Wednesday, March 4, 2015

I Don't Want to Write a Blog Post

But I'm going to anyway because I have something to say this week, darnit.

I've found myself in a bit of a conundrum lately that maybe doesn't make any sense to be thinking about, but this particular thing hasn't ever happened to me and that makes it relevant.

I call it 'emotional eating', or sometimes 'emotional not eating'. This may seem like a silly topic to write about, but surprisingly, it ties in with what I have to say this week.

Recently I have been asking myself way too many times if I'm eating because I'm hungry, or if I'm eating because I'm stressed, or if I'm not eating because I'm stressed, or if I'm not eating because I'm not hungry. It's been a bit of a topsy turvy week when it comes to food. I can tell you confidently that there are days that I've eaten like a Hobbit and days that I've eaten like Gandhi.

I realized as I was pondering on my strange eating schedule this week, that we sometimes do the same thing with the scriptures.

I'll admit that I haven't always been an avid scripture reader, and by that I mean only have I very recently started reading more than one chapter in my scriptures per day. Sometimes even reading a chapter is hard, or even a verse, whereas sometimes I will read the entire book of Alma before putting my scriptures down. I've discovered, however, that this approach to scripture study is all wrong.

I've mostly only ever seen scripture study as something I had to do; it sometimes feels like when you wake up in the morning and think, "I'm going to do a chore today," and then your mom says, "Would you do a chore today?" and your desire to do that chore suddenly decreases by one billion percent.

That is the incorrect approach.

I believe I've discovered the key to scripture study and I believe it lies in our ability to just do it, not dwell on it.

First of all, scripture study should not be a burden. For some of us, however, that's the way it feels and I take no shame in blaming that entirely on the adversary. If everybody read and studied their scriptures daily, he would be out of the job, so he's going to do his best to make us think that studying the scriptures is a burden. His first step to doing this is to make us think that it's a task; a chore, and perhaps the undiscovered key word in that sentence is 'think'. Satan would much rather us think about reading the scriptures than have us actually read them. He would much rather us sit around beating ourselves up because we haven't read our scriptures yet even though that's something we ought to do.

Don't let him get to you like that! You've got better things to be doing than dragging yourself down closer to his level of misery.

And one of them is to read your scriptures.

We already know that scripture study is important and that we should read and study the scriptures daily; there should not be a doubt in our minds that it is vital. In Elder Richard G. Scott's talk 'Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority' he makes this clear as day: "Don’t yield to Satan’s lie that you don’t have time to study the scriptures. Choose to take time to study them. Feasting on the word of God each day is more important than sleep, school, work, television shows, video games, or social media. You may need to reorganize your priorities to provide time for the study of the word of God. If so, do it!"

Since we already know it is important, all that we need to do... is it! Don't let Satan creep into your thoughts when deciding whether or not to read the scriptures. Decide to read the scriptures first so you don't have to decide when you're tired or sick or have a pile of homework to do. When we reach our final judgement, I hardly think the first question asked will be whether or not we finished all of our homework or played as many video games as we wanted or watched every episode of "Grey's Anatomy".

Decide now, wherever you are, whatever you may be doing, to read and study the scriptures every single day; to "feast upon the words of Christ" and not just because we are supposed to, but because we have a desire to know him better, and if nothing else, because "the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do" (2 Nephi 32:3).

And if you can't see how it's going to bless your life to have a regular pattern of scripture study, remember that we must first take the leap of faith and obey the commandment before we can receive the blessings.

Although we all have off days when all we can read really is a verse, we can always strive to do better and to feast every single day on the words of Christ. It's good to nibble, it's better to snack, but it is best to feast and thankfully, that's the type of feast that only enlarges us spiritually.

I know that establishing scripture study as a top priority in my life and striving my best to read my scriptures every day has blessed my life immensely. It gives me spiritual and mental energy (especially when done in the morning! *wink wink nudge nudge*) that allows me to combat the constant barrage of temptations and trials we face each day in this world. Heavenly Father has given us all the tools we need to communicate with him; why not use them as He intended? I challenge each of you to set a reasonable goal for your personal daily scripture study and stick to it; look for the blessings it brings to your life. I promise that you will find them. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Until we meet again,
     Elizabeth Schomburg

P.S. This is my last blog post before I leave for Chile (*SCREAMING*). T-minus six sleeps until I depart!

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