Sometimes in life, we just need to look at the bottom line. Finances. There’s a ‘bottom line’ subject for you. Regardless of how much – or little- you are bringing in, the budget needs to be set and the bottom line is that we need to be able to pay our bills each month.
Some ‘bottom line’ subjects have to do with morality and ethics. People may be prone, on occasion, to shift the boundaries in order to justify behaviors or choices that otherwise would not be a proper fit with a bottom line decision previously made. I believe we usually call that one “rationalization”.
There are a few sacred ‘bottom line’ decisions that we would all do well to embrace, settle on, and make so much a part of ourselves that we accept it as naturally as breathing. One of those- reading the scriptures every day- is one I have been thinking about lately. I found a great little poem that – in fifty words- gives a ‘bottom line’ interpretation of the Bible.
The Bible in Fifty Words
I grinned reading this Cliff Notes version of the Bible. And though our gospel adds not only additional scripture, but needed shift in interpretation , I also felt the sweetness of the “bottom line”: God remains.
When I was a young girl, my dad grew my interest in the scriptures by talking about them often and by speaking of the people in the Bible as though they were friends. He set the stage for me to find and embrace the full gospel only a few years later, when I was a teen.
On my eighth birthday [interesting – considering the sacred occasion of baptism for Latter-day Saints — but we knew nothing of the LDS religion] he bought a picture book that taught of the apostles Jesus chose, and of their love for them. My mother read that Bible every day and it was well marked. Daddy had a favorite scripture that he had made into a plaque. That plaque hung on our living room wall until they both had passed away. I now have that plaque in my own home.
I was interested in reading and learning from the sacred scriptures because of the example my parents set. At first, I had no idea what I was reading. But I could feel something as I read. Many words were beyond my comprehension, and some of the stories were strange to my young mind.
It turns out that it set me on a path to discover, to question, to ponder, and to dig around for truth- both outside of myself and within. Thus, truth struck my heart when I was introduced to the gospel of Jesus Christ in its restored wholeness. And I was able to excitedly accept additional scriptures that opened more doors of understanding and truth.
What an amazing gift!
Taking Elder Bruce R. McConkie’s counsel to read but three chapters a day will allow us to read the entire body of scriptures – Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrine and Covenants – in less than eighteen months. How cool is that?! In a little more than one and one half years, we can become acquainted with the holy words that strengthen, explain, and grow a testimony within us.
Bottom line – Elder McConkie offers a simple and ‘do-able’ way of getting to know these letters from Home that will teach us better how to get back there. There are other simple ways of determining how to better acquaint ourselves, or dig deep in study, or simply continue the rotation of re-reading the Standard Works as we build stronger and better testimonies, and gain more access to revelation.
God bless us in our determination to make this ‘bottom line’ one that we can- and will – accept as part of our daily schedule!