“Beating the Scripture-Study Squeeze,” Ensign, Apr. 1992, 73
There are days in my busy household when some things don’t get done according to schedule. Soup or cereal occasionally replaces a well-balanced meal. Sometimes I’m unable to finish the laundry and we have to make do. And once in a while the gerbils miss a feeding on the days of baseball practices and piano lessons.
One thing I like to do every day but sometimes don’t get to is my personal scripture study. I’ve accepted that there will be days when my scripture study will suffer because other important things will demand my immediate attention. But just as I don’t give up trying to have well-balanced dinners every day, I don’t give up trying to have daily scripture study.
The following ideas help me get the most benefit possible from my scripture study despite the distractions that inevitably come up.
I don’t mark my progress on a chart. I’m not competing in a race; I’m seeking to gain knowledge and strengthen my testimony. A progress chart cannot measure the fruits of my study.
I include scripture study on my daily task list as an item separate from the task of preparing for my Church calling. If my week gets hectic and I’m still doing Monday’s tasks on Thursday, I will not berate myself for falling behind in my scripture study.
I don’t predetermine my study time. As free moments occur in my schedule, I take advantage of those quiet, unhurried times when I can read and ponder the scriptures under the influence of the Holy Ghost. And free moments occur often. The difficulty is not in finding them but rather in scheduling them in advance.
I study by topic as well as by reading the standard works in sequence. Sometimes much of my study involves reading footnotes and cross-references. Whatever approach I use, I always make it a point to enjoy the scriptures.
I study because I love the scriptures. I am not preoccupied with commentaries about the scriptures. I believe it is important to learn the gospel from the scriptures themselves. I want to become familiar with the words of the Lord so I can hear his voice and follow him. (See John 10:27.)—Julie Cannon Markham, Houston, Texas