BE IMMERSED: Diving deeper into the Scriptures Because a Little Sprinkle Here and There Will Never Beat a Restoring Plunge.
Class with Bobbie Poppleton
Zipping along the surface of the scriptures is great. There is always something to be gained from reading, but the real beauty comes when you wade in deeper and find the beauty and color and life that you find just under the surface.
Elder David. A. Bednar spoke of 3 ways of obtaining living water from the scriptural reservoir. (Reference “A Reservoir of Living Water” speeches.byu.edu 4 February 2007)
1) READING beginning to end—where you learn of the people and scenery and principles.
2) STUDYING by topic
3) SEARCHING for connections, patterns, symbols and themes
It’s the searching that we want to practice—and searching that reveals the beauty of life in the scriptures.
Elder Jeffrey R.Holland says when you start asking questions, the book of Mormon comes alive. He said to start with the first chapter of the first book of Nephi because it was carefully written and so it must be read carefully.
* Ask Questions
*Look for Patterns
LOOK FOR PATTERNS: For example, Lehi who left everything behind and went into the wilderness. Have other people in the scriptures been willing to leave everything behind and go into the wilderness? WHO? Adam and Eve. Noah. Moses and many others. Also the Pioneers and many of the converts of today. It’s one of the most repeated patterns in the scriptures.
Elder Holland taught an amazing pattern found in 1st Nephi Chapter 1 in regards to Lehi. (Reference “Daddy, Donna, and Nephi” Ensign 1976)
LEHI….(1 Nephi 1:)
*He was pricked by the words of a Prophet (v.4)
*Went out apart to pray (v.5)
*He saw a vision of the Father & the Son (v.8-9)
*He received a book (v.11)
*He began to preach to the people what he read in the book (v. 18)
*The people mocked & sought to kill him (v. 19-20)
That is Lehi’s story,….and who else? Joseph Smith—it is the story of the Restoration.
I think it is amazing that the book of the restoration begins with a story that in itself is a similitude of the restoration.
*Ponder the Savior
*Apply to oneself
According to Elder Bednar, searching broadens our perspective and our understanding of the plan of salvation.
Search the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:15). The lawyer asked two questions. How does one gain eternal life? And Who is my neighbor? The Savior answered the question with the parable that we can certainly apply to ourselves. We should be as the Samaritan and serve our fellowman. BUT did he also answer both questions?
If we were to be asked by a friend how does one gain eternal life—would we not explain the plan of salvation as the answer? According to a BYU Studies article from 1999 and an Ensign article from 2007, Jesus also answered the lawyers first question. (Ref. “The Good Samaritan: A type and shadow of the Plan of Salvation” BYU Studies, Spring 1999, pg 51-115 and “The Good Samaritan: Forgotten Symbols”, Ensign Feb 2007)
Luke 10 LDS Types & Shadows
A man All mankind
went down left premortal existence
from Jerusalem presence of God
to Jericho a telestial world
fell fallen state, sins
among thieves Satan, expected trials
stripped him stripping authority, garment
wounded him blows of mortality
departed required to depart
left him half dead two deaths (2nd could be adverted)
Priest and Levite those with partial authority
passed by lacked higher power to save
Samaritan Christ, most humble, despised
Samaritan Christ, most humble, despised
saw knowing him and seeing all
had compassion pure love of Christ
bound his wounds binding, thru covenants
oil heal/anoint, ordinances, Holy Spirit
wine cleanse, atoning blood
on his own beast bears our sins & infirmities, rescue
inn church, safety - not final destination
took care Jesus personally cares for all
innkeeper church leaders
when I come again Second Coming
repay cover all costs, reward well
As Elder Bednar stated, searching broadens our perspective and our understanding of the plan of salvation.
CHALLENGE: Search the scriptures and JOURNAL your scripture study. There are lots of ways to search the scriptures—each of them is edifying and instructive. Find what works for you. Here is a link to the scripture study handout showing scripture study and journal tips:
I have tried many of these tips. I spent months studying one topic. I have used the Bible Dictionary to lead me to a discovery in Jonah. I have studied one person (i.e. John the Baptist) and learned much—mostly grew to love John. I found that I learn best by pondering---recognizing that I will not understand everything immediately. Sometimes I need to read and reread and think and wonder for a long time---then the Spirit will open something up when I am ready to receive it.
I am offering an OUTLINE OF TOPICS at this link to use in your scripture study if you want. It covers in topics, the fullness of the gospel:
You can use this "Outline" in a couple of ways, EITHER as a way to organize scriptures and quotes you find that pertain to a particular topic (a great resource to refer to when you have to give a talk or prepare a lesson); OR as a kick off point for topical scripture study (you choose one of the topics and use the scripture references and suggested Doctrinal Subjects to begin your research).
1) Notebook to hold topic sheets
(Divide how you choose—with tabs, in page protectors, printed on colored papers). Ifyou want to organize this on your computer, ask me to get you the "WORD.doc files for your use - email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you an attachment or get you a cd)
3) Lined paper
As you study the scriptures and/or other inspired writings and find something that you want to include in your notebook, decide which topic it should be recorded under (there could be more than one?) and write the scripture reference or otherwise note the book/article reference on a sheet of the lined paper.
• If reference is a scripture, try to condense or paraphrase so that you can put it down in a line or two. Just enough so that you get the main points and can refer to it later in your scriptures
• If a "quote", you can do the same thing and paraphrase it so that it can be recorded in a small
space. Personally, I like to include quotes as they are written as I always carry my scriptures,
but don't always have access to my library where these can be easily looked up.
Bobbie's Study Suggestions that have worked for me:
• Look up words that you are not familiar with
• Work to develop the ability to analyze scriptures. Use footnotes, Topical Guide, Index, Bible Dictionary, "True to the Faith", etc. Search www.lds.org and/or www.mormon.org. First you will start out slowly. After awhile you will be able to do it naturally—it is worth your time.
• Write down the questions that come to your mind as you read, then either seek to answer them or use them as a kick-off study topic in the future.
• Read a scripture passage many times. You will find new things as you begin to loose the "story" and enlightenment (the principles) begins to shine through. The story won't redeem you, but the principles there in will.
• Try to study 30 minutes to an hour a day. Don't feel that you have to make pages of progress if you are getting acres of truth from a verse or two. In my opinion however, speed reading a couple of verses and calling it good won't gain you the ground you need for real spiritual nourishment.
• Don't get caught up in the 4 year Sunday School or Seminary cycle (reading only from one book all year or taking the summer off!). Read from the Book of Mormon often. There is so much there that not only supports the Bible's teaching, but gives further light and understanding.