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HOW WE CAN MAKE SCRIPTURE READING NON-BORING.
(Reading through this post will lead you to my three special tips, Each highlighted in blue)
The Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ Descends to Meet with Faithful Nephites -by Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
After the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ had been with these very blessed Nephites for just a relatively short time. He had the divine love and patience to invite each one of the approximately 2,500 people there with Him to personally "thrust their hands into His side, and feel the prints of the nails in His hands and in His feet." (III Nephi 11:14-15)
Jesus then called twelve men to serve as his disciples or apostles, special witnesses of Jesus Christ in their part of the world. I just have to comment on what I just told you Jesus did.
He didn't ask to interview all of the potential disciple-apostles before choosing them. He didn't ask for a resume from any of them. He just knew, because of the divine gift of Prophecy and Revelation which emanates from Him, His Father and the Holy Ghost (the Holy Godhead) who He should call to that very important calling.Jesus had been teaching the Nephites principles that he had taught during His mortal life in Palestine, such as in His "Sermon on the Mount" and in His "beatitudes." He also taught them that contention "is of the devil" and that they should be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost.
His teaching those same principles to the Nephites in the Americas which He had taught in Palestine, emphasizes the importance of those principles to us.
He is not a changing God, He is consistent. If He had met with us or if one of His authorized representatives had met with us, we would be told that we shouldn't dispute with with one another and should be baptized by those truly authorized by Jesus Christ and receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands by men who are authorized by Him.
Because we are privileged to gain an insight into what God's only Begotten Son thinks mortals should hear, we should know that we should pay strict attention to what Jesus Christ is teaching these Nephites. But, you may be thinking, "I've read all of that before and to do so again would be boring!"
My First Special Tip: When reading the words of the Savior, try this, imagine what it would be like being right there, with the Nephites. You would see the glow in His features that comes from the love that he has for them and for us, love that led Him to suffer for the sins of all Humanity.
Now, before reading Chapter 13 from III Nephi I've provided below, I suggest that you fold your arms, close your eyes and say a short prayer asking Heavenly Father to help you really feel Jesus' love as you read and hear His words to the Nephites. Try to imagine like I suggested in the previous paragraph the pure glow on His face. (Also I suggest that when the scripture is on your computer screen, scroll up and on the left click on the word, Listen. That will help you better focus on these important and sacred matters.) III Nephi 13:1-34
(Practice by focusing earnestly on this verse of scripture: Luke 22:44: "And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.")Hopefully when you practiced focusing on that verse you felt as if you were right there observing what Jesus suffered for each of us (for all mankind).
Before working hard in devising these three tips beginning Saturday, yesterday, (It's Sunday evening now) to help you make scripture reading non-boring, I read and listened, to III Nephi Chapter 13 three times. I found that I had to struggle to really absorb what Jesus taught the Nephites. I've read those teachings so many times in my life, mostly from the New Testament, but also from the Book of Mormon, so I have to wonder why I didn't sense the strong impact I think that should have had on me right then. After having read this paragraph you might tell me to follow my own advice I gave you above in my first tip. - I'm sure You are Right on!
In trying to answer why I wasn't reading with intensity and understanding, (this is leading us to Tip 2.) I remembered that when I was about ten or eleven, living in Roseville, California when those teachings of the Savior to the Nephites might have meant much more to me at that time of my life than a few years later (despite my relatively young age of ten or eleven). It was in about early 1942.
World War II was the big news then and was of very great concern in this (U.S.A.) and in many other nations. I had lots of personal concerns. One of my serious concerns was that my father might be drafted to serve in the U.S. armed forces. My mother had mentioned this possibility to me and my two brothers, one who is two years younger than me and one who had been born in 1940.
Neither of my brothers, were really old enough to know much about what World War II could mean to them. With me being almost ten I had really began feeling strongly about what the war meant to us as a family.
I continued worrying about my father being "drafted" to serve in the military, but after awhile, my father was able to discuss that concern of mine with me, when he finally had the time to talk with me. (He worked so much overtime with there being so many troop trains and war supplies being shipped by railway in those days.)
My Dad helped me significantly lessen that concern by telling me that, as a Southern Pacific Railroad clerk in a very key railroad terminal in the American West, (it was the largest railway terminal in the U.S.A. west of the Mississippi River at that time and most likely still is) his skills were a vital part of the war effort and he wouldn't be "drafted." That brought peace to my mind on that worrisome subject.
Another matter, that was often talked about on the radio (there was no TV then), was that the Japanese might invade our state, California, which at that time was the most westerly of all the 48 states in the U.S.A. Our state was then the nearest to Japan with Hawaii not yet being a state.)
In my young mind I, at times, imagined Japanese troops sweeping into Roseville which is only about 110 miles from San Francisco. That big concern kept coming back to my mind, but finally went away. It was very sad to see newscasts at the local movie theater (no TV then) showing the deaths of soldiers of both Japan and the U.S. in the islands of the Pacific Ocean.
