The Relief Society lesson focused on the scriptures. Much discussion took place, with several members of the class commenting on how reading the scriptures brought into their lives comfort, assurance, peace, understanding, joy and increased spirituality. Everyone, it seemed, was attentive to the well-prepared lesson.

Several days before the lesson, the teacher asked several sisters to prepare to share some of their thoughts or experiences pertaining to the contributions of scriptures in their lives. One senior member of the class gave serious thought to the assignment. She presented a two-fold perspective.

"There are many things I have learned by reading the scriptures," she began. "I believe the most important one is how I look at my fellowman. By that I mean to accept people as they are and not be so quick to judge, especially in my family. Some of my siblings would get on my nerves, and some I thoroughly enjoyed. I had a lot to choose from since I was the oldest of nine. The scriptures have taught me to always look for the good and you will find it, and now I can be around any one of them and not be annoyed.

"Another thing I have learned from the scriptures is how little material things mean to me. I don't know if it is because I'm getting older, but I know that understanding the gospel better has improved my life considerably. The more I read the scriptures the more thoughtful and considerate I am to my family. I'm always nice to strangers, but it's family that is most important.

"I don't listen to gossip like I used to and if I do I don't repeat it. When you change from the heart everything turns out for the better. It has taken me the past 30 years to realize this, and because of this change I have been blessed. Life is good to me. I know Heavenly Father made everything on this earth for us to enjoy and take care of. There is so much to love and appreciate. The scriptures fill my heart with love and understanding."

This Relief Society sister's message echoes that of the Psalmist who declared, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psalm 119:105).

Anyone who has walked in the dark can appreciate the value of a "lamp," be it a flashlight, lantern, torch or any other source of illumination that helps the traveler avoid obstacles that could cause a fall. Many children who fear the dark find comfort in a night light, and travelers returning home at night feel the welcome glow that emanates from a front porch's light.

We may view the scriptures as a source of light that keeps us from the perils of life's pathways, comforts us in the dark hours of mortality or lights our way to the glow of our eternal home.

"God has not left us in ignorance to walk in darkness," declared President Gordon B. Hinckley during the April 1982 general conference. "His word, spoken both anciently and in our generation, is available to all to read, to ponder, and to accept. There are many books among us and many preachers, and I find virtue in the words of all. But the truest source of divine wisdom is the word of the Lord in these sacred volumes, the standard works of the Church."

At the time he made that statement, President Hinckley was a counselor to President Spencer W. Kimball, who wrote in the First Presidency Message in the Ensign of September 1976:

"Besides the almost constant encouragement and prompting that we receive from our present-day Church leaders, the prophets of old seem to cry out to us in almost every page of the scriptures, urging us to study the word of the Lord, the holy scriptures, 'which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus' (2 Timothy 3:15). . . .

"Sometimes it seems we take the scriptures too much for granted because we do not fully appreciate how rare a thing it is to possess them, and how blessed we are because we do have them."

Further, President Kimball wrote that he was convinced that each of us, at some time in our lives, must discover the scriptures for ourselves — and not just discover them once, but rediscover them again and again.