containing papers I wrote for a
BYU Religion class my freshman year of college.
(Note: So this isn’t one of my best papers, but I was not surprised to find that I chose to write about delighting in the scriptures. Since, you know, that’s kind of my “theme” scripture for my life. I am so grateful for the influence of the scriptures in my life. I want my children to develop the same love for the scriptures that I have developed. I hope I am setting a good example for them – in real life, not just on this blog)
After Lehi gave his blessings to all of his children, Nephi wrote the “things of his soul” and told of how his people separated themselves from his wicked brethren. In Chapter 4, Nephi recorded the reason for him including many scriptures, especially the writings of Isaiah, in his record. Nephi’s reason is that his soul “delighteth in the scriptures.” Earlier Nephi had stated that on the plates he would write “the things of [his] soul.” From these two statements, one can conclude that Nephi had made the scriptures, even the writings and the words of the prophets, a part of his soul. What does it mean to make the words of God “things of [one’s] soul?” Nephi gave a reasonable outline when he stated that “my heart pondereth them, and writeth them for the learning and the profit of my children.” In order to make the word of God a thing of one’s soul, one must delight in the scriptures, ponder them, and wish to teach the words to others. (2 Nephi 4:15-16)
Nephi’s delight of the scriptures comes from a more general feeling that his “soul delighteth in the things of the Lord…” As the scriptures come from the Lord, it would follow that Nephi would also delight in them. The dictionary describes delight as “to take great pleasure or joy.” Nephi must have understood the doctrine that men are on this earth to have joy. (2 Nephi 2:25) Nephi also understood what things bring men joy on this earth.
It is obvious from Nephi’s writings that he pondered the scriptures often. Many of his writings quote Isaiah and expound on Isaiah’s writings. The dictionary defines ponder as “To reflect or consider with thoroughness and care.” Surely in all Nephi’s writings and also through his actions which were consistent with the teachings of the prophets, it is made clear that Nephi pondered the words of God in great depth.
Before Nephi quoted the words of Isaiah for the first time, he stated, “that I might more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer I did … liken all scriptures unto us that it might be for our profit and learning.” (1 Nephi 19:23) Nephi showed great care and concern for his family, and he showed this by teaching them of the words of the Lord. Countless times did Nephi rehearse the scriptures to his brethren, showing them the examples of their fathers and praying that his brothers would do likewise.
Nephi showed that he loved the words of God by delighting in the scriptures, pondering them, and sharing them with his family and others. Because Nephi understood the importance of the scriptures, he was able to internalize them and make them “things of [his] soul.”
Have you made the scriptures a part of your soul? Do you delight in scripture? Do you ponder them? Do you read them, study them, and teach them to your family members and others around you?