Sister Laurie Francis used the history of the Bible and stories from the Book of Mormon to teach students about the value of the scriptures.
Sister Francis works as the University Librarian at BYU-Idaho. She said in an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, that the scriptures are very dear to her because of the impact they have had during various parts of her life. As a young woman, she would read her scriptures right before going to bed. Now, she says, she listens to them while she's out driving between work or studies them in the morning while she eats breakfast.
Though the methods in which she studies have changed over the years, her devotion to and love of the scriptures has not.
"The scriptures and the words of our prophets can change us. When we ponder and pray about what we are reading, we can receive a witness of the Holy Ghost to the truthfulness of what we've read, and to what we should do next," she said during her talk.
The scriptures, Sister Francis says, were a luxury and a precious possession for those in ancient and modern times. Prophets to pioneers read and cherished the lessons contained in the verses of God's written word and also used the Bible to connect generations.
"Books for leisure reading were considered a luxury, but the Bible was a necessity. In addition to spiritual uplift and educational text for young readers, the family Bible was often used as the official family repository for recording births, deaths, and marriages," she said.
One of her favorite stories from scriptures is about Abish, a Lamanite woman who kept her conversion to the Lord secret for many years after her father had a dream that revealed the truth of the gospel to their family.
"I've always just really thought there was more, much more to that story than we read," she said in an interview. "She was able to keep a strong testimony based on a vision or a dream that her father had and she kept that with her. We don't know how old she was, we don't know how long ago her father had had that vision, but she kept that are part of her life and her beliefs and when the time was right, she was prepared to share that."
Sister Francis offered three steps to better improving scripture study sessions:
"1. Pray before we begin our scripture reading.
2. As we read, let's ask ourselves, what am I feeling?
3. Close our study with prayer."
To listen to her full devotional address, click the link below.