We are commanded to “feast upon the words of Christ (Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ, 2 Nephi 32:3). The word feast has been defined as a special or large meal elaborately prepared with many different dishes; it has also been defined as a rich or abundant meal. Since we are commanded to feast rather than nibble or snack, we can assume that we are commanded to do more than simply read the scriptures.
No matter how we are currently feasting on the scriptures, we can all improve in our efforts and should take frequent inventory of our efforts. We should search the scriptures diligently while pondering their meanings. We should liken them to ourselves and our situation. We should always include prayer with scripture study, praying for understanding; then we should follow any promptings we receive from the Holy Ghost. We can strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ and draw closer to Heavenly Father merely by committing ourselves to more meaningful scripture study. As we feast on the scriptures, we will be fortified against the fiery darts of temptation.
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles likened the scriptures to a reservoir of living water. “The scriptures contain the words of Christ and are a reservoir of living water to which we have ready access and from which we can drink deeply and long. You and I must look to and come unto Christ, who is `the fountain of livings’ (1 Nephi 11:25; compare Ether 8:26; 12:28), by reading (see Mosiah 1:5), studying (see Doctrine and Covenants 26:1), searching (see John 5:39; Alma 17:2), and feasting (see 2 Nephi 32:3) upon the words of Christ as contained in the Holy Scriptures. By so doing, we can receive both spiritual direction and protection during our mortal journey” (emphasis added).
Elder Henry B. Eyring, now of the First Presidency, was asked for suggestions on how to prioritize scripture study. “The only way you can be sure that a busy schedule doesn’t crowd out scripture study is to establish a regular time to study the scriptures. I have found that the beginning of the day and the end of the day are mine. Those are times I can usually control. So my pattern since I was a boy has been to read my scriptures at the beginning and end of the day. I read the Book of Mormon many times before I was 18 because of that pattern.
“When I am in situations where I break out of the pattern, it’s hard on me. Once you get used to regular scripture study, you miss it if you don’t have it. It’s like food – you have to have it. I know that I need the scriptures like I need food. I don’t miss a regular meal, and I don’t miss regular scripture study.”
I too have learned that I do not function well without daily scripture study. A wonderful Spiritual Living teacher in Relief Society helped me develop the habit of daily scripture study in the early 1980s. I went five years before I missed the first time; I have not missed more than ten times in since I started daily scripture study. Most days I actually feast on the scriptures, but some days I merely nibble. I can honestly tell the difference in the spirituality!
I encourage you to start feasting on the word of God. If you do, you will be amazed at the knowledge you gain and the protection you and your family will have against Satan. I set a goal one year to read the complete Standard Works – Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price – before the end of the year. I accomplished that goal and had time to read the Bible Dictionary and other study helps in the process. The experience was a great accomplishment and a wonderful blessing.