A Long-Lost Treasure
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“A Long-Lost Treasure,” Ensign, August 2009, 71–72

A Long-Lost Treasure

David R. Hanks, Arizona, USA

Not long ago, as I sat waiting for the opening exercises of priesthood meeting, my home teaching companion mentioned that my scriptures were in the ward lost and found.

When I looked to my side, however, I saw that I still had my new set of scriptures, which my wife had given me. As for my old set, they were sitting in a basket next to a chair in our front room. I was puzzled.

“What’s your middle initial?” my companion asked.

“R,” I said.

“That’s what the name said,” he replied. “I’ll go get them for you.”

He returned a moment later and handed me a Bible with my name in faded gold letters on the front. I recognized it immediately. I struggled to unzip the old black cover. The book fell open to the first page, which bore a note in my father’s handwriting. I was holding the Bible that my parents had given me for my 12th birthday.

I was now living in Arizona, and the last time I had seen this Bible, I was living in Utah, preparing for a mission. I took my seminary set of scriptures with me to the mission field and left this Bible home. I found the odds staggering that my old Bible could have somehow made its way, over the course of 30 years, from my parents’ home in Utah to my ward building in Arizona.

My father, a student of the scriptures, instilled in me at an early age a desire to read and study the word of God. A portion of the note he wrote in my Bible gave me counsel as a preface to my receiving the Aaronic Priesthood:

“David, on this, your 12th birthday, you will receive the priesthood of Aaron as a deacon and become a servant of the Lord, even as your namesake, David the king. As he behaved himself wisely, the Lord blessed him.

“So shall it be with you. If you will behave yourself wisely and follow the Lord, He will bless you and call you to serve Him.

“Be strong and faithful, Son. Study this book diligently, and it will give you strength.”

My father’s words are as meaningful to me now as they were 30 years ago, perhaps even more so. How grateful I am to have again received the gift of my first Bible with the timeless counsel of my father.