Two things happened in the last 5 years that altered my scripture reading, forever.
First, I was sitting at a lacrosse game watching my son play. I overheard a conversation from two people, where one was saying he knew someone who studied his scriptures for an hour. This man, being talked about, did it first thing at work before he checked email or anything else. I didn’t have the mental model for reading the scriptures that long. I wondered, ” Why would you do that? How would you do that?”
Hearing that conversation planted a seed in me.
The second thing that changed my scripture reading forever is when a friend gave me a David Ridges book, The Book of Mormon Made Easier, Part 1. I didn’t use it for two years, until my husband and I were reading the Isaiah part of 1 Nephi and we as we were slogging through it, I said, “Let me get that book Graham and Gail gave us.” David Ridges is a very clear and simple commentator. He changed the way I read the scriptures. He has little takeaways that I have incorporated into my mental library like, “Wickedness never promotes rational thought.” I started jotting his ideas down in the margins of my pages of scripture. I began spending more time than just reading to check off my list.
I WAS LEARNING HOW TO STUDY THE SCRIPTURES!!!
I also was called as Gospel Doctrine Teacher and needed to put more time into the scriptures in order to understand what I was teaching. Initially, that was more of a forced study because I was scared to death to teach.
I start early, in the early morning hours, and I light a candle and turn on soft instrumental hymns to help cue me to start my study.
The new curriculum, Come Follow Me for Individuals and Families, is so amazing. If you want to learn how to study the scriptures it is all on your phone. Everything is a touch away. There aren’t any stacks of books to wade through, or copies of the Ensign to keep on hand. It has never been easier to study the words of our Savior and His prophets. I also noticed recently on the Church website they have additional materials to enhance your study of that week’s theme.
My friend Karen Arnesen told me about jotting her insights into a Book of Mormon for each child in her family for them to keep forever. It is a tangible gift on how important the Book of Mormon was to their mother. I was impressed. Wow. What a gift to have from your mother! What a great way to strengthen your children’s testimonies. I had a daughter on a mission at the time and I thought, “I would like to do that for her. ” So I started–creating a piece of heritage that I could pass on to each child. I used a basic blue copy of Book of Mormon and underlined, circled, and wrote insights in red and journal entries of things she told us were happening on her mission in black.
I used a basic blue copy of Book of Mormon and underlined, circled, and wrote insights in red. I wrote journal entries of things she told us were happening on her mission in black. I used the yellow highlighter to highlight the Savior’s or God’s name in its many forms throughout the Book of Mormon.
When I immerse myself and use a commentary and these different pens, things really start flowing for me. I lose track of time. Give yourself plenty of time to do this Book of Mormon project. Give yourself 10 years. There shouldn’t be a deadline where you feel any pressure. It’a a pleasurable experience for me to lavish time and energy on it. I am now working on my son’s who is on a mission in Mexico City. They have Book of Mormons now that have wide margins around the edges. I also have been writing my insights in green pen on Cameron’s.
When you chop wood, you are warmed twice—meaning when you invest time in the scriptures for your children you are get the benefit as well. I have so greatly benefited from this idea of Karen’s.
Why are studying my scriptures such an important part of my Peace Practice?
Elder Lawrence C Corbridge Devotional BYU in Jan
“Conversely, the best of all human conditions in this life is not
the honors of men,
or even—dare I say it—good grades.
As wonderful as some of those things are, the best of all human conditions is to be endowed with heavenly power;’
The best of all human conditions is this heavenly power.
“Pay whatever price you must pay, bear whatever burden you must bear, and make whatever sacrifice you must make to get and keep in your life the spirit and power of the Holy Ghost. Every good thing depends on getting and keeping the power of the Holy Ghost in your life. Everything depends on that.”
What I do to sacrifice for this heavenly power? I go to bed really early. Ridicously early. On a good night I am in bed reading at 8:00 pm. I fall asleep by 9:00. Whaaaaaat? I know. Ridiculously early. When I was a young mother I was in bed, by 9:00pm, reading until I fell asleep. I had put everyone to bed and I was done for the day. As my children grew older I would still say, “I love you, AND I am done for the day.” My husband had the late shift and I had the early morning shift.
The fruits of investing this time? I feel calm, and I trust in the Lord more. I feel like I am being helped all day by the Spirit to remember what is critical, to be comforted or protected. I am helped to resist negative thoughts, and to be awake to the tender mercies that are before me.
I am here to say anytime I invest in the morning is repaid many times over throughout the day. What are you willig to commit to to harness this heavenly power?