And he also taught them concerning the records which were engraven on the plates of brass, saying: My sons, I would that ye should remember that were it not for these plates, which contain these records and these commandments, we must have suffered in ignorance, even at this present time, not knowing the mysteries of God. (Mosiah 1:3)
This shows me that if we don’t read the scriptures, our ignorance of the mysteries of God which are in the scriptures actually causes us to suffer. I never thought of it quite that way before. We need the mysteries of God in our lives. We suffer without them by making mistakes that we would have avoided if we had known them and giving in to temptations that we could have resisted if we had known them.
I say unto you, my sons, were it not for these things, which have been kept and preserved by the hand of God, that we might read and understand of his mysteries, and have his commandments always before our eyes, that even our fathers would have dwindled in unbelief, and we should have been like unto our brethren, the Lamanites, who know nothing concerning these things, or even do not believe them when they are taught them, because of the traditions of their fathers, which are not correct. (Mosiah 1:5)
This verse shows us that if we don’t read the scriptures we dwindle in unbelief over time.
Even more scary, it shows us that by not reading the scriptures, we jeopardize the ability of our descendants to belief the gospel. This happens as erroneous ideas about God and the requirements for salvation creep into the beliefs of descendents in each succeeding generation until the false traditions become so ingrained that when the truth is taught, it is seen as something totally foreign and far removed from what one is used to, and so is rejected.
16 And moreover, he also gave him charge concerning the records which were engraven on the plates of brass; and also the plates of Nephi; and also, the sword of Laban, and the ball or director, which led our fathers through the wilderness, which was prepared by the hand of the Lord that thereby they might be led, every one according to the heed and diligence which they gave unto him.
17 Therefore, as they were unfaithful they did not prosper nor progress in their journey, but were driven back, and incurred the displeasure of God upon them; and therefore they were smitten with famine and sore afflictions, to stir them up in remembrance of their duty. (Mosiah 1:16-17)
These verses show me that the amount of guidance we receive from the Lord is
directly proportional to how carefully we listen and obey previous directions
we’ve received from Him. The more we heed, the more He can guide us.
It also shows me that when we don’t heed, we can’t just stop and
stay in one place; we actually regress and incur the Lord’s displeasure. The
Lord’s displeasure isn’t a nebulous impotent thing, nor is it something He vents
with malicious pleasure in making us suffer. Rather, He channels it in a
controlled way that is meant to benefit us (yes, benefit is the word) by
afflicting us in such a way that we awake to a realization of our sins and
repent and return to our duty. And of course, reading the scriptures is an
easy way of finding out our duty.
This is why I have made it a habit to read the scriptures every day. I know that it has helped me to remember my duty to God, and I know that it can help you. I have learned many things by studying the scriptures that I probably could not have learned otherwise. Heavenly Father blesses us with revelation through the scriptures. In fact, Elder Oaks called it a Urim and Thummim, and I know it is because reading the scriptures brings the Holy Ghost and when we have the Holy Ghost with us, we receive revelation.