I have a friend, a sister in my ward, who is involved in a Christian Bible study group in her neighborhood. This is her first experience in such a group. They are focusing on Colossians; last I talked to her, they were still in chapter 2.
Needless to say, it has been an eye-opening experience for her. First, she has been deeply impressed by these women. One woman said that they had been sending money to an orphanage in central America somewhere, I think, and as a surprise to their children they had decided to take a vacation there for a week, so that they could all help and actually hold the children they’ve been supporting financially. That kind of story was commonplace among her classmates. The good that they do among the homeless and various groups of disadvantaged people was truly moving to her.
To the point of this post, she was also tremendously impressed by their knowledge of the Bible. The fact that they were devoting an entire class to one of Paul’s letters, which wouldn’t even absorb a single GD lesson in our system, was her first clue. She quickly realized that her own knowledge of the scriptures was seriously deficient. She has stuck with it, and at times it has been like trying to drink from a fire hose. But she is thoroughly enjoying the experience, even as she also has experienced a significant feeling of inadequacy.
As my friend has learned for herself, any Mormon who thinks that attending weekly GD classes for many years is the equivalent of such a Bible study is seriously fooling himself, I think.