When I first began this blog, I posted an article entitled, “Whoa! Hold on There Nellie!” This post was a reminder to myself that in my desire to fly out the door each day and share the gospel, I must FIRST follow the example of our full-time missionaries and the counsel of our prophets - and STUDY what I will be sharing – first.
I reminded myself that study, not just reading the scriptures, was essential. I committed to studying a little longer each day in an effort to learn more and to invite the influence of the Holy Spirit.
In doing this I have learned a few things.
First, studying the scriptures early in the morning works for me. It sets me on the right foot. It gives me something to ponder throughout the day. It is sure to be fit it, when it is fit in first.
Second, studying a little longer is worth it. When I think I am done, I keep going “just a few more” minutes. I could certainly use ”just a few more” blessings throughout my day. I most definitely need to recognize ”just a few more” promptings of the Spirit. My testimony grows “just a few more” steps stronger, when I do this.
As I have studied the scriptures throughout the years, I have tried different methods in doing so, some of which I thought I would share with you. In particular reference to the Book of Mormon, when I finish the book and begin again – I like to begin a different style of studying as well.
The following 3 study methods have been a few of my favorites:
1. Hold a pencil.
I find that when I read with a pencil in my hand – it is automatically drawn to the page as my Spirit catches hold on a particular passage. As my pencil begins marking passages with special meaning, I have the opportunity to read them again and again, slowly pondering the reason I was drawn to it.
2. Hold a notebook AND a pencil.
When the Spirit testifies to me as I read, I direct my pencil to my notebook and discover what it will write. Sometimes I have found myself writing lists of people, or dates, or other details which help me to form a clearer picture of what I am reading. Sometimes I write impressions of something completely off topic, but which I felt came by way of inspiration. At times I write synopsis of each chapter, in my own words, which helps me internalize and remember what I have learned.
3. Hold a much more durable notebook – and a much nicer pen.
This is my new favorite way to study the scriptures. The durable notebook and quality pen are used to copy the Book of Mormon - word for word.
I borrowed this idea from a friend who had “written” the entire Book of Mormon and was working on the Bible. I loved the idea and latched onto it instantly. I bought myself a composition notebook and a nice pen – and began.
I have found I absolutely love this study method. One reason I love it because it forces me to slow down. I can only visually “grab” a short phrase at a time as I transfer it into my notebook. I then repeat the phrase in my mind as I write it. Then, as I look back to where I had left off, I read it again before moving on. Reading each and every sentence in the book, 3 times or more, allows me to comprehend more completely what I have been blessed to have access to – the priceless treasure of the Book of Mormon. It helps me to really know the scriptures, and therefore know my Savior, Jesus Christ.
I love this study method for another reason as well, which is difficult to explain. I suppose I feel a sense of – connection to those who wrote it in the first place. I am writing the same words they wrote. I am writing the same words Joseph Smith spoke as he translated the sacred record. I am copying the words of God.
Studying the scriptures this way is a very slow process, but I am grateful it is so – for I do not want it to be over!
My friends, I testify that studying the scriptures every day, particularly the Book of Mormon, in the ways which work for us individually, truly brings us closer to Jesus Christ, our Master.
And that is my goal.