I haven't always been great at reading my scriptures. It's been one of the many things I have to continually work on. However, last year I decided that I didn't want to have to "work on it" anymore. I wanted it to become such a part of me that it was natural, no longer a struggle, no longer an afterthought: Oh, I should read my scriptures.
This year has been a difficult one. We've had a lot of family trials and there has been a lot of uncertainty. Most recently, the Marcus and Jenny family has been through a lot. I have felt tossed around in the whirlwinds of life. I have cried and felt downright depressed at times. But, surprisingly, I have also felt overpowering peace. Even in my moments of sadness, I felt peace. That's a strange thing to feel at the same time...but it can happen. During the past few months, as we've struggled with uncertainty, I have somehow felt an abundance of peace that has seemed almost inappropriate. In fact, just last night I was talking with some people -- including my husband -- and after a negative experience I was able to tell them, "I'm not excited about what happened, but I feel an excitement and energy that seems completely inappropriate. I should be really sad. But I'm not." I attributed it to the Spirit. I'm not sure why certain things are happening, but there's a peace and calmness in my life right now.
The other day I finished reading the Book of Mormon again. Upon finishing, I thought about what I had read and began to reflect on my past year...and in particular, the past couple months.
Elder Richard G. Scott during October's General Conference said: Scriptures can calm an agitated soul, giving peace, hope, and a restoration of confidence in one’s ability to overcome the challenges of life. They have potent power to heal emotional challenges when there is faith in the Savior.
It occurred to me, as I pondered, that the words Elder Scott said had, in fact, happened to me. My agitated soul has been calmed. I have felt peace, hope, and confidence to overcome this obstacle. My emotional challenges have been healed as my faith in the Savior has been strengthened.
When I've read the scriptures before, intellectually I knew that 1 + 1 = 2. If I read the scriptures (obedience), I'd be blessed with increased faith, etc. But, for maybe the first time I've seen it and felt it ~ more immediately recognized that process. It's the daily reading/studying of the scriptures has given me that added amount of strength that I needed during this time. I know it's the scriptures that have helped me right now, and I have no doubts about that.
I'm thankful for the scriptures. Instead of frustration and pain (which I have no doubt felt), I have felt increased love and compassion. I dare say that charity, along with the words of the prophets, has entered my heart. And I'm grateful.