Church Doctrine 08, Scripture, Intermediate Level 200

December 20, 2021

Deuteronomy 8:3 in the Old Testament declares that “man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord.” When Christ was tempted by the devil in the wilderness at the beginning of His ministry, He echoed this scripture, “saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God” (Luke 4:4).

In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Nephi saw an iron rod leading to a tree full of sacred fruit representing the love of God. When his brothers asked what the rod of iron meant, Nephi told them “it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.”

“Wherefore,” Nephi said, “I . . . did exhort them to give heed unto the word of the Lord; yea, I did exhort them with all the energies of my soul, and with all the faculty which I possessed, that they would give heed to the word of God and remember to keep his commandments always in all things.” (1 Nephi 15:23‒25)

By Study

The eighth Article of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints declares: “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.” (The Pearl of Great Price, The Articles of Faith 1:8.)

Modern scripture proclaims that whatever the servants of God “speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation” (Doctrine and Covenants 68:4).


Study carefully the Gospel Topics essay titled Scriptures and follow each of the links for related topics, scripture references, scripture study resources, messages from Church leaders, videos, learning resources, stories, and teaching resources.

By Faith

Just as we must eat daily in order to keep our physical body in proper order, so too we must “feast upon the words of Christ” (2 Nephi 32:3) regularly if we are to gain and maintain spiritual health. Understanding the scriptures also requires following the principles and ordinances of the gospel.

An entire generation after King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon lacked faith and refused baptism. “And now because of their unbelief they could not understand the word of God; and their hearts were hardened” (Mosiah 26:3).

In the early Christian church, the Saints “were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness” because of it (Acts 4:13).

In the latter days, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery exercised faith and were baptized. As a result, Joseph recounted, “Our minds being now enlightened, we began to have the scriptures laid open to our understandings, and the true meaning and intention of their more mysterious passages revealed unto us in a manner which we never could attain to previously, nor ever before had thought of” (Joseph Smith—History 1:74).


As you study the scriptures each day, ponder them carefully and write down what you learned in each scripture session. Keep a scripture journal for that purpose. Be sure you are living so as to be entitled to personal revelation. Recording that revelation makes it more easily available to you the next time you read it. Once a month, review the entries for the month and consider what collective lessons you have learned.

Credit for the image at top of the page: Stock photo from

Author: Richard E. Turley Jr.

Richard E. Turley Jr. served for twenty-two years as managing director of the Historical Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and eight years as Assistant Church Historian and Recorder. He also served as managing director of the Family History, Public Affairs, and Church Communication Departments.

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