Seeking Diligently (1 Nephi 10:19)
Hi, friends! This year, I’m starting something new: posts in which I ask and answer gospel questions that go along with “Come, Follow Me” Book of Mormon curriculum. All these questions come from my book “Ask, Seek, Find: 1,000 Questions to Deepen Your Scripture Study,” which you can learn more about at www.scripturestudyquestions.com.
(My hope is for this to eventually be a podcast, but due to some health challenges, I don’t have the time or energy for that right now. Someday though!)
Today’s questions are related to 1 Nephi 10:19:
💬 “For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.”
And here are the questions:
🔸 What do you think “diligently seeking” entails?
🔸 What resources are we blessed with in our seeking?
🔸 What mysteries of God, either related to the scriptures or to your own life, would you most like to have revealed to you?
1️⃣ So first, what does “diligently seeking” mean?
Ironically enough, the first thing that comes to my mind is what it DOESN’T mean—like quickly reading the scriptures at the end of the day because you told yourself you would, or worse yet, not reading the scriptures at all. Also, it could just be going through your rote list of common prayer phrases without even stopping to consider what it is that you truly want from God. To me, diligently seeking means to really spend time and mental energy on finding answers, and especially to deeply involve God in your searching.
I know that, for me, sometimes I get so bogged down with my trials that I don’t spend enough time with the one Being who would make the most difference in me actually getting through those trials. It’s almost like I’m living in two separate worlds. One world is where I’m struggling with all the challenges I’m facing, like with health and finances and family, and I get so focused on those things that I think very little about spiritual things. And then the other world is when I do give some time to God (to say a prayer, read my scriptures, go to church, attend the temple, etc.), but sometimes it’s so rote and habitual that as I do so, I’m thinking very little about temporal things (like the trials I’m going through).
Now, in reality, those shouldn’t be two different worlds. Because just imagine what a difference it would make if (1) you tried to keep a spiritual perspective AS you deal with personal trials, and (2) you focused on your personal trials and struggles and questions AS you do those spiritual things.
For example, tonight in your evening prayer, instead of just thanking God for your day and asking Him to bless your next one, imagine if you went off script and said, “Heavenly Father … I need help,” and you just let it all out—whatever is weighing on your heart, whatever is confusing you and making it hard to know what to do next, whatever doubts are chipping away at your testimony. And then, when you’ve given Him time in that prayer and listened for answers through the Holy Ghost, turn to the scriptures and expect answers. Because as Nephi said, “he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them.”
2️⃣ Now, the second question is “What resources are we blessed with in our seeking?”
When I first read this question, I immediately thought of the physical resources we have, which are many. For example, there’s the inspired Come, Follow Me curriculum, which is great by itself but even greater when you also take time to watch the videos and read the conference talks and other material that it links to. And of course, with the help of the internet, we have access to pretty much everything our Church leaders have taught for the last two hundred years, which is pretty incredible.
But then I realized that probably the absolute best resource we have is actually the Holy Ghost. Because when you’re diligently seeking answers—whether that’s about something doctrinal or something personal—there’s no greater guide to have on your side than the Spirit. In my book “The Holy Ghost from A to Z,” there’s a chapter about how the Holy Ghost can help us in our gospel study, and it says this:
The Spirit can guide you to exactly what you need when you need it. There are countless stories of people being led to that “perfect scripture” in a time of need—and you may have experienced this yourself. But perhaps the reason this kind of occurrence happens so often isn’t because of the scriptures themselves but rather that the Spirit is capable of drawing meaning out of practically any scripture. And He can powerfully communicate that meaning to you personally, applying it to your particular situation. In this way, “scripture study becomes the channel for the Spirit to give each of us a customized tutorial.” Comparing the word of God to the Liahona, the Holy Ghost is truly the one spinning the spindles that “[point] the way whither we should go” (1 Nephi 16:10).
3️⃣ Finally, the last question was “What mysteries of God, either related to the scriptures or to your own life, would you most like to have revealed to you?”
When I read this question, I remembered that on my mission, I kept a notebook full of gospel questions that I had, and during my scripture study sessions, I would often delve into one of those topics, writing down the verses I found and the insights I gained. I haven’t really done that since my mission, but looking back, it definitely helped me unfold some “mysteries of God.”
Now, as time has gone on since my mission, my life has kind of gotten a bit more complicated, and I’ve faced a lot more trials than I had when I was younger. And the reason I mention this is because that phrase, “mysteries of God,” has taken on a new meaning to me—not so much the questions about deep doctrine (like Kolob or the Millennium) but questions about my own life.
For example, consider the things you’re facing that are a mystery to you—like “How on earth am I going to make it through this month financially?” or “How on earth do I get through to my child when our relationship has been so rocky lately?” or “How on earth do I lose this extra weight that’s damaging my health?” or “How on earth am I supposed to balance all my responsibilities with work, church, and family when I’m feeling so overwhelmed?” THOSE are the kinds of mysteries that tend to weigh down our souls—much more so than questions about gospel doctrine.
But the beautiful thing is that the answers to those questions—even the extremely tough questions—can be “unfolded unto you” by the power of the Holy Ghost as you diligently seek answers from God. I purposely started all those questions with the phrase “how on earth” because very often, there IS no earthly answer to those questions of the soul. But there ARE heavenly answers, and I testify that God will reveal those answers to you “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little” (2 Nephi 28:30) as you diligently seek Him.
💭 I invite you to ponder your own answers to these questions as you go about your day and week. 🗨️ And if you feel inclined to share in a comment, please do!