|President Harold B. Lee|
During this Christmas season I got a deeper insight into the "how" part of his answer. My father is now in his 92nd year, and still lives in the home Harold B. Lee purchased from James Moyle (Henry D.'s brother) many years ago located at 1437 Penrose Drive in Salt Lake City. I affectionately refer to Dad sometimes as "the curator of the Harold B. Lee museum." Little has changed in that home since Harold B. Lee's occupancy. Only Dad knows how many Harold B. Lee artifacts he still controls, since as his children we never have seen it all and get rare glimpses when he allows.
Book of Mormon
Divinity of Latter-day Work
Organization of Church
Law of Consecration
Signs of Times
Gathering of Israel
Baptism for the Dead
Outlines for Talks
1. There is no "one right way" to study the gospel. The Holy Ghost bears witness to each of us of gospel truth. Books, study courses and many BYU symposia over the years have suggested "how" to go about studying the scriptures. None of them, perhaps, is the one and only way you should do it. Listen to the Spirit. Unwittingly, I started with studying the scriptures topically as the topics came up in classes. I would exhaust one topic to my heart's content, then move on to the next and the next and the next. The gospel is truly inexhaustible.
3. I've always done what Grandfather did with his scriptures - inserting quotes from prophets that illuminate and interpret certain passages. You can do it by putting a line of Elmer's glue on a blank sheet of paper and gently touching the edge of your insert onto the line of glue and then inserting it where you want it within the scriptures. It will permanently be part of your scriptures thereafter, and you will find that the bindings bulge and sometimes can't contain the inserts if you have as many as me. But you'll have a way to speak from them spontaneously thereafter at a moment's notice.
4. However you choose to organize your thinking around gospel topics, the key takeaway is this - you gain knowledge on your own terms, at your own speed, and in your own time. This is what it means to have the Holy Ghost with you as a constant companion. You invite His guidance when you open the word routinely. You can't learn it from Harold B. Lee or anyone else. As you teach the principles of the gospel to others, you "own" those principles for yourself. It is the way, the only way, we will come to a "unity of the faith," as spoken of by the prophets. We must anchor our teachings in the scriptures.
Harold B. Lee was my role model in gospel scholarship and teaching. He had a personal standard he used. If he couldn't answer a gospel question from the scriptures, he would often say, "I don't know, and you can quote me on that." He would only cite quotes from presidents of the Church during the time they were serving as president. I wasn't sure until this week "how" he studied the scriptures, I only knew he had paid a deeply personal price for what he knew. I came to realize I could do the same for myself without having to follow precisely in his footsteps. It didn't matter that I have the precise inserts he used in his scriptures. That way I owned my own testimony and could be independent from his testimony. That was important to me. I never wanted to be his lap dog just because he was my grandfather.
It would perhaps be audacious for me to claim I knew as much as Harold B. Lee. But it is not arrogant to assert my gospel knowledge is the same as his because today I am intimately familiar with all the references he has cited under his topic headings starting back in 1927. I can say that at least Harold B. Lee and I have come to a unity of the faith in the same conclusions, but our paths might not have been identical.
That discovery gives me the assurance that someday we may all begin speaking the same scriptural language in the Church.