Monday, January 7, 2013

Give thyself wholly to them

Meditate upon these things;
give thyself wholly to them;
that thy profiting may appear to all.
(1 Tim. 4:15)

 The part that intrigues me about this verse about meditating on the scriptures is that phrase “give thyself wholly to them.”  I suppose it could be interpreted in several ways.  Undoubtedly some would take it to mean they should spend all their time pondering the gospel and doctrine and studying the scriptures.  I don’t know how long it is possible to ponder the doctrine, but I’ve found that my pride gets involved and I start thinking self-righteous thoughts.  I also become somewhat of a spiritual hypochondriac, so I simply must do other things besides study the scriptures all day. 

I do know that when I study the scriptures and ponder them, I have to give my whole mental and emotional energy to it or I won’t get much from it.  I can’t be too eager to stop or too worried about what I learn or don’t learn.  I have to just lose myself in it. 

When I look at how many things I’ve learned from it (many of which I have written about in my scripture journal and on my blog) it is obvious to me that I have profited from it. 

How do you give yourself “wholly” to your scripture study? What do you think it means to "meditate" on the scriptures?


catania said...

One way that I give myself "wholly" to my scripture study is to actually apply what I'm learning. It is important to hear and do.

I have found that there are so many things that the Lord has been willing to teach me, and I'm eager to learn, but sometimes have a hard time actually applying the principles taught in my life.

That's the real magic of scripture study - being able to make real, visible change.

Michaela Stephens said...

I agree, Catania, applying the principles can be hard.

Ramona Gordy said...

Good question
I have endeavored to "focus my scripture study" by adding "helps or prompts". One thing that prompts me to study and mediate or seek a better understanding of what I have read, is when I am searching out an ancestor on Family Search, and each time I am successful, I ponder over what is "The Spirit of Elijah"? Which then motivates me to do a scripture search, which may lead to a really great conference talk, say one by Elder Bednar.

I try to learn from those who have gone before, say the Prophet Joseph Smith. My "prompt" from him is that he asked a question, and showed sufficient faith to have it answered. And this seemed to be his routine throughout his life.

So I have a list of questions, either written or in my head, and I ponder over that question, and then I search certain scriptures that refer to my question, and so forth.

So I feel that I have given myself "wholly" to the scriptures when at times I am rewarded.The scriptures will "open up" more fully, and then especially when I am in the Temple, I can "see" what it is that I am learning. My temple experiences have improved for example. My teaching is progressing.My faith is stronger and my love grows for the Savior.
It is a process. There is a great article in this month's Ensign by President Erying that applies to this subject.

Michaela Stephens said...

That's neat that you have a list of questions you ponder as you are studying, Ramona. Do you have them written down, or do they immediately come to mind as you are studying?

I find that questions are really a big part of getting more out of the scriptures.

Ramona Gordy said...

I have a journal that is totally deconstructed, so when I am reading my scriptures or brain storming something that I have found that is totally fascinating, I jot down buzz words. I will form a question from the buzz words, and look them up in a variety of places. I paste in clippings that relate to my question. My favorite thing to do is to take a word and find out what it means in Hebrew, or Aramaic or Greek.
So I make a short list of buzz questions. I don't always find an answer immediately, but I find that when I review them later, I have answers.
But sometimes Michaela, there are moments of pure serindipity when the answer is illuminated and I can just feel the Spirit teaching me everything. I find I have to be a very fast writer.