26 May 2010

Gems of Heaven

--originally posted on Waters of Mormon on August 30, 2007--

Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." Luke 23: 34

This scripture has been the source of my strength this week because I've been dealing with people and disappointment in excess lately.

Being the book-oriented person that I am, I took to the scriptures very easily, and I love them because they are so timeless. For just about every struggle you could possibly have, there's a scripture that gives succinct pieces of advice and comfort for that struggle.

The first time I experienced this phenomenon was before I was baptized. I was looking for a scripture that I wasn't certain I had ever even read before. I knew that my Baptist youth leader had one from Jeremiah that she liked a lot, and I thought that hers was the one I was searching for. But when I read it, I knew that scripture wasn't the one I needed. I was thumbing though the Bible that her husband had given me, and I prayed to find whatever it was I was looking for.

I opened to Psalms and began to read. Eventually I came to Psalms 27:10, and I was floored. That scripture is proof that God knew there would be teenagers, and He loves them very much. That spiritual experience was by no means the strongest of my life, but it was the first that led me on my quest for gems of knowledge; the scriptures that touch your heart the second you read them.

I consider myself a treasure hunter when I read my scriptures. My gems of knowledge are color coded based on how they've touched me. If they're from/about the Savior they're yellow. When they relate to women, Zion, YW or RS (light blue); my patriarchal blessing (dark blue); the temple (green); scripture mastery, warnings, or references to Satan (brown); war and fighting, agency, or contrast (orange); and references to the offices or functions of the priesthood are in red.

It sounds really compulsive, but it works for me. Each gem has a reason why it's precious, and each color reflects a different gem. I have a treasure trove of sapphires and rubies, emeralds and amethysts, garnets, amber, and topaz, and its a special kind of treasure that I will never lose because they're written in my heart. (3 Nephi 13: 20-1)

I have always believed that you can tell a lot about someone from their favorite scriptures. When I go to another person's home, one of my favorite things to do is to search for refridgerator magnets, pictures, wall hangings, trinkets, or any other kind of knick-knacks that might have scriptures on them. Going past churches in my daily travels is fun too because their roadside signs sometimes have a scripture that I rehearse immediately in order to look up later.

To me, seeing a scripture at times like that is never a coincidence; I believe that Heavenly Father talks to us through these scriptures that are all around us, if we would just look them up and ponder them in our hearts. I had that happen with a scripture in a actor's playbill bio once.

And since I've comitted to reading the Book of Mormon cover to cover, my treasure chest is overflowing. I invite any of you who lack such treasure to begin your quest anew; to become as a child and remember all of the times you played pirates, and the buried treasure was just an adventure away. Our Father in Heaven not only believes in such adventures, He encourages you to seek them out.

To my more seasoned explorers (and even the not-so-seasoned,) what are some of your favorite scriptures? Why are they your favorites? What quests have you had that have led you to the prescious gems of Heaven? And if you have not begun your quest yet, how can we help you find what you're looking for?

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