Satellite Fireside Focuses on New Editions of Scriptures
May 1985

“Satellite Fireside Focuses on New Editions of Scriptures,” Ensign, May 1985, 101–2

Satellite Fireside Focuses on New Editions of Scriptures

“Any tools which assist in the reading and study of the scriptures are useful and are likely to promote the reading and study of these sacred volumes. Such activity invariably will lead to an increase not only of knowledge, but also of faith,” President Gordon B. Hinckley, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, said in a televised fireside May 10.

The prerecorded program on the new LDS editions of the scriptures was broadcast via satellite to stake centers throughout the United States and Canada. It featured talks by President Hinckley and by Elder Thomas S. Monson, Elder Boyd K. Packer, and Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve.

President Hinckley spoke of his love for the scriptures. “As I read these sacred volumes,” he said, “I marvel at the wonder and the majesty of the Almighty God and his Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. All of the writers of these testaments sing the praises of God our Father and of our Redeemer. They testify of the Father and of the Son. They speak of their majesty and wonder. They invite all to come unto them and to find peace and strength in that union between God and man.”

He urged members of the Church to become familiar with the Topical Guide, the Index, and the Dictionary included in the new editions of the scriptures, and to use these new features as tools in studying the gospel. “I urge our people everywhere to read the scriptures more, to study all of them together for a harmony of understanding, to bring their precepts into our lives,” he said.

Elder Monson also spoke of the importance of the scriptures in our lives. “It was through reading the Bible that Joseph Smith went to the grove made sacred and received the first vision. There were visitations from Moroni, an angel, who taught the young prophet Joseph about the golden plates from which were translated the Book of Mormon,” he said.

“The work of publishing the scriptures has been central to the mission of the Church since the time of Joseph Smith,” he continued. “However, it has only been in the last decade that a concerted effort has been made to tie together the four standard works by correlated cross-references and to provide from our current reservoir of knowledge the aids and helps which make the scriptures more easily understood.

“The Lord opened many doors at various times of need as the work progressed, and quiet miracles occurred to keep the work moving,” Elder Monson pointed out. “The miracles of publishing, however, are of no value to you unless you begin to search these new editions.”

Relating his experiences as a seminary teacher in helping others learn to teach from the scriptures, Elder Packer compared the scriptures to a library. Because of such features as footnotes, the Topical Guide, and the Index, he said, “the scriptures are opened to you. As you read from beginning to end of a book or as you follow through a subject, you will gain something of a testimony of the value of this work.”

He spoke of the new editions of the scriptures as a fulfillment of the prophecy of Ezekiel that the stick of Judah and the stick of Joseph would “become one”: “The stick of, or record of, Judah, the Bible, and the stick or record of Ephraim, the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, are now woven together in such a way that as you read one, you are drawn to the other; as you learn from one you are enlightened by the other. They are indeed one in our hands.”

From the background of a replica of the restored Peter Whitmer home, Elder Bruce R. McConkie spoke about modern-day scriptures. “How precious is the divine word, revealed anew to modern men, to meet modern needs, to guide us in all the circumstances, unknown to our ancestors, that now exist in the last days. What great rewards await us if we learn that which has come forth in our day and if we live as therein decreed,” he said.

Speaking in turn of each of the latter-day scriptures—the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price—Elder McConkie pointed out the new features in the new editions. We need modern scripture, he said, because of the “many plain and precious portions, and many covenants of the Lord” that have been lost through translations of the Bible.

He then spoke of the importance of the scriptures in each of our lives. “It is the study of the scriptures that enables men to gain revelations for themselves. Those who read the Book of Mormon in the way Moroni specifies gain a testimony of its truth and divinity, of the divine Sonship of Christ, and of the prophetic call of Joseph Smith.”

There are many ways to receive revelation for our own lives, said Elder McConkie. The scriptures “should be our first approach in seeking revelation. … If the Spirit bears witness to us of the truth of the scriptures, then we are receiving the doctrines in them as though they had come to us directly. Thus, we can testify that we have heard his voice and know his words.”


In his office before the videotaping, President Gordon B. Hinckley prepares for the satellite fireside “Using the Scriptures.” (Courtesy of BYU Motion Picture Studio.)