Read the Scriptures

“Read the Scriptures,” Friend, Dec. 1985, inside front cover

Read the Scriptures

(President Kimball Speaks Out, Deseret Book Co., pp. 92–93.)

Once I heard a forceful appeal by a woman from the Mutual. … She gave a rousing talk on the reading of the scriptures and making them our own; then she stopped her dissertation to ask this mixed congregation, about a thousand of us, “How many of you have read the Bible through?”

I think I was about fourteen years old at the time. An accusing guilt complex spread over me. I had read many books by that time, the funny papers, and light books, but my accusing heart said to me, “You, Spencer Kimball, you have never read that holy book. Why?” I looked around me at the people in front and on both sides of the hall to see if I was alone in my failure to read the sacred book. Of the thousand people, there were perhaps a half dozen who proudly raised their hands. I slumped down in my seat. I had no thought for the others who had also failed, but only a deep accusing thought for myself. I don’t know what other people were doing and thinking, but I heard no more of the sermon. It had accomplished its work. When the meeting closed, I sought the large double exit door and rushed to my home a block east of the chapel; and I was gritting my teeth and saying to myself, “I will. I will. I will.”

Entering the back door of our family home, I went to the kitchen shelf where we kept the coal oil lamps, selected one that was full of oil and had a newly trimmed wick, and climbed the stairs to my attic room. There I opened my Bible and began on Genesis, first chapter and first verse, and I read well into the night with Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel, and Enoch and Noah and through the flood even to Abraham.

Note: Young Spencer went on to finish the Bible. Since then he has read it and all the scriptures many times.

Illustrated by Dick Brown