Viewpoint: Turn to Scriptures “with Full Purpose”

Contributed By the Church News

  • 25 September 2016

When we turn to the scriptures in times of hardship, we will find answers.

Article Highlights

  • Sister Iwamoto found the direction she was seeking in the Book of Mormon.
  • Everyone who seeks the scriptures diligently will find the answers they seek.

“Let the scriptures be your guide, and you will never find yourself traveling the road to nowhere.” —President Thomas S. Monson

Kazusa Iwamoto had never led, directed, or performed in a musical production of any kind when she received a call to lead the Sapporo Japan Temple youth cultural celebration.

“I didn’t know what to expect in the beginning,” she recalled. “I was to create something I didn’t know. So I didn’t know what to do.”

She immediately sought help—but not from experts in music or dance or productions. She turned to the Lord.

Sister Iwamoto found the direction she was seeking in the Book of Mormon.

“Nephi was commanded to build a ship,” she said, referencing 1 Nephi 17. “That was something he had never experienced before. He did what he could. Eventually, he was able to take his entire family to the new world.”

As Sister Iwamoto was reading of Nephi’s experience, she realized, “This is exactly what I need to do—step by step.”

As she followed the patterns she learned from Nephi, Sister Iwamoto found she was able to manage the tasks before her. “Many people have compensated for what I did not have,” she said. “It was because of the help of the Lord.”

We can all follow Sister Iwamoto’s example and find the answers to our problems and challenges in the scriptures. The Lord has promised each of us this help.

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

“For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7–8).

President Thomas S. Monson has also taught this truth. “Let the scriptures be your guide, and you will never find yourself traveling the road to nowhere,” he said during his October 1995 general conference address.

In addition, President Monson said all of us—like Sister Iwamoto—will be blessed as we follow patterns found in the scriptures.

“A pattern for our decision making, whether we are young or old, is set forth in the scriptures,” President Monson said. “When our youth read the scriptures, when they understand the scriptures, and when they live the scriptures, they will stand firm for truth” (Teachings of Thomas S. Monson, p. 276).

President Gordon B. Hinckley taught that God has not left us in ignorance “to walk in darkness. His word, spoken both anciently and in our generation, is available to all to read, to ponder, and to accept. There are many books among us and many preachers, and I find virtue in the words of all. But the truest source of divine wisdom is the word of the Lord in these sacred volumes, the standard works of the Church” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p. 572).

In a Church News interview on June 7, 1995, President Hinckley also spoke of the patterns found in the scriptures.

“The more we read of history, and particularly of sacred history, … the more we can establish a pattern by which to guide our own lives which will lead us into productive living. He has set the way. That’s the road to progress, and whether it be in matters of theology or day-to-day living as part of the society in which we live, the principles which are set forth in the scriptures become principles which can make for happiness and understanding, lofty ideals by which to guide our lives and the faith by which to move through the problems which we will inevitably confront as we go forward with our lives.”

The scriptures promise, “Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers” (D&C 112:10).

After studying the words of Nephi and learning patterns established by the ancient prophet, Sister Iwamoto moved forward to organize the Sapporo Japan Temple youth cultural celebration.

As part of the celebration, youth paid tribute to another woman in Japan who found in the scriptures the answers to her problems.

In the mid 1920s, Tamano Kumagai—who had accepted the gospel in her teens—learned the mission in Japan was closing and that Latter-day Saint missionaries were going home.

Soon World War II started and fierce persecution toward Christians erupted—making it impossible to hold regular meetings of the Church in Japan. Yet Sister Kumagai kept her faith. Amid this discouragement, she began holding Sunday School in her home. The members met together for more than two decades, drawing strength from one another and feasting upon the Lord’s teachings found in the holy scriptures.

Do we each follow the example of these faithful Japanese women—Sister Iwamoto and Sister Kumagai? Do we turn to the scriptures to give us strength and guidance? Do we turn to them in times of trial or when we are given an assignment we don’t know how to complete?

“Do we, as saints of the Most High God, treasure the words He has preserved for us at so great a cost?” questioned President Ezra Taft Benson during October 1986 general conference. “Are we using these books of latter-day revelation to bless our lives and resist the powers of the evil one?

“This is the purpose for which they were given. How can we not stand condemned before the Lord if we treat them lightly by letting them do no more than gather dust on our shelves? I bear my solemn witness that the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants contain the mind and the will of the Lord for us in these days of trial and tribulation. They stand with the Bible to give witness of the Lord and His work. These books contain the voice of the Lord to us in these latter days. May we turn to them with full purpose of heart and use them in the way the Lord wishes them to be used” (“The Gift of Modern Revelation,” Ensign, Nov. 1986).