Living Prophets Lesson 10: Joseph Fielding Smith

by | Jul. 29, 2013



Get the entire FHE lesson series on "Living Prophets."

Purpose: To help family members learn the basic principles of successful scripture study habits

Gospel Principles: Scripture study, gospel principles, knowledge

Scripture: Mosiah 4:14–15

Music: “The Iron Rod” (Hymns, no. 274), “Seek the Lord Early” (CS, 108)


Joseph Fielding Smith is considered one of the Church’s greatest gospel scholars. From his youth he exhibited a love of reading and study; he finished the Book of Mormon twice before the age of ten. In the April 1930 general conference, President Smith stated, “From my earliest recollection, from the time I first could read, I have received more pleasure and greater satisfaction out of the study of the scriptures, and reading of the Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and the work that has been accomplished for the salvation of men, than from anything else in all the world.” Joseph Fielding McConkie, grandson of Joseph Fielding Smith and former professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University, has stated that the secret to his grandfather’s effective scripture study habits was that he was consistent and intense in his study. Brother McConkie also shared the following seven tips for studying the scriptures successfully:

Know that it takes the spirit of revelation to understand revelation.

Remember that all gospel principles are absolute; from eternity to eternity they are the same.

“Seek learning, even by study and also by faith.”

Keep things in context.

Remember that there is a balance to maintain between gospel principles.

Freely seek help from sources that may exceed your knowledge—use commentaries and your common sense.

Enhance your scripture study by applying, or likening, the scriptures unto yourselves.


1. Print a copy of “Scripture Study Scripture Chase.” Cut out each of the scriptures and place them in a container. Have a family member draw one scripture out at a time and read it aloud.

Race to see who can find the verse first in their scriptures.

2. Make a scripture study chart, either for the family as a whole or for individual family members. Encourage family members to read their scriptures with consistency and intensity, as did President Smith. Set a goal to complete the scripture reading chart. Don’t forget a reward!

Additional Resources:

1. The Church News article, “How to Make Family Scripture Study Fun, Interesting,” gives some practical and easy ideas for improving scripture study in families of all types (published Saturday, June 11, 1994).
2. The Marriage and Family Relations instructor’s manual has a lesson (#16) that touches on family scripture study and family prayer. This manual is available online at www.lds.org and should also be available in the library of most meetinghouses.
3. The website www.scriptures4kids.com provides a variety of scripture study opportunities for LDS kids of all ages. There are also scripture-based games, reading charts, songs, challenges, and other resources available on this site.

Get the entire FHE lesson series on "Living Prophets."

11127All lessons are excerpted from the new book Follow the Prophets: 52 FHE Lessons from Latter-day Prophets.

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