This article was originally written by Brittney and Dustin Phelps for their blog. The following is an excerpt.
We don’t know about you, but Brittney and I can’t think of many significant spiritual experiences that weren’t directly related to the scriptures (whether by pondering the words as we go about our day, having a focused study session, or hearing a verse read or expounded in a talk). We’ve come to know for ourselves why Prophets like President Benson have so strongly emphasized that the Book of Mormon, and other scriptures, can change your life.
Dustin and I have also learned, however, that reading a few verses in a “going through the motions” sort of way, isn’t going to change anyone’s life. You’ve got to do more than endure through a chapter if you want to have experiences with the Spirit.
We’ve definitely had our fair share of days when we’ve read just to read. We probably all have. But the difference between those days and the times when we have really feasted on the scriptures is tremendous. Once you have tasted of the inspiration and spiritual experiences that come through true scripture study, you develop a deep hunger to come back again and again.
The tools Britt and I list below have dramatically impacted our scripture study experiences, and we hope they make a difference for you too.
1. The 1828 Dictionary
I don’t think we realize how quickly language changes. Words that meant one thing at the time of the BOM translation have since taken on very different meanings. Lucky for us, Noah Webster completed his famed American dictionary in 1828. By doing so, he preserved in time the meaning of words at about the exact time that Joseph Smith published the first edition of the Book of Mormon.
Using this dictionary (there are apps and websites for it) can help you find little treasures that you may have otherwise completely missed. We want to share just two examples of the impact that the 1828 Dictionary can have.
A) “Knowest thou the condescension of God?”
We don’t know about you, but “condescension” is one of those words that, for a long time, we sort of just skipped over. But as it turns out, understanding what “condescension” means is key to fully understanding 1 Nephi 11:16-33, and it can give us a greater appreciation for Christ’s role in the Plan of Salvation.
The word “condescension” is no longer used in today’s vernacular, but we are all familiar with the verb it is related to: “to condescend.” Today, it has a very negative connotation. When we use “to condescend,” we mean the act of pretending to be superior to others.
This is a perversion of the word as understood in Joseph’s day. It appears that “to condescend” was used sarcastically for so long that the original meaning was lost to history.
Read the full post at happiness-seekers.com.