“Building a Love of the Scriptures,” Ensign, Oct. 1999, 16
Mixed in with assorted impressions from my teenage years are memories of a Sunday School teacher named Brother Rick. He was excited about life and the gospel, and his returned-missionary zeal couldn’t help but rub off on his students.
Bursting with excitement one Sunday, Brother Rick told us he had started memorizing a scripture a day. He was enthused about learning the scriptures better this way, and he encouraged us to try it also. He assured us that memorizing a scripture a day was not as hard as it sounded; it took just a few minutes, followed by an effort to think about that day’s scripture during leisure moments that were otherwise lost. He promised us that the Spirit would come into our lives as we became more involved with the scriptures.
I was so impressed with Brother Rick’s challenge that I decided I would give it a try. We were studying the Book of Mormon that year in seminary, so I determined to memorize the 40 Scripture Mastery scriptures over the next 40 days. To my surprise, I found that with a little effort, in just a few minutes I could repeat a scripture word for word. The problem, I found, was retention: I would all but forget the scripture by the next day. Consequently, when I finished the first 40 days I decided to spend the next 40 days repeating my memorization of the seminary scriptures. After several successive 40-day efforts, I found I really did have the 40 scriptures memorized, and I eventually memorized the 40 Scripture Mastery passages for the Doctrine and Covenants and Old and New Testaments as well.
Brother Rick’s enjoyable weekly lessons in Sunday School not only helped me look forward to going to church but also motivated me to carry on with my memorizing goal when the press of other matters tried to crowd out my scripture of the day. After all, if Brother Rick could keep doing it, why couldn’t I? Oddly enough, I never told him about my scripture memorizing. He doesn’t know how much those scriptures helped me on my mission and over the years since then. He may have only dim memories of the Sunday School class he taught years ago, but I will always be thankful for the spiritual boost he gave me every week and the love of the scriptures he helped build in my life.—Duane L. Ostler, St. George, Utah