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A Reservoir of Living Water by David A. Bednar

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Published on Mar 25, 2013

The scriptures are like living water, nourishing and sustaining. To drink deeply, we must read the scriptures, study them, and search for connections daily.

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"I now want to review with you three basic ways or methods of obtaining living water from the scriptural reservoir: (1) reading the scriptures from beginning to end, (2) studying the scriptures by topic, and (3) searching the scriptures for connections, patterns, and themes. Each of these approaches can help satisfy our spiritual thirst if we invite the companionship and assistance of the Holy Ghost as we read, study, and search.

Reading a book of scripture from beginning to end initiates the flow of living water into our lives by introducing us to important stories, gospel doctrines, and timeless principles. This approach also enables us to learn about major characters in the scriptures and the sequence, timing, and context of events and teachings. Reading the written word in this way exposes us to the breadth of a volume of scripture. This is the first and most fundamental way of obtaining living water.

Studying by topic typically follows, grows out of, and builds upon our reading of the scriptures from beginning to end. For example, as we read the Book of Mormon we may identify and seek to find answers to important doctrinal and practical questions such as these:

• What is faith in the Savior?

• Why is faith in Jesus Christ the first principle of the gospel?

• Why and how does faith in the Redeemer lead to repentance?

• How does the Atonement strengthen me to do things in my daily life that I could never do with my own limited capacity and in my own strength?

Focusing upon such questions and studying by topic, using the Topical Guide and index to the triple combination, allow us to dig into and explore the depth of the scriptures and obtain a much richer spiritual knowledge. This approach increases the rate at which living water flows into our lives.

Both reading from beginning to end and studying by topic are prerequisites to the third basic method of obtaining living water from the scriptural reservoir. Whereas reading a book of scripture from beginning to end provides a basic breadth of knowledge, studying by topic increases the depth of our knowledge. Searching in the revelations for connections, patterns, and themes builds upon and adds to our spiritual knowledge by bringing together and expanding these first two methods; it broadens our perspective and understanding of the plan of salvation.

In my judgment, diligently searching to discover connections, patterns, and themes is in part what it means to “feast” upon the words of Christ. This approach can open the floodgates of the spiritual reservoir, enlighten our understanding through His Spirit, and produce a depth of gratitude for the holy scriptures and a degree of spiritual commitment that can be received in no other way. Such searching enables us to build upon the rock of our Redeemer and to withstand the winds of wickedness in these latter days.

I want to emphasize an essential point. You might initially assume that a person must have extensive formal education to use the methods I am describing. This assumption simply is not correct. Any honest seeker of truth, regardless of educational background, can successfully employ these simple approaches. You and I do not need sophisticated study aids and should not rely extensively upon the spiritual knowledge of others. We simply need to have a sincere desire to learn, the companionship of the Holy Ghost, the holy scriptures, and an active and inquiring mind.

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that we should

'search the Scriptures—search the revelations which we publish, and ask your Heavenly Father, in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, to manifest the truth unto you, and if you do it with an eye single to His glory, nothing doubting, He will answer you by the power of His Holy Spirit. You will then know for yourselves and not for another. You will not then be dependent on man for the knowledge of God.' [HC 1:282]

If you and I will ask, seek, and knock (see Matthew 7:7), always keeping ourselves worthy to learn from the Spirit, then the gates of the spiritual reservoir will open to us and the living water will flow. I witness, I testify, and I promise that this is true." - Elder Bednar

David A. Bednar was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when this fireside address was delivered on 4 February 2007.

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