“Go Ye Unto Your Homes, and Ponder Upon the Things Which I Have Said”

Joseph F. McConkie, Robert L. Millet

Two important points can be drawn from this statement. First, the Savior is placing a proper emphasis on the family and home for gospel instruction and spiritual experience. King Benjamin, when he instructed his people, also had the people organized “every man according to his family” (Mosiah 2:5).

They were taught as families counseled together as families, pondered and prayed as families. The most important gospel instruction and enduring spiritual impressions occur within homes.

“The family is the basic unit of the kingdom of God on earth,” declared President Spencer W. Kimball. “The Church can be no healthier than its families.... It is the duty of parents to so teach by example and precept that the child will fill the measure of his creation and find his way back to the glories of exaltation. Wise parents will see to it that their teaching is orthodox, character-building, and faith promoting.... It is the responsibility of the parents to teach their children. The Sunday School, the Primary, the MIA and other organizations of the Church play a secondary role.” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, pp. 331-32.)

“Go Ye Unto Your Homes and Ponder Upon the Things Which I Have Said”

Second, the Lord is teaching them the importance of pondering as an essential element in acquiring spiritual knowledge. The things of God are not understood through hearing or reading alone. True gospel instruction occurs only as the spirit of revelation teaches and testifies of the truths presented (see D&C 9:7-9; D&C 42:14; D&C 50:17-25).

“Man must take time to meditate,” President Ezra Taft Benson has taught “to sweep the cobwebs from his mind, so that he might get a more firm grip on the truth and spend less time chasing phantoms and dallying in projects of lesser worth.... Take time to meditate. Ponder the meaning of the work in which you are engaged. The Lord has counseled ’Let the solemnities of eternity rest upon your mind’s (D&C 43:34). You cannot do that when your minds are preoccupied with the worries and cares of the world.” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 390.)

Pondering opens the mind to intellectual insights and understanding and opens the heart to spiritual promptings and assurances. Hearing and reading alone could be compared to panning for gold in a small stream-finding occasional fragments of gold dust and nuggets; whereas, when coupled with serious pondering and prayerful pleading with the Lord for spiritual understanding, our efforts become like the heavy excavation that uncovers a mountainside full of gold veins of gospel understanding.

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 4