"We are not measured by the trials we meet -- only by those we overcome."
- - Spencer W. Kimball
December 11, 2013
Filling Your Scripture Lamp
by Kathryn Grant

Recently I was listening to KLOVE when I heard an interview with Christian artist Jamie Grace about her song Beautiful Day. During a rough day, she recalled telling her dad, “This just isn’t my day.”

His response? “No, it’s not! ‘This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.’” (See Psalms 118:24) His words changed her outlook; they also became the basis for a song that has influenced many others for good.

On another occasion, I read a BYU devotional address by David Rolph Seely. When he was a young man, his grandmother questioned him about his plans for his life. He recounted, “I carefully began to explain how I planned to leave our warlike, corrupt, and materialistic society and retire to the woods to study the outdoors and to learn to play the guitar and to write poetry. I concluded my short sermon, declaring somewhat innocently, ‘I am going to be the natural man.’”

To his surprise, his grandmother responded, “Boy, are you in trouble! Don’t you know that the Book of Mormon teaches that the natural man is an enemy to God?” Brother Seely said that day changed his life. In turn, he has influenced many others.

What I love about these two experiences is that, in each case, someone was “ready . . . to give an answer” with words from scripture to a loved one who needed to hear them (1 Peter 3:15). Neither of them knew ahead of time when the opportunity would come, but they had prepared themselves by becoming familiar with the word of God; they had responded to the Savior’s invitation to “search the scriptures” (John 5:39).

Not only that, in each case their answer from scripture had a far greater impact than either probably ever imagined. Did Jamie’s father have any idea that his words would prompt a song that would encourage thousands? Did Brother Seely’s grandmother dream that their simple exchange would be related in a BYU devotional and published on the Internet? But because they were faithful and ready, the Lord magnified their influence for good.

The parable of the wise and foolish virgins can be applied to scripture study. There’s no shortcut to filling our scripture lamps: we need to study the Lord’s word each day, consistently, in order to keep our lamps “trimmed and ready.”

And just as the wise virgins were able to share their light at the wedding feast, we can share the light of the scriptures, multiplying their effect and blessing not only ourselves but countless others. As the Lord said in D&C 84:85, “Treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man.”

We can, through faithful study of the scriptures, become “a great benefit to [our] fellow beings” (Mosiah 8:18).

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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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