I love my current calling as Primary pianist. A few weeks ago the kids were practicing a song. I felt the Spirit as they sang:
Search, ponder, and pray
Are the things that I must do.
The Spirit will guide, and, deep inside,
I’ll know the scriptures are true.1
But a question also popped into my head. What if you don’t—as the first verse of the song suggests—“love to read the holy scriptures”? I guess the topic of reading has been on my mind lately because more than one friend has shared that they struggle with a reading disability. And many people I know simply don’t enjoy reading! Is there a way they can still have a meaningful experience with scriptures and develop “a testimony that they’re true”?
People seem to learn best when information is presented in lots of different ways, like both visually and verbally, and lessons are repeated over time. With that in mind, I tried to think of as many different ways of studying the scriptures as I could. Now, granted, not everything on this list would count as the thoughtful and in-depth scripture study prophets have taught is vital to our testimonies—some of these are just quick, fun ideas—but I figured they might at least prompt some fresh ideas of your own. Let’s give gospel study our best effort so that we can, as the song says, “come to understand” together!
Identify words that are repeated in your patriarchal blessing and look for those same words in scriptures.
As you study, draw pictures about your thoughts in a study journal or in the margins of your Come, Follow Me manual.
Build a miniature model of a scripture story.
Call a long-distance relative and read together over the phone.
Write a list of questions you have for God and then look for answers as you read.
Watch a video from BookofMormonVideos.org or BibleVideos.org.
Open the scriptures to any chapter and start reading.
Sing a hymn and then look up the scriptures listed at the end of the song.
Visit topics.ChurchofJesusChrist.org and study something that interests you.
Look through artwork online depicting the scripture story you are studying.
Read only the chapter and section headings of a book.
Play soothing instrumental music while reading out loud.
Look for ways that each chapter of scripture relates to the temple.
If you usually study digital scriptures, try reading printed copies, or vice versa.
Paint or draw a scripture scene or story.
Pretend like you were assigned to speak about a topic in church, and study for it.
After reading a favorite chapter of scripture, rewrite it in your own words.
Follow the footnotes in a favorite verse, then follow the footnotes in the verses you are led to, then follow those footnotes, etc.
Take turns reading verses out loud with friends and talking about what you read.
Use the Topical Guide to study a single word or topic.
Look up all of the scriptures in the notes at the end of a general conference talk.
Put a scripture somewhere you see every day and try to memorize it this week.
Write cards to people with comforting scriptures written inside.
Use the Gospel Library to listen along to the scriptures as they’re read out loud.
Diagram the timeline of events as you read the Book of Mormon.
Find a “scripture buddy” and text each other a verse each morning.
Start from the last chapter of the Book of Mormon and read to the beginning.
Read scriptures that include a testimony, then write down your testimony.
If you play an instrument, try writing a song that captures the feeling of a verse.
Ask family members or friends about their favorite scripture verses.
As you read, draw objects that are described, like Nephi’s broken bow.
Read and memorize the verses used to teach missionary lessons, found in chapter three of Preach My Gospel.
Read a book from the Bible that you’ve never read before.
Research the life of a scripture hero and write a biographical report.
Act out a scripture story as part of home evening or another Church activity.
Find a quote from a Church leader to go along with each chapter you finish.
Read the scripture study helps, like the Introduction to the Book of Mormon or Bible Dictionary.
Spend time in nature and think about how what you see relates to the gospel, then find a verse about what you learned.
Have your own ideas? Share them with your friends!