The scriptures are essential to our spiritual survival and must be studied daily, Kim Beecher and Andrew Gebert told listeners Friday during BYU Women’s Conference.
Beecher, a real estate investor and a new grandmother of only a few hours, emphatically spoke of the necessity for scripture study.
“We must take the leadership in our own lives,” Beecher said. “I have to have the scriptures as a lifeline in my life. They protect us from Satan’s influence — not just from sin, but also from depression, self-criticism, temptation, resentment and doubt.”
Beecher used an analogy of a flight attendant’s instructions to always secure one’s own oxygen mask before helping others. Although the tendency might be to first help the person beside you, especially children, it is imperative that they attend to their own masks first. If people are choking and fainting from lack of air, they are of no use to the people beside them, no matter how much they love them. Beecher drew parallels to scripture study.
“Nourish yourself first, and then you will become a powerful, full vessel capable of helping others,” Beecher said.
Beecher teaches a Sunday School class of teenagers and developed a 21 Day Scripture Challenge as a way of creating daily study habits in the youths’ lives. For the first week, if a reader misses a day, they must start over. During the second week, if they miss a day, they must then read triple the amount of time required the next day and during the third week, quadruple that time. This way, the reader will have created a new habit of scripture study by the end of 21 days.
Andrew Gebert, an Orem Institute of Religion coordinator, followed Beecher’s remarks with insight about pondering the scriptures as a way to invite revelation.
“Everyone in this room has benefited from somebody reading and pondering the scriptures,” Gebert said.
Gebert explains that the study of scriptures such as James 1:5 and John 5:29 have led individuals to major revelations such as the First Vision and Doctrine and Covenants 76, which have greatly impacted our own lives and salvation.
“We cannot approach scripture study as an item on a checklist,” Gebert said. “We need to approach it with an eye of faith that is pure and uncluttered from the telestial things of this world that prevent a celestial experience.”
In his talk, Gebert suggested an acronym for how we can more effectively use scripture study: IPAD. First, the reader must have an Inquiring manner. Then he or she must Ponder and Apply what they learn. And fourth, any reader of the scriptures must be Diligent in his or her study.