Art made by the talented Melissa Manwill
What if every time we read the scriptures they came to life like in this amazing drawing above??
I’m sure we all find that at times it can be difficult to study the scriptures. They definitely aren’t usually like a comic book or picture book. Sometimes we don’t understand everything. Sometimes we don’t have very much time. Sometimes our minds wander. I want to share a few tips and ideas of ways of things I’ve learned in order to make your scripture study more meaningful.
Find a principle and share it
Some friends and I started a group text where after we read our scriptures, we will share a simple part of the chapter that we enjoyed and why. I find that it makes me pay better attention as I read since I am searching for something meaningful to me and know that I need to be able to share my thoughts. As I articulate what I felt, I find myself learning more than I would have if I had kept it to myself.
Add your name
Often in the scriptures, you will see the Lord or the writer uses names. Sometimes, by replacing that name with your own name, you are able to find a personal application.
For example (D&C 25:1):
“Hearken unto the voice of the Lord your God, while I speak unto you, [insert your name here], my daughter;”
Instead of reading this as the Lord talking to Emma Smith, I can read it as him talking to me and commanding me to listen to what he has to say to me.
Read it outloud
Sometimes it is easy to get distracted while reading. By reading out loud, you are making it more difficult for your mind to wander and helping yourself stay focused.
Study by topic
When you feel like you are getting stuck in a rut just reading chapter by chapter and not getting much depth, go ahead and switch things up. Try choosing a topic and studying according to that topic instead of just trudging through a chapter. The Topical Guide and Bible Dictionary are great tools for this.
Keep a scripture journal
Similar to sharing principles, by writing something down, you are processing your own response to the scriptures. Essentially, you are taking the time to ponder about what you read and pull out something that was meaningful to you. Another bonus is that if you do this electronically, your entries can easily be searched for future reference.
Watch for commandments and associated blessings
Often in the scriptures, you will see the Lord will command us to do something, then follow up with a blessing of what we will get in return through obeying him. By watching for these blessings we can receive, it can be a great way to motivate ourselves to keep the commandments!
For example (D&C 121:45):
“Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God.”
You see that we are commanded to be full of charity and to let virtue garnish our thoughts. If we do that then we will be confident before God. What an amazing blessing to have – it certainly makes me want to have charity and be virtuous!
Test out personal applications
We learn in John 7:17, “If any man shall do his will, he shall know of the doctrine.” When we read the scriptures, we will get so much more out of them when we actually do what the Lord asks us to do. I recommend picking something to work on for a month or a week at a time. This is how you will truly know of the Lord’s doctrine and gain a testimony – by doing it.
As we do these things and strive to make our scripture study more meaningful, we will draw closer to the Lord and the scriptures will come to life. As they become something we love, we will want to share them with others.
What have you done in order to better your scripture study? Do you have any ideas you’d like to share? Let us know!