Monday, August 4, 2014

Scripture Study for Dummies

I was going to entitle this post: 

Scripture Study for the Busy Moms of Five Kids who Have a Hard Time Getting Them all to Put Two Shoes on Before Church 


Scripture Study for the Scripture Genius Who Took all 4 years of Seminary, Every Religious Class BYU Offered, and Has Read the Book of Mormon at Least a Hundred Times EXCEPT Doesn't Know How to Change Things Up


Scripture study for the Single Adult Who Has Made the Time to Study but Still Finds that Something is Missing When They Read the Gospel Works

BUT, I decided to go with:

cover of pretend scripture study for dummies
Sorry, not an actual book :) - source.

Now that isn't to say that we are all unintelligent (the fact that we are all reading this shows how smart we are in spiritual things and that we value Christ in our lives and our commitment to doing what we can to return to Him), but that maybe we need to get back to the root of things, the basics of why and how we should do something like read an ancient book about a people who didn't have to deal with the plethora of things we deal with today.

Now I could tell you all about how my family recommitted a few years ago to reading the scriptures and made it nearly six months without missing a day. Or I could tell you about how we slowly got caught up in the world and our study drifted until we were only doing it all together once a week. Instead of talking about me and my successes or failures with scripture study, let's GET REAL. 

1.) There's an app for that 
         A. LDS Scripture Mastery App - fast ways to memorize scriptures
         B. - have a scripture texted or emailed to you everyday
         C. LDS Daily Verse App - read a verse a day
         D. LDS Daily Conference Quote - read a quote from conference everyday

Check out these FREE apps/websites to help you get your scripture study done. With all these new electronic programs, we really have no excuse right?

Consider what Richard G. Scott said in October 2014 General Conference 

"Don’t yield to Satan’s lie that you don’t have time to study the scriptures. Choose to take time to study them. Feasting on the word of God each day is more important than sleep, school, work, television shows, video games, or social media. You may need to reorganize your priorities to provide time for the study of the word of God. If so, do it!"

Yep, you read that right. Scripture study is more important than sleep, school, work, television shows, video games, or social media. No excuses.

2.) Keep it in the open - Most of us have the electronic option for scriptures and I think it's great! Sometimes, though, we don't get that reminder because we use our phones and tablets for other things.  I like to keep a large set of scriptures in our living room where I see it everyday and we use everyday. Other options: Scriptures by your bed, on your kids' nightstand, on the coffee table, in the bathroom, etc (tape a scripture to your mirror).

3.) Commit! - Make a chart or bookmark for yourself or for you and/or your kids or spouse fill in together. Put in on the side of the fridge or out in the open so you can mark off what you have read. MAKE GOALS, even if that is just to read one scripture or talk about one story every day. Read the New Testament cover to cover. Read the lesson before church each Sunday. One conference talk a week.
Book of Mormon Reading Chart/Bookmark from The Idea Door

4.) If you continue to think as you've always thought, you continue to get what you've always got - Change it up, my friends! If you always read a chapter, do something different like pick a word for the week and read everything you can on that word (read this article I wrote about my marathon training and choosing inspirational words). Only read the Book of Mormon? Give the New Testament a go of it. The Ensign is a great place to read scriptures and get messages from latter-day prophets. 

Here's a little method I like to use to keep things interesting:

making scripture study easy and inspiring every day of the week

5.) Give yourself credit - Daily scripture study does not necessarily mean sitting with the scriptures open on your lap with your family sitting around you holding their red colored pencils and a copy of Preach My Gospel next to them. That is great and should happen often. But some days, daily scripture study can be asking your child to say an article of faith before bed, reading a verse at the dinner table, acting out a scripture story at FHE, reading a picture scripture book before bed, watching a conference talk, or listening to the scriptures on your phone while you cool down from a run. 


Life is HARD. Anyone who tells you differently has yet to LIVE.

The scriptures carry with them stories about other people's lives, commandments to live by, knowledge, and people to follow. These things are all important and help us grow as Latter-day Saints and just good all round people. 

We read the scriptures to show Heavenly Father our commitment to Him and the covenants we have made. We read to learn from other's mistakes. We read to come together as families or companions. We read to learn about our heritage and history.

In the end, the most important part of scripture study is how it changes us. It makes us FEEL. We are not perfect. We never will be in this life, no matter how many minutes we read, how many scriptures we have memorized, or the general authorities we can quote. We CAN, however, grow closer to our Heavenly Father. Reading the scriptures is how Heavenly Father talks to us, how we get to know Him. We read to gain a testimony and to strengthen the one we already have. 

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