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Monday, June 29, 2009


This morning, during my daily scripture study, I read a fascinating article in this month's Ensign: "Scripture Stories as Patterns for Our Lives." If you haven't read it yet, I encourage you to. Elder Jay E. Jensen of the Seventy discusses what scripture accounts can begin to mean for us in our daily struggles as we learn to draw parallels between their day and our, a concept he refers to as "bridging the gap."

Elder Jensen explains: "As you read these stories, you will see a word, a phrase, or a principle that seems as applicable today as it was in the past. As you continue your prayerful study, other principles will become apparent. As you put the principles together, you will begin to bridge the gap between the prophets and people who lived in the past--they-there-then--and us in our day--I-here-now. Perhaps this is what Nephi meant when he said that he "did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning" (Jay E. Jensen, "Scripture Stories as Patterns for Our Lives," Ensign, July 2009, 14-19).

One example: As we read of Jonah as the Old Testament prophet, who tried to escape the Lord's command to preach repentance unto the people of Ninevah by climbing aboard the first ship out of town, it would be so easy to forget that the story can also be a reminder to us of second chances. Are we trying to escape judgement from God? Are we unwilling to do that one thing that the Lord requires? Then, as Jonah is thrown overboard, and swallowed by a great fish, we might consider the roles our adversities play today. Are we causing our own pain due to the choices we make? Are we recognizing that even these foolish choices can be the catalyst for change and growth--a second chance--if we allow God to teach us?

That's just one example of how we can apply scriptural stories that we've heard over and over again to our lives. By so doing, we can renew our understanding of God's word, and bring new life into our daily scripture study. Again, I want to encourage you to all read this article as soon as you get the chance. It is excellent!


jnkeller said...

I love this article. It's one of my favorites.