Our discussion reminded me of a statement by Ezra Taft Benson (1899-1994). He was the president and prophet of The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1985-1994. Speaking of how best to benefit from scriptures, he said:
This seems to be a key to receiving personal revelation through the scriptures. There are various scripture passages which are especially powerful to me. And it's not because I learned something about them from a gifted speaker or teacher or from reading a manual or book or something on the Internet. I have learned in that way, but the learnings that have stuck and mattered came differently. They came because, as I was reading from the scriptures, I was taught by the Holy Ghost and enjoyed tremendous "aha" moments.
Always remember, there is no satisfactory substitute for the scriptures and the words of the living prophets. These should be your original sources. Read and ponder more what the Lord said, and less about what others have written concerning what the Lord said.
For instance, I could have read or listened to some wise person talk about the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt as a sort of parable and been impressed. But I didn't. I read that section of the Old Testament that I have read too many times to count, and was focused and receptive and suddenly it was all new to me! I was excited about what I was learning and made copious notes and enjoyed the uplift that comes after spending time with the Holy Ghost for hours afterwards. I still get a warm feeling every time I read those particular chapters of Exodus that had been just a story to me for many years.
In this day when so much of others' thoughts are available to us through the click of a mouse, I wonder if too few of us take the time to do our own thinking and our own pondering so we can receive that wonderful, powerful, personal insight and revelation. It certainly doesn't happen every time I open scriptures -- or even most of the time. But when it does, it's amazingly wonderful!