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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Analogy - Shopping at Ikea and Studying the Scriptures

We had a fun Sunday School lesson today. It was about Section 1 in the Doctrine & Covenants. The Doctrine and Covenants is the only book of scripture that has an introduction written by the Lord. We read and discussed that for our lesson today.

In D&C 1:37 it says, "Search these commandments..." This prompted a discussion on the difference between reading the scriptures and searching the scriptures.

Someone likened searching the scriptures to shopping at Ikea. Anyone who has been brave enough to shop at Ikea knows that it can be an overwhelming experience. Your journey feels like miles of arrowed pathways leading you from room display to room display. You weave through perfectly decorated living rooms, kitchens, offices, bedrooms, etc. There is so much to observe that even though you are looking around at everything you actually remember very little of the details. You may walk out with some random finds (like some spatulas, storage containers, a frying pan and plastic children's furniture), but usually you leave feeling overwhelmed and in a semi-stuperous state.
Wandering through Ikea is like casually wandering/reading through the scriptures with no purpose. It is a fine thing to do, but leaves you feeling unsatisfied afterward. However, if you go to Ikea searching for something specific, like let's say, a bed, you are more likely to find what you need/want on your journey. You can search through Ikea to find that which is of worth and applicable to you in your current situation. Sometimes you may be looking for a bed, other times a chair or a blanket, but as you search, you will find what you truly need instead of a bunch of sensory overload.

Another person furthered the Ikea analogy. When you arrive at Ikea, you immediately go up the escalator to the second floor and wander through all the displays to find items you need/want. This is like the initial searching in the scriptures for answers. Then, after you find your item of interest, you have to go downstairs to the warehouse to further search for the bin and aisle numbers that house your item. When we read the scriptures often times we must delve even deeper or search further to receive the answers/item we are searching just like we need to search more diligently at Ikea for our boxes of product.

The last person said that their favorite part of shopping at Ikea was the cinnamon rolls at the snack bar. You can't shop at the snack bar until you have finished your shopping experience. Likewise, we can receive our full reward after we have searched and re-searched the scriptures diligently.
As we visit and revisit the scriptures (or Ikea) we will find answers (or items) that we are searching for. There will be many rewards (or cinnamon rolls) that we will obtain as we search and study (or shop).
I got a kick out of the whole conversation and it actually made a lot of sense. I think I'll remember this Ikea analogy this week during my personal scripture studying (and you bet I'll be searching for my "cinnamon roll" at the end of the week!).

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