by Randy McNeely
(This article is from a new missionary website. Please visit www.gospelideals.org)
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons, as we are sometimes called, we believe the Holy Bible to be the word of God, as far as it is translated correctly. We also believe The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, the Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price to be the word of God. These four books of scripture make up what we call the standard works.
From a young age, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are taught the importance of “feasting” (2 Nephi 31:20; 32:2) on the words of Christ, or, in other words, the importance of both studying and pondering the scriptures, and then applying what we learn in our own lives.
We take study seriously because we believe that the word of God is to our souls what food is to the physical body. Latter-Day Saints consider the main reason for studying God’s word to be that doing so helps us come to know and understand God the Father and His son Jesus Christ, our relationship to them now, and the eternal relationship we can have with them as we do what they expect us to do to receive that sacred blessing.
How the Word of God Helps Us to Know God and Christ
Genesis 1:26-27 states, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness . . . So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
Modern revelation teaches us, “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit . . .” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:22).
From these verses, we learn that we are made in the image of God, that we look like Him and He looks like us, and that both He and Christ have bodies just like ours.
Romans 8:16-17 helps us know and understand ” . . . that we are the children of God,” and because we are His children, we can be ” . . . heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him . . .”
Through the Sermon on the Mount as recorded in Matthew chapters 5-7, we learn about the attributes of God and Christ. We come to understand that they are humble, meek, righteous, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, willing to sacrifice, forgiving, kind, loving, and so much more.
What Do We Do With The Word of God?
So we’ve learned about God and Christ and what they’re like by studying the word of God. How does that help us? Jesus taught in John 17:3, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.” By understanding who God and Christ are, and what our relationship to them is, we come to better understand ourselves and what we have the potential to become.
The Savior taught that we are to be “perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect,” (Matthew 5:48). We know that by ourselves this is an impossible task because we all sin and “come short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23). Because of Christ’s willing and loving sacrifice, however, we can be saved by his grace, if we will do our part. What is our part? Christ summed up our part beautifully when He taught in John 14:15, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Please notice that “keep” is an action verb. We are to be, as James taught, “doers of the word and not hearers only” (James 1:22).
Moses taught the ancient Israelites to “keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do,” (Deuteronomy 29:9). In the Book of Mormon, King Benjamin, an ancient prophet and Nephite king, taught his people, “And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land . . .” The lesson in these verses is straightforward. If we keep God’s commandments, we prosper.
A Sure Knowledge
Through studying the word of God, I have gained a personal knowledge and understanding of God and Christ and my relationship to them. I know they live. I know God is our loving Heavenly Father and that Jesus is the Christ, our loving Savior through whom we can repent and through whose grace we can be made perfect. I know the scriptures truly are the word of God and that they are true. As I’ve studied, pondered, prayed for understanding, and applied what I’ve learned from the scriptures, I’ve truly been blessed and I, and my family, have prospered. The word of God has had a more powerful effect on my life than anything else I’ve ever read or studied. All the happiness I’ve ever known has come through its application.
Each of you can have that same knowledge, understanding, and prosperity, if you so desire, by following the same pattern. The Lord has promised us that by the power of the Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit, as He is often called, we can “know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:5). Then as you learn the truth and act on it, you can have joy and happiness in this life, and eternal life in the world to come.
About “The Missionary Corner”
Did you know that media leads have become one the largest sources of missionary contacts? Do you want to become an Internet missionary? Gospel Ideals International and Meridian Magazine have teamed up to publish “The Missionary Corner” each week. We have a team of volunteer LDS writers who lend their talents to write articles on gospel subjects. When Internet searchers read one of our articles and choose to learn more, we point them to Mormon.org. Every week, “The Missionary Corner” features a missionary article from an LDS writer and lists other articles that we have recently published. For example, this week we published these articles:
Collectively, these articles will form a huge library of gospel subjects to introduce people to the Church. Please visit our site:www.gospelideals.org. Take a look at “Mormon Beliefs and FAQ” and the ARTICLES sections. Here are some ways you can be an Internet missionary:
- Subscribe <a href="http://www.
<hr class=’system-pagebreak’ /><hr class=’system-pagebreak’ />gospelideals.org/”>www.gospelideals.org
- Email www.gospelideals.org
- Use Google+
- Non-members. If you have a non-member friend, send them an article that would help answer their question.
- Write. If you have writing or editing skills (or other talents), contact our managing editor, Tristi Pinkston: firstname.lastname@example.org“
Become part of the Internet missionary movement!
Larry Barkdull, president
About the Author
Randy McNeely is a husband, a father of five, and an aspiring children’s picture book author. He is also a singer/songwriter and has written several patriotic songs, children’s songs and multiple religious hymns, including Oh Jesus, Savior of Mankind, which won a Special Recognition award in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 2008 Music Submission contest. He and two of his daughters recently recorded and released the children’s song Everybody Speaks Smile!
Randy loves helping and serving people. He is a co-founder of Skiparok, a non-profit organization with several projects designed to lift the world through simple acts of kindness. Randy is an author for Gospel Ideals. You can learn more about his latest projects by clicking here.