“Helping Children Memorize Scriptures,” Ensign, Dec. 2004, 64–65
One of my goals is to help my children cherish the scriptures. To accomplish this, I have used several methods to develop regular scripture study habits. However, I felt there was more I could do. But what?
One day I read the history of a pioneer ancestor who had been blind since early childhood. For many years he could not read; yet through his faith and knowledge of the word of God, he could quote long scriptural passages. After reading his account, I realized the answer to my prayers was to follow my ancestor’s example—memorizing “the words of life” (D&C 84:85).
We now follow a simple routine every night before family prayer to help us memorize scriptures:
Day one: Choose a scripture and repeat it aloud once or twice. We are currently working on the Articles of Faith, but in the past we have memorized favorite missionary scriptures and Primary scripture themes.
Day two: Repeat the scripture, but this time discuss its meaning. We have found we memorize the words more quickly if we understand what we are saying.
Day three and beyond: Continue rehearsing the scripture until all have learned it. Sometimes we each take turns repeating it aloud, and sometimes we say it together. Because we do this every night, we always have a scripture in mind before kneeling in prayer.
Memorization tips for young children: Since we each learn at different rates, our family sometimes moves on to another scripture before my youngest has fully memorized it. Watching her older siblings move quickly through a long verse overwhelms her, so we have developed other ways to help her have a positive experience. We encourage her to take part during our discussions and while we repeat the scriptures.
We also regularly invite her to repeat those she knows well, and we have occasional review sessions that help her—and everyone—recall scriptures we have previously studied.
This memorization process has helped us have regular scripture time, even on hectic nights, because there is always time to repeat one scripture. Our children have also gained confidence through their increased understanding and memorization skills. Like our faithful forebears, the messages from the scriptures are becoming part of who we are.
Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen, Perry Third Ward, Willard Utah Stake