One of the sweetest memories of my childhood is sitting on my Dad’s lap in front of a warm fire while he read to me from the Bible. I didn’t understand everything that he read, but I knew that it was important to him, and that made it important to me. Dad would stop occasionally, think about what he had read, and then try to paraphrase in words that he thought I would understand, or that would have meaning to me. Sometimes he would tell a personal story to emphasize a point, or remind me of something that happened during the week that demonstrated what the scripture said.
2 Timothy 3:15 says, “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” Even though I didn’t understand some of what Dad read to me, I learned to love the Bible. After we joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that love of the Bible carried over naturally to the love of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price.
I’m not well versed in the scriptures, and probably never will be. My children will attest to that. I do have a love for the scriptures, and a testimony that you can find answers by reading them. President Eyring of the First Presidency of the Church said, “The Holy Ghost confirms to us the word of God when we read it. That confirmation, repeated often, strengthens our faith. And it is by faith that we overcome obstacles and resist temptation.”
We have seen many natural disasters in the last few years, including the recent earthquakes around the globe. I admit to being just a little superstitious. I was born in an earthquake, and there’s a tiny part of me that figures I just might die in an earthquake. I know that’s silly, but some people are afraid of spiders, and that could be considered silly too. From the scriptures: “I tell you these things because of your prayers; wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness, in a manner which shall speak in your ears with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth; but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” Doctrine & Covenants 38:30 (emphasis added). My family has prepared for earthquakes and other natural disasters, and our preparations are ongoing. We have 72-hour kits (including scriptures). We are reworking an outdated emergency plan. And yes, preparation does make fear go away.
Aside from natural disasters, I hope we have prepared our kids to resist temptation and evil in the world around them through the power of the scriptures. I hope that even though I struggle sometimes understanding the scriptures, we have instilled in our children a love of the scriptures as my father did in me. My father gave me a great gift for which I will always be grateful.