A large part of my religion is giving up our Sundays for church and personal worship, so I have tried to make it a habit and find some time to study my scriptures and discover what methods help me get the most out of my reading. It has taken me a couple of years to get into a solid routine, so don’t be discouraged if this doesn’t become a habit right away! And remember, what works for someone doesn’t mean it works for everyone. Don’t be afraid to change up your scripture study, because it should be very personal to you.
The hardest part of scripture study is actually getting yourself to do it! I find that the easiest way to make it a priority is to actually set aside a specific time to read scriptures. I don’t mean to simply plan to read “sometime today,” but to set aside one hour to really study your scriptures. The whole idea of this hour is not to spend the entire time reading, but to mark it as the hour in which you will end up reading your scriptures. As soon as that hour starts, begin making your way to your designated place for reading and spend a good chunk of time studying.
I don’t always do this, because I usually like to just pick up where I left off, but sometimes it’s helpful to plan what you are going to study before you read. This would be a great use of the hour you have already laid aside for scripture study. Maybe spend ten minutes max listing topics you want to cover or goals you want to reach. This way, you maximize the information you are receiving, instead of aimlessly flipping through pages, looking for something to pop out at you.
This may be super obvious to some of you, but it took me a little while to realize what a difference this makes. I think that every study session that begins with a prayer will strongly impact your life. You can pray for anything really, but I think that it is most important to pray for the Spirit to be with you while you read and for you to be open to any revelation from God. So many times have I been reading my scriptures, when I have received an extremely profound and personal thought.
You know that amazing personal revelation you can receive? Write it down! How many times have you had an amazing idea that you can’t remember, even fifteen minutes later? Write it down!! I cannot say it enough. You can also write down any questions that may arise, which then gives you material to study during your next session. Also, *side note*, I have a specific journal strictly for scripture reading, that I found on Amazon, here. Aside from writing in a journal, you can also write directly on your scriptures, which is what I like to do. I often write quotes around the border of my page (like in the picture above) or on a sticky note, so when I am reading that page in class or wherever else, I have something to share!
Make the most of what is given to you! So many editions of scriptures include footnotes with definitions and corresponding scriptures, so use it to your advantage! I like to go through the footnotes of each new page and highlight all translations and definitions, and then I like to circle the superscript, so when I am reading that verse, I remember there is additional information in the footnotes. You can see also see that in the picture above.
Do your best to remember a scripture that sticks out to you, even if it is just the location and context. There have been so many times where I have wanted to share something with a friend or in church, and I’ve had to pull out my phone and google a million things before I stumble across the right scripture. Plus, it just looks really cool and impressive if you can name scriptures and their references off the top of your head.
I love reading conference talks along with my scriptures, because you can pull so many good quotes out of them and write them in your journal or in your scriptures. They also take the concepts in the scriptures and make them more relevant to our time. Sometimes it’s hard to liken the scriptures to yourself and your situation, and I have found that conference talks do that for me! There are often stories that the speaker will associate with a specific scripture or concept, and that usually makes the scriptures easier for me to understand and enjoy.
Reading my scriptures has proven to be a light and comfort during some of the most difficult of times, and I hope to share this concept with you! Please share these ideas with anyone you feel may benefit from it, and let me know if there is something you think I could add to my routine!