Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Ideas for Scripture Study: Personal and Family

Here is Part 2 of my Relief Society Lesson on Sunday.   As I studied and researched, I found so many great ideas and resources for really studying the scriptures and making them meaningful for ourselves, individually, and for our families.  I can't possibly implement them all right now, but I want to keep a resource of them to share with others and to revisit in the future.  So here are some of the ideas I found as well as links to some of the resources.  This is certainly not all-inclusive...and you definitely want to prayerfully consider what will be best for you/your family in your current stage and situation.  What is right for my family right now may not be right for someone else...and may not be right for us in a year or two.

Article I like on how to fit scripture reading into our busy days:  how-a-busy-mom-can-study-her-scriptures
Idea 1:  Work on memorizing scriptures. 
Elder Scott said, "Great power can come from memorizing scriptures. To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship. It is like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change."

  I saw a great idea to memorize scriptures related to gospel ABC's...you could even create a book for your children to read and reread to help them memorize the scriptures as well.  Scripture Memorization-ABC's

Music helps many people memorize things.  Repetition of the words and perhaps assigning a picture in your mind or an action to each part of the verse.   There is an app to help you memorize scripture mastery scriptures that looks really good.  (If you didn't know, some of the scripture mastery verses were changed a few years ago, so even if you still have good recall of the scripture mastery verses you memorized in high school, there may be verses you don't know yet.  At least if you're my age!)  There's also a free app that has scripture mastery verses set to music.
http://www.latter-dayhomeschooling.com/2010/06/why-and-how-to-memorize-scriptures.html   Good ideas about memorizing scriptures with children.

Meridian Magazine  had an article on memorizing that said this, "Each of these techniques— breaking down the section into smaller parts, putting it to music, hearing it, attaching great emotion to it, and simply repeating it—are all proven ways to help you memorize. You can listen to scriptures as you drive in your car. You can put a scripture to music in your head. You can think of a real-life application for the scripture that you care passionately about. You can read the same line over and over and over until your brain sees a photocopy of it. You can make flash cards, have someone test you, or make it into a family game. You can jot a scripture on your calendar or post it on your bathroom mirror. You can keep one in your wallet for moments when you have to wait, and can work on it."

2.  Read straight through the book.  Many people like to read the entire Book of Mormon quickly in just a few weeks or a few months to really get a feel for the story, the timeline and to notice doctrines that are repeated often.  Others read a chapter a day or a certain number of minutes.  With my children, we read one page a day.  When children are young, read the Book of Mormon stories and search for picture books that reinforce scripture stories (I own many books that tell scripture stories...but I also check them out from the library from time to time as well.) But don't be afraid to read the actual scriptures to young children as well.  They can learn more than we might expect.

3.  Study topically.   Choose a topic related to a question you have, a lesson you will be teaching at church or in FHE, or a problem you are trying to resolve.  Then search for scriptures related to that topic.  Many people recommend using different colors of colored pencil for each topic.  (I saw one idea for children to use green to show Go:  Things we should do, Yellow:  Caution, Danger, Things to Avoid, Warnings,   Red:  Stop!  Things we should not do.)

I love to study topically....and I especially love to connect my scripture study to conference talks.  I try to reread conference talks two or three days a week and then look up each scripture mentioned in the talk and read several verses before and after to gain additional insights.  About a year ago, I read President Monson's biography and was very inspired by it.  Over the course of several months, I read or listened to every talk he had given since he was sustained as prophet, recorded my favorite quotes from these talks and read and studied each verse of scripture he referenced.  It was a remarkable experience.   I just found that BYU has created a site where you can look up any verse of scripture and it has a link to every conference talk that has referenced that scripture.  It is called the   LDS Scriture Citation Index. What a powerful way to learn more about a topic, for example repentance.  You could study verses about repentance and then read each talk that quoted those verses of scripture.  See some more ideas  as well as the link to the BYU Scripture Citation Index here:  How to study the Book of Mormon

4.  Scripture jar:  if you're just getting started or your children are young, scripture study might be brief and happen at dinner time or breakfast.  One family I read about had a jar where family members put their favorite scriptures on a slip of paper and put it in the jar.  Each day, they drew one slip, read the scripture and discussed it.  What lessons did it teach?   Why did someone choose that scripture, etc.

5.  Use study aids such as footnotes, index, Bible dictionary as well as gospel doctrine study guides, institute manuals, or even books of commentary.  

6.  Use Preach my Gospel as part of study.  Preach My Gospel has many insights and ideas for studying the scriptures.  See pages 22-24 for ideas.  In addition, Preach My Gospel teaches principles and then provides scripture references to study that relate to the principle being taught.   We have been encouraged to use Preach My Gospel in our personal or family study...it truly is a great resource.

6.  Scripture journal to record insights, questions, promptings, things totake action upon.   I liked the ideas at this site:  Scripture-Journaling-with-Children

6.  Include prayer...before and after you read.

7.  Make it enjoyable for your children.  Allow them to read if they are old enough, even if you have to help them with many of the words.  Play a charades game with your kids where they take turns acting out a scripture story or a prophet and everyone else guesses.  You can have your children draw pictures of the events in a scripture story.    Play 20 Questions with scripture prophets.    Have scripture chases.   Scripture letters!!--Love this idea...Started doing this over the summer...hope to do one per month.   Writing-scripture-letters  (I also have to mention that she has scripture journals that she sells that look really good.  I haven't spent a lot of time on her site, but she seems to have some really good ideas.)

If you're interested in products you can purchase, here's a great list of available resources:  21-ways-to-teach-your-child-the-book-of-mormon
This article had some good ideas:  how-we-started-family-scripture-study-and-stopped-feeling-guilty

And of course, if you visit Pinterest, there are hundreds of ideas for scripture study...bookmarks and lessons and printables and on and on.

Challenge:  Decide to make scripture study a priority if it isn't already. Pick one way to improve your personal or family scripture study and begin to implement it today.

Since I issued that challenge, I figured I better take it.  Our FHE was on the blessings of scripture study and then I talked with my children about how we are going to change and (hopefully) improve our Family Scripture study.  I am excited about the change, and they seem excited about it.  I hope it will make our scripture study more meaningful.