Thoughts on pondering


My favorite Book of Mormon scripture passage (ok, one of my favorites) is in 3 Nephi when Christ appears to the Nephites in the Americas after his resurrection.


You can read the entire chapter here. And my favorite site to use as supplemental commentary is here. (The author of this site uses quotes by General Authorities to confirm and validate the doctrine being taught. Its a great companion for Sunday School classes too).

Jesus spends time expounding scriptures and then perceives that they are weak in understanding.  He admonished the Nephites, 'Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand".  (3 Nephi 17:3)
"Of all the recipes designed to increase our spiritual understanding, this must be the greatest. Directly from the Savior, we are given a three-step instruction: 1) ponder, 2) pray for understanding, and 3) prepare your minds for more. Oliver Cowdery is famous for failing to translate because he skipped steps 1 and 3, Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me. But behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me (DC 9:7-8, italics added).  (http://www.gospeldoctrine.com/)
"We might ask why the scriptures have to be pondered to be understood and appreciated. After all, we don't need to ponder newspapers or magazines. We understand them at a first reading. What makes the scriptures different?  An analogy might help. The scriptures are like a symphony. The problem with a symphony, if it can be called a problem, is that there is so much going on at the same time that an inexperienced listener feels bewildered, not knowing what to listen for, or how to make sense of everything. But the music lover knows what to do. He picks out a theme carried by the string section, compares it to a variation on that theme by the oboes, and hears the composer being playful or reflective or joyful. Unlike the novice, he hears and feels the effects of the details that give the symphony, in all its complexity, its power and impact." (Dennis and Sandra Packard, "Pondering the Word," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, p. 51)
President Gordon B. Hinckley said:
"We all do a lot of studying, but most of us don't do much meditation. We don't take time to think. I'd like to suggest that next fast day . . . everybody in this hall set aside an hour or two. Sit by yourself. Go in the bedroom and lock the door. Go out in the yard under a tree. Go in your study if you have one and shut the door, and think about yourself and your worthiness. Read from this great book [Book of Mormon]...There's a great word that's used, 'ponder.'
"'Ponder.' What do we mean by 'ponder'? Well, I think it simply means kind of quietly thinking things through. Ponder what you have read. Ponder your life. Are you worthy, are you living the commandments...?" (Church News, 01/06/96)
These passages made me think about how I spend my day. I don't ponder and meditate often enough,  but when I do, my day is so much more peaceful and there is less worrying about myself and more concern for others.

Another favorite scripture:  Psalms 46:10.  Be still, and know that I am God.

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