The story of Joshua is one of my favorites.  Joshua was the one who was able to lead the people into the Promised Land, an opportunity that was denied Moses and his generation as those Hebrews lacked the faith and gratitude to be worthy to enter. 

First of all, the parallels between Joshua and Christ are all over the place.  They share a name (in Hebrew, Jesus is Yeshua, which translated is Joshua).  Also, we see Moses' inability to lead the Hebrews to their final destination, which is a symbol or type of how the Law of Moses cannot lead us to the Highest Glory - only Christ can do that. 

But apart from all of that, Joshua is just a really cool guy.  After getting the Hebrews to the place they wanted to be more than ever, he spent the rest of his life reminding them of how they needed to live.  I would venture to say that those of us living in the Promised Land today can use a little reminding every day about Who is responsible for getting us here. 

In the end of his book, Joshua exhorts his people to "choose ...this day whom [they would] serve" (Joshua 24:15), and closes the verse with " for me and my house, we will serve the Lord".  And after that powerful statement, goes on to list all of the things the Lord has done for them, including leading them from bondage, showing them signs, showing them the way to go, driving out their enemies, etc. 

He then makes a covenant with the people and God that they will forsake all other gods and only serve Heavenly Father.  He writes this covenant on a great stone and sets it in a place where all can see it and be reminded of Whom they serve. 

What do we have around our homes that remind us of the covenants we made with Heavenly Father?

We could easily make the same list of things the Lords has done for us such as guiding our forefathers to this place, driving out their enemies, and specifically doing everything good that has guided us all to where we are.  Let us fill our homes with "great stones" that help us remember to be grateful for what we have, and also remind us of the covenants we have made to always serve Him.

Besides, by doing so, we will just find more and more reasons to make that list a lot longer. 

In a Priesthood Leadership Meeting in April of 1986 Ezra Taft Benson discussed the importance of the Scriptures (CLICK HERE). In this talk he mentions how hard the leadership strives to increase sacrament meeting attendance, get more young men to serve missions, improve numbers of those attending and marrying in the temple, and how such striving has a rather simple solution.

He says, "when individual members and families immerse themselves in the scriptures regularly and consistently, these other areas of activity will automatically come" (italics added). By immersing ourselves in the scriptures daily our testimonies grow, and we are more susceptible to personal revelation.

As if those blessings aren't enough, President Benson goes on the mention just some of the most important promises if we study diligently.

Study the scriptures to...:

1) Have Prosperity and Success: quoting Joshua 1:8 "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success" (italics added).

2) Be Healed: from Jacob 2:8 "they have come up hither to hear the pleasing word of God, yea the word which healeth the wounded soul" (italics added).

3) Recognize the Truth: President Benson mentions how when we are so immersed in the "doctrines of the world" it becomes easy to question the "doctrines of the gospel". The Savior promised "And whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived" (JS-M 1:37).

4) Gain Direction: from Psalms 119:105 "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."

5) Pull Free from Sinful Tendencies: Helaman 3:29 "...whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil."

May we all do as Spencer W. Kimball said and "discover the scriptures for ourselves--and not just discover them once, but rediscover them again and again..." (Ensign, Sep. 1976, pp.4-5). By dong so we will recognize the paths that lead us to our own Salvation.

Today missionaries are more effective than they have ever been due to the blessing of having the improved teaching manual "Preach My Gospel". It gives each individual missionary the tools they need to be able to teach from their own testimony and experiences.

Recently I decided I wanted to study the scriptures more like I did when I was a missionary. I remember what a blessing it was to jump out of bed, get ready, and then immerse myself in the scriptures every morning. In order to restore my "super powers" I went to the manual, and studied Chapter 2 (which I highly recommend to everyone by the way!).

The following are the tips I gathered that will make your morning devotional the best vitamins you could ever have.

1) Exercise & shower before study. Being alert is key to effective study.

2) Study at a desk or table (not lying down) where you have access to writing tools.

3) Begin study with a prayer. According to the manual "study is an act of faith requiring the use of personal agency". We must actively hunger and desire for revelation and knowledge, and ask the Holy Ghost to give us the inspiration we need.

4) Keep a scripture study journal or use your regular journal. Spend time reflecting and pondering, and jot down ideas as they come no matter how simple they seem, and never say to yourself, "oh, I'll remember that, I don't need to write it down". Write down tasks and goals as they come, then:

5) Live the revelation you receive. For revelation and inspiration to keep coming you must act upon the information you receive.

I was once taught about the importance of writing down EVERYTHING you are inspired to do while studying by a teacher who basically said, "the Lord will only continue to give you revelation if He knows you will continue to receive it". Carelessly discarding information may cut us off from future personal guidance.

Let us remember that almost every significant revelation Joseph Smith received was preceded by scripture study and reflection upon that study...