Feeding our spiritual needs

by Megan Stobbs

Family scripture study

I was blessed to grow up in a household with daily scripture study. From the moment I could sound out the letters in front of me, I was invited to participate in family reading. It must have been frustrating to my older siblings, as I slowly stumbled over each word. I also picked up on a pattern in the Book of Mormon, and for a time I began each verse with “and it came to pass”.

The influence that this simple practice had on my life is too large to fully convey. In an educational sense, scripture study meant that I was engaging with complicated historical writings from a young age. Many years later, I now hold a degree in Ancient History, which in no doubt was influenced by the incredible accounts of ancient people within the Book of Mormon.

In a spiritual sense, I was blessed with a knowledge of the truth of what I was reading. These weren’t just stories to me—they were real people, inspired by God, going through trials, and experiencing joys. It also gave me a mental index of people and stories to go to in times of need. For example, for courage, I would delve in 1st Nephi 3; for inspiration, I would read King Benjamin’s address beginning in Mosiah 2. I would turn to people in the scriptures for advice and guidance.

Despite having been raised with a solid foundation of daily scripture study, as an adult I have had periods where I have struggled to keep this up. Falling behind, I would devote a few hours to study as much as possible. Like a recharged battery, that spiritual nourishment would keep me going for a few days. But every day that I let that study slip by the wayside, the light that I felt would diminish. At that point, I’d commit to another one-off study session. And so, the pattern continued. However, inspired by the introduction of the ‘Come Follow Me’ programme in 2018, I have established a pattern of daily study. I feel strengthened and uplifted in a way I never have had before. The feeling of closeness with my Saviour and Heavenly Father that such study has brought me is indescribable—my hope grows, and I have been able to have peace amidst the turbulence of life.

So much of our lives are dictated by daily tasks. Washing, eating, brushing our teeth—all these things must be done often to maintain our physical health. But we do not brush our teeth one week for half an hour! Neither should we do the same with our study of the Lord’s words.

In a series of inspirational videos produced by the Church named ‘Daily Bread’, Elder D. Todd Christofferson says, “We all recognise the need for physical sustenance. Hunger and thirst remind us very strongly if we forget. But the spiritual need for sustenance is equally strong. It comes not in drinking water and eating food, but in our daily efforts of communion with God.”

Maintaining our spiritual sustenance through a pattern of daily study brings peace and growth. Administering to our spiritual needs blesses us, in a similar manner to the attention we give to our physical needs. The benefit of such study attends people in all stages of life, even the smallest of us!