“Windows of Gospel Study,” Ensign, January 2016, 50–51
Imagine a stained-glass window. It contains many pieces of glass, each beautifully unique in its shape and hue. Sunlight passes through the window, creating a beautiful mosaic of color.
Just like the variety of stained-glass pieces in the window, there are many ways to study the gospel, yet it is the same Spirit that shines through all of them to enlighten our souls. If you are searching for more in your gospel study or Sabbath day observance, prayerfully consider ways to invite the Spirit into your learning by using the suggestions below.
One way to enrich our gospel study is to liken the word of God to ourselves (see 1 Nephi 19:23). Ask yourself, “What will I change in my life today because of this scripture?”
Jonathan Ventura of Georgia, USA, shares the insights he gained as he likened Nephi to himself:
“As a young single adult, I never had much success in dating relationships. I felt tempted to simply postpone dating until after I graduated college.
“Then I read how Nephi and his brothers married the daughters of Ishmael, thus fulfilling all the commandments that the Lord had given to Lehi [see 1 Nephi 16:7–8]. Likening this scripture gave me the resolve to continue seeking for a relationship that would ultimately lead to marriage.”
Consider adding memorizing scriptures to your Sabbath day observance. “Great power can come from memorizing scriptures,” taught Elder Richard G. Scott (1928–2015) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship. It is like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change.”1
Identify one or two scriptures that bring you peace, strength, and comfort. Post them in multiple places. Memorize them by repeating them to yourself often.
As a family, you can choose a scripture to memorize together. Selections from the proclamation on the family2 and “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles”3 are also great resources to memorize and discuss as part of your Sabbath day activities.
To help with studying the gospel, try keeping a study journal. Write down questions and connections that come to mind. You can begin by simply copying passages that stand out to you. Why do they seem significant?
Another great idea for a family activity on Sundays is to give a notebook to each child. Encourage them to write or draw their impressions during family scripture study, general conference, and personal study.
“The more I engaged in what I was reading, the more inspiration I received,” says Rebecca Hunt of Kansas, USA. “The greatest lesson I’ve learned is how I think and feel when the Spirit is with me. It’s easier to recognize promptings of the Spirit when I regularly invite Him into my life.”
With access to a computer or mobile device, you can use the Church’s online resources at LDS.org or mobile apps such as Gospel Library. Items for download include scriptures, conference talks, curriculum, videos, and images. Families with young children can use Lesson Helps for Teaching Children at lessonhelps.lds.org for Sunday activities or for family home evening.
As an individual, you can use technology to set reminders for your own scripture reading. You can also subscribe to gospel messages.
As a family, you can share thoughts and gospel questions digitally. Later you can discuss how your digital messages helped.
Sarah Latchaw of Georgia uses her mobile device to share a scripture with her children before they go to bed. “I grew up seeing my mother study with her scriptures open on her lap,” she explains, “but my children often only see me study on my device. So I make a point to say, ‘Look, I am studying my scriptures; would you like to hear what I am studying about?’”
These and other methods can bless our lives and our Sabbath day as we invite the Spirit to shine through our own windows of gospel study.