Today’s Reading: Alma 17:1-9
“What added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently that they might know the word of God” (Alma 17:2-3).
Many of us want to search the scriptures diligently that we might know the word of God. A simple way to do this is to search for one-liners. Neal A. Maxwell taught, “The scriptures contain so many jewels over which we pass too lightly, especially some stunning one-liners.”
A one-liner is simply that, one line of scripture, a phrase separated from the rest of the verse. No matter what standard work you are reading, one-liners can be found. Often, one line can be pulled out of a lengthy story; this one line serves as a power punch amidst the details of the story. For example, in Jeremiah chapter 20, Pashur, the governor makes life pretty unpleasant for the prophet Jeremiah. Pashur smites Jeremiah and puts him in the stocks. Jeremiah laments that he is mocked and made to suffer daily, so much that he actually considers ending his ministry. Then Jeremiah exclaims, “But his word was in mine heart as a…fire…in my bones” (Jeremiah 20:9).” What a powerful one-liner! Even though Jeremiah wanted to stop suffering, the word of God was in him in such a powerful way—as a burning fire—he could not stop preaching. One could ask, “Is God’s word in me like a burning fire? If not, what can I do to be more like Jeremiah?”
Another “stunning one-liner” is found in the middle of the account of David and Goliath: “For the battle is the Lord’s” (1 Samuel 17:47). David is able to go forth with confidence because he knows he is on the Lord’s side. Searching for one-liners can be a simple but rewarding addition to our individual or family scriptures study. It is something even young children can do.
In referring to how to study the scriptures Jeffrey R. Holland taught,
“Read more slowly and more carefully and with more questions in mind. … Ponder, … examine every word, every scriptural gem. … Hold it up to the light, and turn it, look and see what’s reflected and refracted there. … Such an examination may unearth a treasure hidden in a field: a pearl of great price; a pearl beyond price.”
In Alma 17, when Alma meets his friends he is overcome with joy. He is even happier to find out they were still his brethren in the Lord. These boys who had not been very praiseworthy before embarking on their missions now had “waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth, for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently that they might know the word of God.”
No matter where we have been in the past, or where we are currently, we can wax strong in the knowledge of the truth by searching the scriptures diligently that we might know the word of God. When I approach scripture study expecting to be taught, to have my knowledge increased, to know the word of God, I learn. I am inspired. I understand. I feel the power of the word. Reinvigorate your scripture study by finding and reflecting on powerful one-liners.