A Reservoir of Living Water

I just love to listen to Elder David A. Bednar. So I had been looking forward to hearing him speak at the CES Fireside last week since we got the list of speakers late last year. He introduced his talk by talking about how water is the most valuable of all resources and then linked that to the Saviour's teaching about how He and the gospel were Living Water. For us the scriptures are a reservoir of this vitally important resource. Like our bodies which lose water each day during normal activity, we must drink of the living water regularly and not endure periods of dehydration.

It was another wonderful talk and one in which he gave us an insight into the process he personally uses whilst searching the scriptures. He spoke of identify and making copies of all the scriptures which included a word in all it's forms (his example was gather). Next he prayerfully reads each and looks for connections, patterns and themes using coloured pencils to mark those with similarities. Then he cuts up the verses and collects them in piles according to his markings. It's something I would like to try and is made easier by having searchable scriptures on-line.

Earlier Elder Bednar had talked about the different methods obtaining living water from the scriptures and liken them to the different groups in Lehi's Vision of the Tree of Life.

  1. Reading the scriptures from beginning to end. This "initiates the flow of living water into our lives by introducing us to important stories, gospel doctrines, and timeless principles" which also "enables us to learn about major characters in the scriptures and the sequence, timing, and context of events and teachings. ... This is the first and most fundamental way of obtaining living water."
  2. Studying the scriptures by topic. This method "typically follows, grows out of, and builds upon our reading of the scriptures from beginning to end. For example, as we read the Book of Mormon we may identify and seek to find answers to important doctrinal and practical questions," Elder Bednar observed. "Focusing upon such questions and studying by topic ... allows us to dig into and explore the depth of the scriptures and obtain a much richer spiritual knowledge. This approach increases the rate at which living water flows into our lives."
  3. Searching the scriptures for connections, patterns, and themes. Searching the revelations "builds upon and adds to our spiritual knowledge; ... it broadens our perspective and understanding of the plan of salvation," Elder Bednar said. "In my judgment, diligently searching to discover connections, patterns, and themes is in part what it means to 'feast' upon the words of Christ. This approach can open the floodgates of the spiritual reservoir."

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