Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Bruce R. McConkie on teaching the gospel

Elder Bruce R. McConkie is one of my favorite heroes, even though I have always enjoyed poking fun at the way he spoke. (That oddly-modulated bass voice of his lended itself exceptionally well to my admittedly limited powers of mimickry.) Thus, I read with great interest this interview with his son, Joseph F. McConkie, which appeared in today's edition of Meridian Magazine, one of the websites I am almost certain to visit at least once during the course of each day.

I would never be presumptuous enough to claim any kind of parity with Elder McConkie, but he and I both share a deep love of the scriptures, which in my case has only grown stronger over the years as I have spent literally thousands of hours immersed in them. In this, I can feel a strong sense of affinity for the man. I liked the story in this interview of the answer Elder McConkie gave when asked how he had become so well-grounded in the scriptures, and I concur with his response, although I might not have answered the question in precisely the same way had it been posed to me. Just a couple of weeks ago, someone in our Sunday School class asked me how I had learned the scriptures as thoroughly as I had, and I answered by affirming that anyone willing to make the effort could do the same thing I had done, and that there was nothing extraordinary about it. Continuing, I told the class that I read out of the Standard Works every single day, systematically -- usually, but not always, early in the morning -- and have not missed even one day in 8-1/2 years and counting; and of course, I have read all of the scriptures from cover to cover, multiple times, in all three of my languages. I've had to wrestle with some bad habits during my lifetime, so I figured, why not cultivate a really good one for a change? It's one of the best things I have ever done, and my efforts in this regard have been well-rewarded indeed.

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