General Teachings on
Scripture Study

Ezra Taft Benson (President)

However diligent we may be in other areas, certain blessings are to be found only in the scriptures…. If we ignore what the Lord has given us, we may lose the very power and blessings which we seek. (Ensign, May 1986, p. 79)

His gospel is the perfect prescription for all human problems and social ills. But His gospel is effective only as it is applied in our lives. Therefore, we must "feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell [us] all things what [we] should do." (Come Unto Christ, p. 132)

Harold B. Lee (President)

If we’re not reading the scriptures daily, our testimonies are growing thinner, our spirituality isn’t increasing in depth. (Teachings of Harold B. Lee, p. 152)

I say that we need to teach our people to find their answers in the scriptures. If only each of us would be wise enough to say that we aren’t able to answer any question unless we can find a doctrinal answer in the scriptures! And if we hear someone teaching something that is contrary to what is in the scriptures, each of us may know whether the things spoken are false—it is as simple as that. But the unfortunate thing is that so many of us are not reading the scriptures. We do not know what is in them, and therefore we speculate about the things that we ought to have found in the scriptures themselves. I think that therein is one of our biggest dangers of today.

When I meet with our missionaries and they ask questions about things pertaining to the temple, I say to them, as I close the discussion, “I don’t dare answer any of your questions unless I can find an answer in the standard works or in the authentic declarations of presidents of the Church.” (“Find the Answers in the Scriptures,” Ensign, Dec 1972, p.2)

Howard W. Hunter (President)

We ought to have a Church full of women and men who know the scriptures thoroughly, who cross-reference and mark them, who develop lessons and talks from the Topical Guide, and who have mastered the maps, the Bible Dictionary, and the other helps that are contained in this wonderful set of standard works. There is obviously more there than we can master quickly. Certainly the scriptural field is “white already to harvest.”...

Not in this dispensation, surely not in any dispensation, have the scriptures—the enduring, enlightening word of God—been so readily available and so helpfully structured for the use of every man, woman, and child who will search them. The written word of God is in the most readable and accessible form ever provided to lay members in the history of the world. Surely we will be held accountable if we do not read them. ("Eternal Investments," Address to CES Religious Educators, 10 Feb. 1989)

Bruce R. McConkie (Quorum of the Twelve)

The answers to nearly all important doctrinal questions are found in the standard works or in the sermons and writings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. If they are not found in these sources, they probably are not essential to salvation and may well be beyond our present spiritual capacity to understand. (In Letter Dated 1 July, 1980)

Richard G. Scott (Quorum of the Twelve)

Humility is essential to the acquiring of spiritual knowledge. To be humble is to be teachable. Humility permits you to be tutored by the Spirit and to be taught from sources inspired by the Lord, such as the scriptures. The seeds of personal growth and understanding germinate and flourish in the fertile soil of humility. (Ensign, November 1993, p. 86-88)

Henry B. Eyring (Quorum of the Twelve)

Our hearts cannot be drawn out to God we do not know, and the scriptures and the words of living prophets help us know Him. As we know Him better, we love Him more.” (Ensign, November, 2001)

We can and must go often and carefully to the word of God. If we become casual in our study of the scriptures, we will become casual in our prayers.  (Ensign, November, 2001)

If you ponder the scriptures and begin to do what you covenanted with God to do, I can promise you that you will feel more love for God and more of His love for you. And with that, your prayers will come from the heart, full of thanks and of pleading. You will feel a greater dependence on God. You will find the courage and the determination to act in His service, without fear and with peace in your heart. You will pray always. And you will not forget Him, no matter what the future brings. (Ensign, November, 2001)

Marion G. Romney (First Presidency)

Learning the gospel from the written word…is not enough. It must also be lived…. One cannot fully learn the gospel without living it. (Ensign, September 1980, p. 4)

M. Russell Ballard (Quorum of the Twelve)

We not only need to read and study and learn the scriptural content, we must hearken to it, follow the principles taught therein, and cling to those principles as though our very lives depended on it--which, if we are speaking of spiritual life, is literally true.

Alma taught that there is great power in the word (see Alma 31:5), but this power won't come by simply having the Book of Mormon on your bed stand. It won't come by having your parents bear testimony of the truthfulness of the scriptures. They cannot hold fast to the iron rod for you; only you can do that....

I plead with you to make time for immersing yourselves in the scriptures. Couple scripture study with your prayers. Half an hour each morning privately studying, pondering, and communicating with your Heavenly Father can make an amazing difference in your lives. It will give increased success in your daily activities. It will bring increased alertness to your minds. It will give you comfort and rock-steady assurance when the storms of life descend upon you. (Brigham Young University, 3 March 2002)