see D&C 88:63). 
"One of the best ways to draw near unto Him and to both learn about and become more like the Lord Jesus Christ is to consistently study the holy scriptures—to daily 'feast upon the words of Christ' (2 Ne. 32:3). 
"Please notice that I used the word study and not the word read. Studying and feasting suggest a focus and an intensity that reach far beyond casual reading or quick perusing. Studying and feasting, followed by sincere prayer and steadfast application of the truths and principles we learn, yield personal resolve, spiritual commitment, and the bright light of testimony. Studying, learning, praying, and appropriately applying gospel truths are all key elements in the process of coming unto the Savior." 
- David A. Bednar, "More Diligent and Concerned at Home," General Conference October 2009
Click here to read the full talk

In the typical usage of the word "come" we think of discrete events; we come to a meeting or come together with a friend. But Elder Bednar clarifies the meaning of the scriptural admonition to "Come unto Christ":

There are two critical steps in this process: obtaining knowledge about Jesus, and then striving to become like Him through consistent obedience. The Savior has promised that our efforts to seek, knock, and draw near will be responded to.

But Elder Bednar goes further, explaining the importance of learning about Him and becoming more like Him as we "feast" upon His word. He uses words like "consistently" and "daily" to describe how we should go about the studying process; and then he emphasizes the importance of going beyond mere casual or methodical reading as we study the scriptures with focus and intensity.

The rewards for our efforts are promised, and as is always the case, we can trust that the blessings will be abundant.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
March 19, 2015

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