This is part of an email I wrote to my brother who, as far as I know, has not read the scriptures in a pretty long time.
I have been taking a New Testament class, and today we read and talked about the book of James. As you probably know, this is the book that has the famous verses that Joseph Smith Jr. looked at which brought about the restoration of the gospel and the organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When we talked about the book of James as a whole, my professor mentioned how many good little pieces of advice can be found there. And this is true; there are dozens and dozens.
However, after we talked about that, I thought about how all scripture can have just as many good bits of advice as the book of James has, even if it is not as obvious. We can all have experiences like Joseph Smith’s where we come across a piece of scripture, and it changes our lives. Of course, it probably will not be as dramatic as having Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ themselves come down to talk with us, as they did with Joseph Smith. Even in the war chapters of the Book of Mormon, or the really confusing verses of Isaiah, we can find ways to relate something to our lives and have it teach us something important.
Just the other day I was reading in the book of Ether in the Book of Mormon, and I came across the verse where Ether (a prophet in ancient America) tells how he wanted so much for his brethren to be saved, and he prayed with great fervor. When I read that, I couldn’t help but think about Jared and how I want so badly for him to come back to the Church, but that I haven’t been praying about him. The verses I read taught me that I can pray for things like that. Maybe it won’t happen, but I can receive comfort from it.
If you are reading this post, and if these reflections helped you, or if you have any questions, I would be happy to hear from you.
BYU Students Share Letters & Reflections on Scripture
Brigham Young University (BYU) is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called the “Mormon Church.” BYU students take nearly a semester of spiritually uplifting, stimulating religion classes.
Here, in this column, students enrolled in scripture study classes have shared their thoughts, insights, and reflections on the New Testament and gospel of Jesus Christ in the form of letters to someone they know. In publishing these, we fulfill their desire to witness to all of us of the relevance, power, and beauty of the New Testament, and God’s plan of happiness for each of us. We invite you to take a look at their epiphanies and discoveries as they delve into the scriptures. Let us know how these may help you in your own life. Share them with a friend.