Tyler J. Griffin taught a class on how to apply the Book of Mormon to everyday lives Friday evening, Aug. 19, as part of Campus Education Week at BYU. He focused on how to read a passage of scripture and find your "own story" and how to gain a personal understanding and connection with the ancient scriptures.
He said one of the keys of being able to get more out of daily scripture study is to "have some empowerment over the words" so individuals have a reason to stay focused and they don't zone out. One way of doing this is to pick out a cause-and-effect word such as "therefore" and apply it into their lives. By seeing the cause and effects of the ancient civilizations, people today can more clearly see how their actions and decisions will later play out by the "effects" they will bring later on in life.
He also told the class to be aware, and look for lists because the scriptures are full of lists that either describe the qualities of Heavenly Father, or the qualities of Satan. When you come to a list, he said, dig underneath it and ask if this is a good list, or a bad list. Is it a list of the qualities of Heavenly Father, or of Satan?
He said, "When you see lists don't see them as concepts, see them as a list of attributes that you're trying to become."
Another thing he told the class to look for are traditions because as they look at the traditions of other people, and how those traditions had an impact on their later generations, they can gain an understanding of how their own personal traditions will affect their lives and their posterities' lives.
He used the example of the Lameanites who taught their children that they were driven out of Jerusalem because of the iniquities of their fathers and that they were wronged by their brethren in the wilderness and in crossing the sea. The reader knows from Nephi's account that these are lies that had been passed down generation to generation to harden their children's hearts against the Nephites.
The traditions of the Lamanites is that they were "wronged." However Laman and Lemuel were never wronged by Nephi; in fact, Nephi was the one wronged and he told his posterity to love the Lamanites and to do everything they could to bring them back into the gospel.
Brother Griffin concluded that there are real wrongs, and there are perceived wrongs. The more individuals let the wrong fester in their hearts, the faster it will lead them to be wroth and angry. He said if they hearken to Satan's voice long enough, they will start to be like him. If they hearken to the Lord's voice long enough, they will start to become like Him.