As a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, studying the scriptures is a big part of my everyday life. In fact, I study every morning. And before I study, I pray to God that I might learn something new and grow in my understanding of Jesus Christ’s gospel. Not every morning though, do I feel like that was accomplished. Was that because I truly learned nothing from my studies? I should think not.
I’ll admit I don’t always give my studies the full attention they deserve. I sometimes space out, think about what happened the previous day, what might happen during that day, or I might be thinking about something completely unrelated to missionary work. It happens. I’m far from perfect, and I’m also an artist who is prone to frequent daydreaming. So when I finish my studies and close up whatever book I was reading, I often feel like I didn’t learn anything at all. No sudden realization, no epiphany, no vast amount of knowledge that has suddenly found place within my mind. You’ve probably had a lot of similar experiences with your own studies, of any kind.
That’s because we rarely ever learn things through sudden occurrences. We read in 2 Nephi 28:30,
For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.
The Lord understands our weaknesses. We often forget. We often take for granted. We often don’t care. The Lord knows that we learn better through baby steps. I know that every morning I take something from my studies. Often, I do not entirely understand or recognize what it was, but I know that piece of knowledge is there, and that in time it will build to a greater understanding. I’ve learned a great deal over the years, but is only a fraction, if that, of the things I could learn. It is simply a matter of time, and I must put trust in the Lord that He is guiding me to the things that I need to know.
I testify that the Lord can give us great knowledge and understanding, but it is through patience, diligence, and faith that we receive it, a little at a time.