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Seek to know, identify with people from scriptures

PROVO, Utah — While studying the scriptures more than a quarter of a century ago — taking time to color code important gospel topics — Gaye Strathearn was first introduced to the importance of a statement in 3 Nephi 10:14: "he that hath the scriptures, let him search them."

Using this topic as the theme for her BYU Campus Education Week address Aug. 14, Sister Strathearn, a BYU assistant professor of ancient scripture, reflected on a comment made by one of her students.

"This student was complaining about the tests and said, 'Who cares who introduced Peter to the Savior?' " recalled Sister Strathearn. "That comment saddened me, not because he/she was criticizing me, but because I had somehow failed as a teacher. That comment indicated that, for this student, Peter and Andrew were still just names on a page. Throughout the semester this student had not made the transition to the point where these people became real to him or her."

Sister Strathearn encouraged the education week participants to "read the scriptures so that people become real and meaningful to us; so that they become more than just names on a page."

"Can I suggest," she said, "that as we struggle to see these individuals as real people we not only draw closer to them, but we also come to better appreciate their teachings."

Sister Strathearn said that as she has sought to identify with individuals in the scriptures she has grown to love them.

"I am so grateful for their lives and their examples," she concluded. "As I read about them, I take heart that it is possible for even you and me to reach their great spiritual heights if we follow the paths that they did."

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