I had an a-ha! moment last Wednesday that I will share, with some background.
Here's the background....
Last summer, I decided to change how I was doing my personal scripture study (basically reading and pondering the scriptures, going straight through). I decided one morning that I wanted to study the life of Christ using an Institute manual. So I grabbed the manual and started. Very quickly, I started gaining a greater insight into the 4 Gospels. As I learned things and pondered them, I wrote them in my journal.
As the end of 2009 approached, I pondered my goals for 2010. I looked at where I was in the Institute manual and thought I could complete it (well, the first course in it) by the end of the year and then I would switch to the Old Testament Institute manual to correlate with the Gospel Doctrine Sunday School class. then my Dad died and I got sick. My attention to my scriptures declined but I didn't completely stop. 2010 started. I set the official goal to read/study the Sunday School lesson before class each week, and also the lessons for Relief Society. I thought "surely, I can read those scriptures in a day or two each week and then the rest of the week, I'll study from the institute manual."
I also set an unofficial goal of these Monday Meditations. I started out using those notes I'd made in my journal. Each Monday morning, I'd start reading the scriptures for the Sunday School lesson. It took me forever each week, leaving me maybe 1 or 2 days to utilize the Life and Teachings Of Jesus and His Apostles institute manual. My spiritual a-ha moments were decreasing and I couldn't come up with topics for my Monday Meditations. I wasn't excited about my scripture time. But I was doing what I was supposed to be doing - preparing for our sunday meetings.
Last Wednesday morning, during my morning prayer, I had an a-ha moment. I'm supposed to be focusing on the Savior's life and teachings. I need to finish studying the institute manual. So I gave up studying the Sunday School lessons. I will probably have guilt for a while about this but I know what and how I need to be studying right now. Once again, after a few months of not, I am excited each morning to study the scriptures and see what I'm going to learn about. I have to force myself to put the scriptures away to go make lunch for my husband before he leaves for work.
So as much as we've been counseled to be active in and prepare for Sunday School by studying the lesson ahead of time, I'm following the counsel to seek the Spirit's guidance in all things. I'm following our Stake President's counsel from a few years ago to study the atonement and come to know Christ better. I'm learning that I don't have to feel guilty about not following ALL the "rules" when I'm following the Spirit's guidance.
And when I'm done with this, I'm excited to start utilizing the Institute manual for the Old Testament.
My advice to all my friends and "friends" from the blog, have your personal scripture study time be what the Spirit tells you you need to be studying. Seek out and follow those personal revelations and you'll find a greater love for the scriptures and the Gospel.
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