"Character is the one thing we make in this world and take with us into the next."
- - Ezra Taft Benson
July 24, 2013
A Blessing on the Feast
by Kathryn Grant

Have you noticed how sometimes the simplest actions can bring unexpected and great blessings? (Alma 37:6.)

When we sit down to eat, most of us pause for a moment to give thanks and ask a blessing on the food. In 2 Nephi 32:3, Nephi likens the words of Christ to a feast. So what could be more appropriate than pausing before our scriptural feast to thank the Lord and ask for His blessing on our scripture study?

You’ve probably found, as I have, that specific prayers seem to be answered more readily than general or vague ones. With that in mind, what are some specific things we can pray for before beginning our scripture study? Here are some ideas:

  • We can pray for our hearts and minds to be open to inspiration.

  • We can pray to know what to study.

  • We can pray to understand what we study.

  • We can pray for answers to our questions.

  • We can pray to know what we can apply to our lives, and how to apply it.

  • We can pray that through our study, we will become more like the Savior.

Referring to his own words, Nephi wrote, “Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock.” (2 Nephi 32:4.) But the flip side of that warning, of course, is that if we ask, we will gain understanding!

Once I felt prompted to study John 8. My prayers for understanding were answered with some unexpected insights which I recorded in my scripture journal.

We don’t seem to speak very often of Jesus being in the temple during His mortal life; yet the scriptures say plainly that He “sat daily” in the temple teaching the people (Matt 26:55). John 8 says that early in the morning He came “again” into the temple. The temple appears to have been important to Him, and a place He wanted to be often.

I also feel strongly that just as the Savior taught the people in the temple during His mortal ministry, so He continues to teach us today in the temple through the Holy Ghost. Had we lived during the time of Christ, few of us would have wanted to miss out on the opportunity to be taught by Him in the temple. But I don’t think we stop to realize that we can have that same blessing today!

As it happened, I was a family history consultant in my ward at the time, and these insights were particularly relevant to my calling and its focus on temple worship. Someone else might have received a different answer to their prayer for understanding. But we can be assured that our prayers will be answered in the best way for each of us.

It’s my experience that as we ask a blessing upon our scripture study, it will be richly granted and make our experience even more sweet and worthwhile.


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About Kathryn Grant

Kathryn Grant is a user assistance professional with a passion for usability and process improvement. She also loves family history and enjoys the challenge and reward of building her family tree.

As a child, she lived outside the United States for four years because of her father's job. This experience fueled her natural love of words and language, and also taught her to appreciate other cultures.

Kathryn values gratitude, teaching, learning, differences, and unity. She loves looking at star-filled skies, reading mind-stretching books, listening to contemporary Christian music, attending the temple, and eating fresh raspberries.

Kathryn teaches Sunday family history classes at the BYU Family History Library, and presents frequently at family history events. For more information, visit her Family History Learning Resources page

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