Tag Archives: Scriptures

How I Liken the Scriptures to Myself

Liken the scriptures to us - President Ezra T. Benson quote

Church leaders, from Isaiah and Nephi to our modern day prophets have taught us to apply, or “liken” the scriptures to ourselves. In my life, this often takes the form of putting my own name into the scripture as if it is being spoken to me, or just thinking of it as if it were being addressed directly to me. Certain scriptures, when applied in this way, have formed foundational concepts for me – that is, they color or inform the way I think about life and the world. One of the most important of these is Isaiah 41, verses 10 and 13.


10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. 13 For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

This verse reminds me that I do not walk alone. I do not have to be strong enough to live my life without His help. I can turn to Him whenever I feel weak, inadequate or fearful. In fact, I don’t need to feel any of those things at all, because He is always with me. He stands by my side and holds my right hand. When I do feel those things, instead of dwelling on them or allowing them to control my thoughts, feelings and actions, this scripture comes racing into my mind and I turn to Him, pause to search for and feel His presence and His strength, and calmly face the situation. I am grateful for this reminder that although I am nothing without Him, He is always with me, and together we can handle anything life throws my way.

There are some passages of scripture that I liken to myself by rewriting them, changing the details so that they conform to my life and experience. This can be a very powerful exercise. The one that means the most to me is 2 Nephi 4:16-35, sometimes called “The Psalm of Nephi.” As my life unfolds, I modify my own version of it to be applicable to me in the moment. Likening this beautiful psalm to my life reminds me of my strengths and blessings as well as my continuing weakness and my need to turn to the Lord in each moment.


2 Nephi 4:16-35 (“The Psalm of Nephi”) Likening the scriptures to myself
  16 Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard. My heart is full with gratitude for the blessings the Lord has given me. I am grateful especially for spiritual insight.
  17 Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities. Nevertheless, despite my many spiritual experiences and blessings, sometimes I find myself obsessing about my shortcomings and perceived weaknesses and failings. I feel guilty and unworthy of the blessings the Lord has given me.
  18 I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me. I feel so disappointed in myself for turning to old behaviors and forgetting to turn to the Lord when I am troubled.
  19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted. And when I want to be happy and joyful, the thought of my weaknesses and sins comes to my mind. Nevertheless, I know where to turn for strength.
  20 My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep. The Lord Jesus Christ has guided me through adversity: through losing a child, a difficult marriage, divorce, losing my job, illness, starting over in a new city without friends, a new marriage, step children, losing my parents.
  21 He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh. At times I feel his love so profoundly, it seems to fill every fiber of my being.
  22 He hath confounded mine enemies, unto the causing of them to quake before me. He has helped me find recovery from my addiction and learn to recognize Satan and turn away from him.
  23 Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the night-time. He listens to my prayers at all times and gives me personal revelation.  He has sent people into my life who have sustained and supported and strengthened me when I needed it.
  24 And by day have I waxed bold in mighty prayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high; and angels came down and ministered unto me.
  25 And upon the wings of his Spirit hath my body been carried away upon exceedingly high mountains. And mine eyes have beheld great things, yea, even too great for man; therefore I was bidden that I should not write them. He has answered my prayers in glorious and sacred ways.
  26 O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions? If I have been so richly and abundantly blessed, why am I still subject to the whisperings of Satan that cause me to doubt my spiritual experiences and my worthiness and why do I allow myself to be distracted from my focus on God?
  27 And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy? Why am I still tempted turn to distractions (like computer games) and comforts of the flesh (like compulsive eating) to deal with difficult situations and emotions?
  28 Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul. I rejoice in the Lord and remember His infinite love for me. I am eternally grateful for his blessings!
  29 Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions. I will not give in to temptation and turn to any other source of comfort or strength than the Lord.
  30 Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation. I will express my gratitude in prayer and thanksgiving.  I will share my joy and testimony with the world. My heart will be turned to the Lord in each moment!
  31 O Lord, wilt thou redeem my soul? Wilt thou deliver me out of the hands of mine enemies? Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of sin? Lord, please help me to trust Thee completely, to know that Thou wilt remove my shortcomings and defects in Thy time as I walk in faith.
  32 May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite! O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness before me,  that I may walk in the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road! Because I am willing to turn to Thee in each moment, please help me to become deaf to the enticings of Satan. Please help me to turn my will and my life over to Thee in each moment and walk in conscious contact with Thee continually.
  33 O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way—but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy. Lord, encircle me in the arms of Thy love! Please help me to walk in faith and not stumble.  Please help me to always remember thee and know that thou art by my side always.  Please help me to recognize and turn away from the whisperings of Satan.
  34 O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm. Oh Lord, I have trusted Thee to guide me through challenges in the past.  I know that all things work together for my good when I trust Thee and follow the promptings and counsel I receive.
  35 Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen. I know that Thou wilt provide for me and give unto me all that I need, when I need it.  Please help me to bend my will to Thine; to want only those things that would be good for me; to ask for that which it will be possible for Thee to grant, and to be grateful and satisfied with each blessing Thou givest unto me.  Please help me to remember Thee in each moment and to be still and trust that all will be well.  I pray for all things in Jesus’ Holy Name.  Amen.
  • What scriptures have brought you strength and peace?
  • Try likening them to yourself, either by addressing them to yourself, or by rewriting them so that they apply to you.
  • How does using this technique help you to feel closer to the Lord?

