First, though, I’d like to put a plug in for the new LDS Seminary website.
Visit the New LDS Seminary Website
The Church recently completely revamped the Seminary site. The site has downloadable songs and sheet music from the Doctrine and Covenants, this year’s course of study, as well as music for the other books of scripture. The site has Scripture Mastery games and activities to help you become more proficient in your knowledge of the scriptures.
The Church’s Seminary and Institute programs help youth understand and rely on the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Atonement. Active participation in Seminary and Institute serves as great mission preparation and also prepares youth to return to live with our Father in Heaven and have eternal life.
For those of you in high school and enrolled Seminary, you know that studying the scriptures is a vital part of that program. The Scripture Mastery verses will help you (no surprise here) master the scriptures. If you do your Scripture Mastery faithfully for your four years in seminary, you will come away having memorized 100 very powerful scriptures.
Having the words of the scriptures, the “words of life,” (see D&C 84: 85) at the top of your mind will make you a better prepared missionary. Missionaries who know and use the scriptures will teach more powerfully, will be more likely to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost, and will be more effective in bringing souls unto Christ.
This is what Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said about knowing important scriptures by heart:
“I suggest that you memorize scriptures that touch your heart and fill your soul with understanding. When scriptures are used as the Lord has caused them to be recorded, they have intrinsic power that is not communicated when paraphrased. Sometimes when there is a significant need in my life, I review mentally scriptures that have given me strength. There is great solace, direction, and power that flow from the scriptures, especially the words of the Lord” (Richard G. Scott, in Conference Report, Oct. 1999, 112; or Ensign, Nov. 1999, 87–88).
My young brothers and sisters, I cannot stress enough the importance of becoming familiar with the scriptures prior to your mission. Read from the scriptures daily, even if it is only a few verses. You will learn the doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and you will build your own testimonies. Perhaps at no point in your life will you have more ample time and reason to study the scriptures than on your mission. Take advantage of that time, read and study, ponder and pray about the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the other standard works.
Receiving Your Own Testimony of the Scriptures
If you haven’t received your own personal testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and the other scriptures, begin now to read them and pray to God to know if they are true. There is a scripture in Moroni chapter 10 verse 4 that, as a missionary, you will use frequently in your teachings. You can use it on yourself to come to know the scriptures truly are the words of God:
“And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost” (Moroni 10:4).
With a personal witness that the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and the other scriptures are true, you will be able to go forward with more faith and confidence. You will be able to teach and testify with the Spirit and power of the Lord. And the more fully you come to know the scriptures, the more fully you will be able to tap into that intrinsic (built-in or natural) power of the word of God spoken of by Elder Scott.