How to Get More out of Your Scripture Study
Hi friends! It’s Wednesday and I can’t help but think about the invitation from President Russell M. Nelson (the Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) about reading the entire Book of Mormon by the end of 2018 (get a free copy here!) What a challenge, but also something that has been so amazing already. I love reading from the scriptures every single day and I have found so much strength in knowing that there are women all around the world who are reading the Book of Mormon right now. Today I wanted to share how I study in the scriptures in a hope that you can find more answers as you are daily in the scriptures.
One thing I’ve learned over the past couple of months is to keep your scripture study simple.
There are so many study guides and resources out there that I truly do believe are a great help! They can help you get deeper into the scriptures. I love study guides and helps because they are amazing, but today I’m sharing how I simplified my routine and everything I have on my desk when I open up the scriptures and how I learn.
I was looking at my desk one August afternoon and I felt overwhelmed by all of the clutter on my desk so I sat down and really looked at what was on my desk. There were my scriptures, and my journal, and my scripture study journal, and my bible study from The Daily Grace Co., and I felt so overwhelmed by all of the things. When had my scripture study gotten so complicated? I decided it was time to go back to the basics (and organize my supplies so they weren’t just sitting on my desk all the time.
Now, when I study the scriptures I’ve got my Scriptures, a pen, and a notebook ready to go.
I start by asking a question.
On my mission, I started every scripture study with a prayer, and I do the same now. I would LOVE to have a set study time, but with a 7-month-old who’s schedule isn’t as set and stone as I want it to be, I study during Von’s first nap (which is usually between 9:30 and 10:00. I start my study with a prayer, asking God to teach me as I read His words and ponder them. Then I get up off my knees and I write down a question.
Sometimes these questions are things about the gospel, like “how can I forgive?” or “what can I do to strengthen my faith?” and other days my questions are “how can I be a better mom today?” “what should I share on social media or my blog this week?” “how can I make my home more Christ-centered?” These questions range from anything and everything just depends on the day. But I always start with a question. Questions help me focus during my study, and they also help me know what answers I’m looking for. And I think that when we ask a question, God is going to answer us (James 1:5)
Write down the scriptures that stand out, touch you, answer your question.
I take the time to write out the scripture, either all of it or whichever part stuck out to me, word for word in my journal. I do this because it helps me remember better. If I’m reading in my Journaling Edition of the Book of Mormon which I got from Line Upon Line, I simply mark the verse and write my notes right on the page! I take the time to write out my thoughts and impressions because then I’m more likely to remember it later.
I’ve always been a big fan of journaling/writing down my thoughts (who would have guessed, with me having a blog and all?) but I really do think that when we take the time to write down our impressions God is going to give us even more answers and knowledge. Writing it down shows God that we care about what we are learning and that we want to learn more.
At the end of my study, I read through all of my notes and I end with a prayer.
This is something I just started a couple of weeks ago. I did this as a missionary because right after my personal study I would have to tell my companion what I’d learned. Reviewing my notes always helps me remember the insights, even if I learned them moment’s before. I then take the time to kneel and pray and thank God for the things that I learned. I share what I learned and I ask Him to help me apply what I learned in my day, or to guide my thoughts as I continue to ponder on what I’ve learned.
Through all of this, especially the last few months, I’ve realized that when it comes to scripture study there is no right or wrong way to do it. Just open your scriptures, read the words and let God teach you. The purpose of my post isn’t to make you feel guilty if you aren’t doing these things, my goal is to share what I’ve been doing and help you improve your scripture study. The scriptures can be so hard to understand, but when we take the time to ask questions, write down what we’re learning, and thank God, He will continue to bless us with knowledge and understanding.
How do you study your scriptures? What part of your routine works the best for you?
If you need a guide to help track which chapters to read each day, you can get your copy here!