So, Josiah was a good guy before he even had the scriptures. But when he discovered the scriptures he was able to come closer to God through covenants and help his people rid themselves of iniquity.
President Benson said, "Studying and searching the scriptures is not a burden laid upon us by the Lord, but a marvelous blessing and opportunity."
How are we doing at this? Does it seem like something we just know we're supposed to do? Something on our checklist? Or, are we looking at this as a "marvelous blessing and opportunity." I LOVE the scriptures. I know that they are true and that they contain God's revealed word to His prophets. I know that they apply directly to us and have the answers we need. My brother-in-law, LaDon, shared an interesting statistic with me once about scripture reading. He said that before President Hinckley's challenge to the Church to read the Book of Mormon, only 30% of members of the Church were having daily scripture study. During the challenge it increased to up to 70%. However, once the time of the challenge was completed we returned back to 30%. Well, that's easy, just tell President Monson to challenge us again, right? Well, let's remember Doctrine and Covenants 58:26= "For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant." Also remembering that we already have been commanded to "meditate therein day and night" (Josh. 1:8), and to "search the scriptures" (John 5:39), and to "feast upon the words of Christ" (2 Nephi 32:3), and to "search these commandments" (D&C 1:37). That's one from each of the 4 standard works. Then we have the rebuking and condemnation that came in section 84, which was also reiterated by President Benson (meaning that we were still under that condemnation).
So, we've been commanded. Maybe we just need more convincing. So, here are six reasons, from the scriptures, on why we need the scriptures.
1. Psalms 19:7= "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." CONVERSION
2. 2 Nephi 3:15= "For the thing [scriptures], which the Lord shall bring forth by his [Joseph's] hand, by the power of the Lord shall bring my people unto salvation." SALVATION
3. Romans 5:14= "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written of our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." LEARNING
4. 2 Timothy 3:16= "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." DOCTRINE
5. 1 Nephi 1:12= "And it came to pass that as he read, he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord." THE SPIRIT
6. Helaman 37:44-45= "The word of Christ...will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss." DIRECTION
I know that I can do better at studying my scriptures and I hope that I will. I am grateful for them and how much they have helped me and know that they will continue to do so. Now, I'm sure most of my audience is not struggling with this aspect in their lives, but I am sure that we all know someone who could use a boost. Let's encourage others to partake in the "marvelous blessing" that is scripture study.