While discussing the topic of “feasting on the Word of God” (2 Nephi 31:20) today at church I presented the following analogy which I particularly like, as it helps me visualize better the need for me to study the scriptures daily.
You have probably heard that we should feast upon the scriptures, in other words, the Word of God. You may have also heard the common analogy citing your mind to recall a feast from Thanksgiving or some other occasion where there is much eating. While this is analogy is usually adequate, I find that is not realistic, for I do not find myself stuffing myself silly as I do on those several special occasions during the year.
Our lesson asked us to compare feasting to snacking. When you think of a snack, compared to a feast, you will most certainly think of a quantity that is much less. I think we should also include quality in that comparison. When I feast, the food is usually available in abundant amounts, but it is also exquisitely delectable, or should be.
If you compared reading the scriptures to eating food it would be true to say that, “Eating Food is to the Body what Reading the Scriptures is to our Spirit”. On average, we feed our physical body 2-3 times a day, often with snacks of some sort in between. If we are not in the habit of reading the scriptures every day, then perhaps we at least read one verse ever now and then. Compare that to eating food.
With all that in mind, please consider the following analogy. Let us say that, for this analogy, a snack is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
On Monday, I woke up and read a page out of the scriptures. That is all I read on Monday. Tuesday I forgot to read. Wednesday, I remembered to read just as I was getting into bed at night. I read a couple verses quickly and then fell asleep. Thursday, I again forgot to read the scriptures. Friday, I decided to do better and read 2 pages in the morning. Saturday, I once again remembered as I was falling asleep. I grabbed the scriptures, read a verse, barely, and fell asleep. Sunday, I took time to read a chapter.
On Monday, I woke up and had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to eat. That is all I ate on Monday. On Tuesday, I forgot to eat. Wednesday, I remembered to eat just as I was getting into bed at night. I had a couple bites of PBJ and then fell asleep. Thursday, I again forgot to eat any food. Friday, I decided to do better and ate 2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Saturday, I once again remembered as I was falling asleep. I grabbed a sandwich, ate one bite, barely, and fell asleep. Sunday, I took time to eat a peanut butter sandwich, an apple, and a glass of milk.
Nutritionally speaking, how am I doing? Let’s do the math. In one week I feed my body 4.5 PBJ sandwiches, an apple and some milk. Would that nutritional lifestyle sustain me for very long? I think malnourishment would kick in pretty quick and I would probably be visiting an emergency room not too long after that.
Yet that is exactly what we are doing to our Spirit when we do not read the scriptures. We are starving our Spirit to death.
Not only do we need to read the scriptures every day, but we need to study the scriptures. We need to feast on the Word of God. It needs to be delectable to us.
Reading the scriptures from cover to cover is certainly a good thing. Yet that is like eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It is somewhat tasty and can provide some nourishment, depending on the quality of the ingredients. However, it is not extremely satisfying or enriching.
How much more appetizing is large crock pot full of thick homemade spaghetti sauce served hot over a heaping helping of steaming spaghetti noodles, topped with a generous portion of freshly grated parmesan cheese. Served on the side with hot toasted garlic bread, a crisp house salad with all the trimmings, and an endless supply of Concorde grape juice.
If you do not have the desire to feed your Spirit so richly and abundantly, I challenge you to pray to your Heavenly Father to bless you with that desire. Pray for it often. Eat PBJ until you feel the desire to feast. Then when you are finally blessed with that desire, thank Heavenly Father and ask him to continue blessing you with that desire. The Word of God can and will be delicious to you, if you let it.