About that time there was a Sunday afternoon radio broadcast that I was drawn to. Hold on: I just now stopped typing and involuntarily cried silently for several minutes while thinking about what I was going to type next. I think what I have to tell you now may have value to each of you who have just read the Savior's teachings to the Nephites in that chapter I just asked you to read and listen to.
But first let's go back to my telling about that Sunday afternoon radio program.
(Tip 2): Please Put yourself mentally and emotionally, to the best of your ability, in the place of the people or individual about which you are reading in a scripture. In other words, pay attention to the details of what is going on.
Focus intensely on the details of the teachings or experience which is being presented in the scripture you are reading. Try to really understand it very well. (Suggestion: This tip may assist you to be non-bored as you read the scripture you will be reading after clicking on the scripture linked below.)
I was strongly drawn to a certain radio program for quite a few months after discovering it on a radio station when I was nine or ten years old. I'm not sure who was sponsoring it. The title of the program might have been: "Our Savior's Voice." Events from the New Testament were acted out over the radio. When the man who was to speak what the Savior had to say, which were exact quotes from the New Testament, we would hear a special sound effect to his voice which made listeners pay more attention to what He had said through the man playing His part. The ten year old me really paid close attention to every word that was read by the actor playing the part of our Savior. I had a good reason to pay close attention, because I was drawn emotionally and spiritually to the Savior.
It was during this time of my life when the World War seemed so very threatening to the ten year old me, that the teachings of our Savior, Jesus Christ which I heard on that Sunday program each week began to really cause me to "feel" (a key word which will help you utilize my "three tips" is the meaning of what I heard Jesus' "voice" telling me. I wish that feeling about what He had taught had stayed in me as strongly while going through my teen-age concerns, etc. My weeping today mentioned above came because I remembered the feelings I had when listening to that radio program. I realized I was strengthened when listening to someone taking the part of our Savior. The special sound effects, mentioned above, helped. He had become real to me. I attended church regularly with my family, but radio had a greater effect on me then than my Sunday school and primary teachers. My parents didn't really notice the radio program I was listening to.
Now those experiences early in my life is what helped me realize that the Nephites, listening to the resurrected Savior's voice, having just barely survived a great cataclysmic destruction that had killed huge numbers of their people, some of whom were close relatives to one another, helped me to become emotionally and spiritually prepared by what they had just been through for what He was to soon teach them.
Like me and my concerns about how World War II might be effecting me and my family, those Nephites, the Savior was teaching, had deep emotions that had come to the surface in their lives. In other words, the Savior came to them at a very teachable point in their lives. As we read these coming words of the Savior, our lives are probably proceeding rather normally so perhaps we won't find it easy to pay attention mentally and emotionally to these hugely significant words of His. But those Nephites paid attention. We too can pay better attention by drawing on those deep feelings that are surely somewhere perhaps deeply within ourselves!
As we continue reading through the written record in III Nephi, we will learn that our resurrected Savior's visit had a tremendously positive effect on the lives of these Nephites and on the lives of their posterity for about two hundred years. Think of that: For Two Hundred Years! You'll read more of that later.
Hopefully, my tips applied fastidiously to what I have just written has prepared you to read this next scripture with more feeling and intensity than when you read the previous scripture. I hope so. I have already read and listened to this next one two or three times late yesterday after remembering my concerns about how World War II was making me as a youngster worry, and that really helped me feel more intensely about what I was reading. (Please consider clicking on the word, Listen located in the upper left hand side of your screen after you have clicked on the next scripture below:
Are you and I at a very teachable point in our lives? A good question to answer.
Recalling times during which you were very emotionally and perhaps actually spiritually involved, could help you become more actively involved (instead of being bored) as you read scriptures, especially those involving our Savior and His prophets and followers. It does require effort on your part!Tip 3 Seek the Lord in sincere and earnest prayer asking Him to guide your thoughts and your feelings by His Spirit so as to help you understand and apply in your own life the principles taught in the scripture you are reading. I have listed this last, but surely it ought to be #1 on my list of tips.
I have listed my three closely related tips here as a summary of what you have just read in this post: I have listed them here in order of importance in my opinion!
SUMMARY LIST OF TIPS:
1. Pray for Heavenly Father to help you feel the spirit while reading a particular scripture.
2. Put yourself in place of the story--imagine that you are there.
3. Focus intently on the details of the teaching.
(Suggestion: Try applying my 3 tips to the best of your ability after reading this scripture! III Nephi 14:1-27 Perhaps I will review some of that with you in the next post.
I trust that your spiritual and emotional involvement in reading that chapter was at a significantly higher level by having applied those tips of mine. Hopefully they are now, each of them, a regular part of your scripture reading skills! I think they are each now functioning more fully as a part of my scripture reading skills.
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