“Scriptures—15 Minutes a Day,” Ensign, Jan. 1982, 62
We knew that daily scripture reading would help build spirituality in our home and a greater love for the Savior, but we just didn’t think that our three-year-old could benefit from the program. Nevertheless, we made the decision to read the Book of Mormon as a family for fifteen minutes each morning after breakfast, and sure enough, it didn’t work all that well. In the first year we read 132 pages; we knew there had to be a better way to make scripture reading more exciting for small children.
When I was called as a bishop in April 1974, we decided we had to do better if we were going to encourage other ward members to have daily scripture study. By this time our oldest child was four and we had another two-year-old. After much discussion and prayer, we arrived at what we felt was a workable solution. We attribute much of our success to the following program:
1. We read the scriptures with the children five days a week for about fifteen minutes before breakfast.
2. The children are up and dressed at 7:00 A.M. to start our scripture study.
3. Each child has a Book of Mormon of his own, even if he is not old enough to read from it.
4. Each child reads at least one verse of scripture by repeating the words after either mother or dad, until he is old enough to read on his own.
5. After we finish reading each day, the children take a pencil and mark where we left off. This helps them find the place to start the following day.
6. To keep the enthusiasm going, we divide our scripture reading into units of twenty pages and mark each unit in the children’s books. As a fun family activity, and to mark our progress, at the end of each twenty-page unit we take the children out for ice cream, and the end of sixty pages we go out to dinner or to some other activity of equal interest.
Six years have passed; we now have four children. In that time we have read the Book of Mormon twice, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price, the first five books of the New Testament, and many Bible stories from the Old Testament; and we are now reading the Book of Mormon for the third time.
There are other rewards. Our children are developing a love for the scriptures and the older ones desire their own set of the standard works. Arnold Bateman, Rapid City, South Dakota