Friday, February 14, 2014

I'm not an academic sort of person. How do I study the scriptures?

Why don't we start a study session and work on this together? First we're going to need some materials. A Book of Mormon to start with.
Ah! Thank you!
Now we need a study journal.

This will do.
Let's get a clock as well.

I don't think Mom will mind if I borrow this.
And finally, a Spiritual Enlightenment Enhancement Device. It works best with the pointy end down.

Ooh! Let's pick the red one.
Okay. So. Let's set the clock for thirty minutes. If you don't have as much time, you can set it for 15 minutes. If you have loads of time, an hour could work. It's whatever fits with your schedule. And you do have to schedule it in. Pick a time in the day that will give you the best opportunity to learn. Why do we set a time limit rather than a chapter limit? you may ask. The Book of Mormon isn't a chapter book or a history textbook in the normal sense. We want to be led by the Spirit in what we study.

Speaking of, we need to start with a prayer too. Gotta invite the Holy Ghost.

We open our Book of Mormon, get out our journal, and have our colored pencil at the ready. Now we have two options: Study by the chapter, or study by the topic.

Study by Chapter
So you're OCD like me and would rather read in order, eh? That's cool. I like getting the full picture and being surprised by what I end up learning. I'm on 2 Nephi 32.
I may have gotten ahead of myself. SO MANY COLORS!!!!
As you read, underline or shade any words, phrases, or verses that you like or that stand out to you. There is no wrong way to highlight your scriptures. I use different colors to mean different things. You can start with just red and work your way up. Like, verse 3 is awesome. And verses 8 and 9 have some parts that make me want to pray more.

Study by Topic
Maybe you're feeling like Heavenly Father wants you to study a certain topic, like Humility. The Index has bunches of scriptures on that!
Ether 12:27 looks good. Or how about Mosiah 3:19? I wonder what Alma 5:27 says? And if we look up pride, we can learn more about the opposite of humility and what not to do.

Now let's get a pen and put that blank paper to work. I guess you could use your pencil too. Maybe you can write down how Satan doesn't want you to pray, but Heavenly Father wants you to pray always. Or if you're studying about humility, write about how God has given us weaknesses to keep us humble, but that doesn't mean we're doomed to be weak.

Keep writing. Keep reading. Sometimes you'll read more than you write. Sometimes you'll write down more than you thought you read, and then some more. That's why we need to have the Spirit with us.

Our time is up, and you can get back to work. Now go about your day feeling far more refreshed and spiritually strong!

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