Make the Scriptures Your Personal Liahona

Make the Scriptures Your Personal Liahona March 22, 2024

President Russell M. Nelson’s invitations at the Worldwide Relief Society Devotional solidly struck me as I heard him speak them.

Make the Scriptures your personal Liahona, the temple your place of refuge and recalibration, and your personal prayers the way you learn where the Lord needs you to be that day.

I’ve been pondering and studying a lot about signs of the last days and the reference to the Liahona and temple as a place of refuge and recalibration really stood out to me.


A couple of details about when Lehi and his family received the Liahona immediately stood out to me.

Lehi received the Liahona when his family was ready to proceed further into the wilderness and probably didn’t know exactly where to go.  They’d acquired the plates and Ishmael’s family, and the next step was to head to the promised land.

They needed directions to get to the promised land.  I’ve pondered on the need for a Liahona since Lehi received such powerful dreams and visions and decided that the Liahona gave the entire family the opportunity to work together in faith and unity. Everyone could see the Liahona at work. Each person’s faith/disbelief and unity/disunity mattered to the whole family/community’s progress.

Lehi’s family already fled into the wilderness.  This really, really hit me.  Lehi and crew were already living in the wilderness when they received the Liahona.  So many prophecies refer to the wilderness.  Here are a couple of scriptural references that I found particularly applicable to the prophet’s counsel to make the scriptures our Liahona.

From Nephi Returning to the Tents with Food, an illustration that accompanied Genet Bingham Dee’s “Living by Faith in a Wilderness”, True Stories We All Love, The Children’s Friend 24, no. 5 (May 1925): 204–206, here 204.

Doctrine and Covenants 84 offers a cautionary example and also a reminder of what is possible when led by the Lord to and through the wilderness

20 Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.

21 And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;

22 For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.

23 Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;

24 But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory.

Doctrine and Covenants 33 affirms that scripture is given by God for our instruction and enlighten by the Spirit

7 Yea, verily, verily, I say unto you, that the field is white already to harvest; wherefore, thrust in your sickles, and reap with all your might, mind, and strength.

Open your mouths and they shall be filled, and you shall become even as Nephi of old, who journeyed from Jerusalem in the wilderness. . . .

10 Yea, open your mouths and they shall be filled, saying: Repent, repent, and prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand; . . .

16 And the Book of Mormon and the holy scriptures are given of me for your instruction; and the power of my Spirit quickeneth all things. 

17 Wherefore, be faithful, praying always, having your lamps trimmed and burning, and oil with you, that you may be ready at the coming of the Bridegroom

18 For behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, that I come quickly. Even so. Amen.

Doctrine and Covenants 88 tells us that there is a voice crying in the wilderness, teaching us to sanctify ourselves and enter God’s presence

66 Behold, that which you hear is as the voice of one crying in the wilderness—in the wilderness, because you cannot see him—my voice, because my voice is Spirit; my Spirit is truth; truth abideth and hath no end; and if it be in you it shall abound.

67 And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.

68 Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will.

69 Remember the great and last promise which I have made

Doctrine and Covenants 86 reminds us that the church is driven into the wilderness, wheat and tares grow together in that field, and that field will ultimately be burned

Behold, verily I say, the field was the world, and the apostles were the sowers of the seed;

And after they have fallen asleep the great persecutor of the church, the apostate, the whore, even Babylon, that maketh all nations to drink of her cup, in whose hearts the enemy, even Satan, sitteth to reign—behold he soweth the tares; wherefore, the tares choke the wheat and drive the church into the wilderness.

But behold, in the last days, even now while the Lord is beginning to bring forth the word, and the blade is springing up and is yet tender—

Behold, verily I say unto you, the angels are crying unto the Lord day and night, who are ready and waiting to be sent forth to reap down the fields;

But the Lord saith unto them, pluck not up the tares while the blade is yet tender (for verily your faith is weak), lest you destroy the wheat also.

Therefore, let the wheat and the tares grow together until the harvest is fully ripe; then ye shall first gather out the wheat from among the tares, and after the gathering of the wheat, behold and lo, the tares are bound in bundles, and the field remaineth to be burned.

JST Revelation 12‘s verses about the woman (being the church) escaping into the wilderness to be nourished and protected and warred against are a startling reminder that we live in the last days and are truly being warred against.

Alma’s explanation of the Liahona in Alma 37 applies to President Nelson’s invitation in every way

38 And now, my son, I have somewhat to say concerning the thing which our fathers call a ball, or director—or our fathers called it Liahona, which is, being interpreted, a compass; and the Lord prepared it.

39 And behold, there cannot any man work after the manner of so curious a workmanship. And behold, it was prepared to show unto our fathers the course which they should travel in the wilderness.

40 And it did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day.

41 Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means it did show unto them marvelous works. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey;

42 Therefore, they tarried in the wilderness, or did not travel a direct course, and were afflicted with hunger and thirst, because of their transgressions.

43 And now, my son, I would that ye should understand that these things are not without a shadow; for as our fathers were slothful to give heed to this compass (now these things were temporal) they did not prosper; even so it is with things which are spiritual.

44 For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land.

45 And now I say, is there not a type in this thing? For just as surely as this director did bring our fathers, by following its course, to the promised land, shall the words of Christ, if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise.

46 O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us. The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever.

We have access to a Liahona. Whether our course is intentionally straight to the promised land, or not, is up to us. “The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever” in a “far better land of promise.”

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