About 2 years ago, I was really struggling with some personal things going on in my life. Prayer has always been difficult for me not because I didn’t believe in it I have just never had those great experiences you hear people talk about where they just felt the Savior’s arms around them while praying. I have never experienced that. But I knew that I needed to get some answers to some questions and help how to deal with the issues I was having. I started for the first time really in my life being very diligent about praying and reading my scriptures every day. I had never done it consistently I would pray here and there or read my scriptures here and there but never had been consistent every day.
As I began to study and pray, and not just read to get through it but really try to understand what I was reading, I couldn’t believe the difference of things that I was able to understand and actually retain or how something would jog my memory of another scripture, it was amazing! For the first time in my life I finally completed the Book of Mormon! And I actually had a desire to keep reading so then I read the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price too. I couldn’t believe it, I had never been able to do that before but something had changed. I don’t know if it was because I was earnestly trying and needing so much help from my Father in Heaven that I was able to do it but it was wonderful. I have since slacked off again and I notice the difference, why I can’t keep on rolling is a question I am still wrestling with in my own head, but when I reflect back to that time and how I was really trying to study how the answers came so clear and prayers were answered I know it was because I was doing what needed to be done. Although Heavenly Father and our Savior already know what we are dealing with it is our responsibility to go to them in prayer and to study and to ask for that help. They are there and they are willing we just need to do our part, so as I have tried to apply that in my own personal study I have seen the blessings that come from it. I am grateful that each day we get to start new. I fail daily on so many levels but the knowledge that I can start again and just a little harder the next day keeps me going, and that is all that they expect of us is to just keep trying, never giving up.
I love the quote by Elder Jeffrey R Holland that says “Don’t you quit. You keep walking, you keep trying there is help and happiness ahead.” My testimony is simple of personal study, it works if we just keep trying and applying the principles that we learn while studying and the blessings are there we just need to ask.