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Question

 

Dear Gramps,

It seems like many people study the actual books: Book of Mormon, Bible, or both everyday. However, we are taught the importance of studying living prophets and apostles, and that their word is considered scripture as well. Sometimes, I follow my heart and just choose a general conference talk. In your opinion, should we try to study modern day scripture in addition to the written word?  Or is it okay if you don’t open up those  “physical books” every day?

Thanks,

Grae

 

Answer

 

Hi Grae,

Let me start off by linking two articles on scripture study. They do not directly answer your question, but have some useful tips for improving our scripture study.

Successful Scripture Study

and

Six Tips for Successful Scripture Study

Now, on to your question:

There are only 4 books that are officially canonized as scripture. They are, as you know, The Bible, The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price. I believe that when we are commanded to study the scriptures that these four books are the implicit meaning. That being said, as you rightly pointed out, we may also consider the words of our prophets in the latter days as scripture. There is great value in studying their words, and great danger in not doing so. It strikes me that never bothering to read the words of our living prophets would be highly problematic.

Ezra Taft Benson taught:

“The living prophet has the power of TNT. By that I mean ‘Today’s News Today.’ … Therefore, the most important reading we can do is any of the words of the prophet … contained each month in our Church magazines. Our marching orders for each six months are found in the general conference addresses, which are printed in the Ensign [or Liahona] magazine”

Let me restate that: The most important reading we can do….

That’s fairly impressive, right?

So, yes, absolutely. We can and should include the modern words of our prophets into our daily scripture study. I do not think, however, that we should replace the standard works with this entirely. I would recommend, without hesitation, opening those “physical books” every day. Nothing has done more for me in bringing me closer to my Father in Heaven and filling my life with His Spirit.

Gramps

 

 

 

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