On my mission, a memorized scripture made a big difference during a lesson.
Memorizing had never come easy for me, but when my mission president challenged all of us to memorize Alma’s testimony in Alma 5:45–46, I exercised a little faith and began to commit Alma’s words to memory. It took a couple of weeks and some effort in my morning study, but I did it.
Their hearts softened. In that moment I experienced the blessings of memorizing a scripture passage.
A few days later my companion and I were teaching a group of college students, who began to ask us some pointed questions. One young man looked at me and asked, “Do you really believe all this?” Alma’s testimony flashed into my mind, and I began sharing my testimony, using many of his words: “I do know that these things whereof [we] have spoken are true. And how do [you] suppose that I know of their surety? … They are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. … I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me.”
Alma’s words had become my words too. The Spirit softly confirmed them in my heart as I spoke them. The words also had an immediate effect on the people we were teaching. Their hearts softened. In that moment I experienced the blessings of memorizing a scripture passage. Alma’s words have continued to be a friend and comfort to me when I need them.
Three Reasons to Memorize
Here are three reasons to study and memorize scriptures as part of your learning:
- Memorizing scripture passages can help you understand them better. Elder Gene R. Cook of the Seventy said: “I have discovered that many times you don’t fully understand a scripture until you memorize it. And sometimes I have memorized a passage because it seemed important and valuable to me—then afterwards I discovered deeper meanings that I hadn’t even known were there” (Searching the Scriptures: Bringing Power to Your Personal and Family Study , 114).
- Memorized passages can provide you with help, inspiration, comfort, and motivation. Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has explained: “Great power can come from memorizing scriptures. To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship. It is like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change” (“The Power of Scripture,” Ensign, Nov. 2011, 6).
- Memorized scriptures can add power to the words you use to teach others. Elder Scott has said, “When scriptures are used as the Lord has caused them to be recorded, they have intrinsic power that is not communicated when paraphrased” (“He Lives,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 88). “The scriptures provide the strength of authority to our declarations when they are cited correctly” (“The Power of Scripture,” 6).
Share Your Experience
What scriptures have you memorized that have helped you defend your beliefs?
Share your experience with other youth by commenting below.
This article originally appeared in the September 2014 New Era.