Please share your thoughts about this post by commenting below.

Related Posts: Staying Abstinent: Using the Tools – Part 2Being a 12-Step Sponsor is Like Serving a Mission


Staying Abstinent: Using the Tools – Part 2

Tools of the ProgramMy last post was Part 1 of a list of tools to use to help you stay abstinent by turning to the Lord instead of your addiction, or other inappropriate behavior in stressful situations.  Part 1 described the tools of Prayer and Meditation, Meetings, Service, Sponsorship and Telephone Calls.  Here is Part 2, which covers Writing, Music, Program Literature, Scriptures and Talks. There will be a part 3, but it may not be the next post, because I have some other things I want to write about, so watch for it.


love writing. I find that when I have a pen in my hand I use a different part of my brain than when I am just thinking or talking.  If I just start writing about something that I am struggling with, I often find that in the very act of writing, my mind has become clear and I can see and understand things that were hidden from or confusing me. When this happens it becomes much easier for me to stay abstinent. For more on writing see my post on written prayer.


Music can change my mood in an instant in a way that few other things can.  Identify music that lifts your mood and music that helps you connect with the Savior.  Keep a written list, and/or a playlist on your electronic device.  Create or find a Pandora station that plays what you need to hear.  Memorize a hymn or other song and sing it to yourself when you need a pick-me-up. Listening to the right music can help me become willing to be abstinent!

I had an amazing spiritual experience with music that was an answer to prayer once.  It was a particularly difficult and stressful time in my life and I woke up one morning with a melody going around in my mind.  It was not familiar to me, but it sounded like a hymn tune.  I got out my hymn book and started turning the pages, one at a time, looking for a melody like the one I was hearing in my head. When I got to page 114 it jumped off the page at me.  I didn’t recall ever having sung or heard Come Unto Me before, but the words – and melody – brought such peace to my heart and solace to my soul! I have memorized and used it for comfort in difficult times ever since. 

Program Literature

Have you ever escaped from dealing with the reality of life by reading a novel or watching TV? Then you know how media can serve the purpose of distracting you from whatever is causing stress in your life.  The problem with using those things to escape the moment is that when you stop reading or watching nothing has changed.  I have found that turning to my program literature, such as the ARP manual, The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Al-Anon, or another 12-Step program, or He Did Deliver Me from Bondage by Colleen Harrison can distract me for the moment, and also remind me of the progress I am making and why I WANT to be abstinent.  Additionally I can find specific thoughts or principles in this literature that can help me turn to the Lord for the power to address the challenges I am facing, instead of my addiction or some other behavior that will not bring me peace or serenity.


The scriptures can also provide great insight and help when we struggle with life.  Use your Topical Guide in the back of Bible to search the scriptures by topic.  Use the footnotes to lead you to other scriptures that might be relevant.  Memorize scriptures that seem particularly helpful.  The scriptures contain direct counsel from the Lord.  If you are looking for guidance from the Lord to help you deal with a situation you can often find it in the scriptures. See my Resources page for some of my favorite program-related scriptures.


There is an awesome additional resource for obtaining counsel from the Lord: the writing and talks given by the General Authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  They are contained in the monthly Ensign magazine, and can be accessed  on the Church website.  The General Conference Addresses can be watched, listened to, printed or downloaded here. There are additional wonderful Devotionals and other talks given by Church leaders and BYU personnel which can be accessed at the BYUtv website or at BYU Speeches. Since the Church has created its own channel on Youtube, lots of great talks and videos are available there. Finally, checkout MormonChannel.org, another great site with lots of uplifting content where you may be able to find the guidance you need.

I have links to some of my favorites talks and links to sites where you can order the books I mentioned on my Resources page.