And they shall give heed to that which is written, and pretend to no other revelation; and they shall pray always that I may unfold the same to their understanding. (D&C 32:4)
This was part of a section given to Parley P. Pratt and Ziba Peterson along with directions to go on a mission to preach to the Lamanites.
I really love what this verse says to them with reference to the scriptures. In another place in the D&C we are directed to “pray always that ye may come off conqueror, yea, that ye may conquer Satan,” and here it says “pray always that I may unfold the same [scriptures] to [your] understanding.” So, that tells us that not only is constant prayer vital for resisting temptation, but also for receiving understanding about the scriptures. I have found that whenever I pray prior to reading, the Lord opens my eyes that I see and notice something I hadn’t before.
I also love that the Lord uses that imagery of “unfolding” to describe increased understanding. When something is folded, it’s very compact and looks simple. But when it is unfolded, it gets bigger and there is more to it. It begins to become complex, like discovering a new wing to a building.
And here’s the thing—we don’t know how many times things can be unfolded further. Just because a principle has been unfolded once doesn’t mean there isn’t more to be unfolded. I’ve noticed I’ve commented on some scripture passages multiple times because I keep getting more out of it over time.
Yay for scriptures, and yay for personal revelation through prayer!