Making Scripture Study Less of a Struggle
January 2023

Applying the New Testament to Your Life

Making Scripture Study Less of a Struggle

Don’t enjoy scripture study or Come, Follow Me? These tips can help you enjoy your time in the scriptures even if you’re short on time or motivation.

woman reading scriptures

Photograph by Lisa Chriss

I’m too busy.

The scriptures are boring.

I could get more out of a self-help book.

Have you ever had these thoughts about scripture study or Come, Follow Me? I sure have!

I read the scriptures for most of my childhood and young adult life because it was part of my gospel checklist—something I had to do, not something I wanted to do. Often I would read a quick verse before bed or even recite a scripture I had memorized before falling asleep.

Honestly, I found scripture study to be an unwelcome task I had to fit into my already busy day.

But what if scripture study could easily fit into your busy schedule while feeling completely interesting and life-changing?

I’ve discovered that it can.

But first, let’s tackle the “why.” We know we should study the scriptures, but how does it benefit us right now?

Why Do We Need the Scriptures?

Moses discovered the answer to this question when he was on his way to Egypt to free the Israelites. During his travels, “he saw God face to face, and he talked with him, and the glory of God was upon Moses” (Moses 1:2).

Moses spoke with God and saw the vastness of His creations (see Moses 1:8). When God left his presence, Moses collapsed to the ground for hours, completely physically overwhelmed by the experience (Moses 1:9–10).

Soon, Satan came along, saying, “Moses, son of man, worship me” (Moses 1:12).

Moses’s response was swift and certain: “I will not cease to call upon God, I have other things to inquire of him: for his glory has been upon me, wherefore I can judge between him and thee. Depart hence, Satan” (Moses 1:18).

In the face of the adversary, Moses stood firm. How? Because after spending so much time in the light, he could quickly and clearly discern darkness.

And in a world where evil is being called good and good, evil, we need that gift of spiritual discernment more than ever. We need to spend as much time in the light of God as possible.

How do we do that? Well, as Elder Timothy J. Dyches taught when he was serving as a member of the Seventy:

“Just as sunlight daily bathes the earth to renew and sustain life, you can daily brighten the light within you when you choose to follow Him—Jesus Christ.

“A drop of sunshine is added every time you … study the scriptures to ‘hear Him.’”1

We add light to our lives with every minute of scripture study, and that light will help us more easily discern—and stay away from—the darkness that surrounds us.

How Do I Make Time for the Scriptures and Actually Enjoy Them?

If you’re looking to improve your scripture study, you can try this simple method that has guided me to deeper and more enjoyable scripture study that can be done in minutes.

The method I like to use helps you find the point of the scriptures, the personal application of what you’ve read, and the power you can add to your study by acting on what you’ve learned, even if you only read a single verse!

Let’s practice together using one of my favorite scriptures.

In 1 Nephi 18, Nephi had just been released by his brothers, who bound him to a post on the ship taking them to the promised land. A deadly storm was raging around the ship, and death seemed to be imminent, but as soon as Nephi was loosed, he “prayed unto the Lord; and after [he] had prayed the winds did cease, and the storm did cease, and there was a great calm” (1 Nephi 18:21).

Don’t you love that? In the middle of a raging tempest, Nephi took time to pray. This prayer ended up being the very thing that stopped the deadly storm.

Now let’s dive even further into this verse using the three parts of this method: point, personal, and power.

First, let’s find the point. Now that you’ve read Nephi’s words, it’s time to focus on the point by asking yourself these questions: What is the point of this scripture? What is God trying to teach me?

To me, the point of Nephi’s words is that God can help bring peace to our lives if we turn to Him in prayer.

Second, let’s make it personal. Now that we’ve found the point of the scripture, let’s ask these questions: What does this have to do with my personal life? Am I living this principle?

Using Nephi’s experience, we might ponder how often and how quickly we turn to God for help in times of trouble. I know that I sometimes turn to Google first and God second when troubles arrive. This scripture helps me realize that God should always come first!

Last of all, we’re going to add some power. We can ask ourselves this question: How can I add power and apply this to my life? This is an opportunity to be a doer of the word and not a hearer only (see James 1:22).

Using Nephi as our example, we might decide to immediately say a prayer seeking God’s guidance on a problem we’re experiencing—whether it’s a difficult work assignment, relationship issues, or a struggling testimony. We will add power to our study by taking small, quick actions based on what we’ve learned.

Do you see what we just did? In a matter of minutes, we tackled a single verse, found the point of it, related it to our personal lives, and added power to it by taking action.

Talk about adding a burst of spiritual light to your day!

As President Russell M. Nelson recently counseled: “Become an engaged learner. Immerse yourself in the scriptures to understand better Christ’s mission and ministry. Know the doctrine of Christ so that you understand its power for your life.”2

So can scripture study change your life? Yes!

Does it have to take forever? No!

Even if you only have a few minutes, you can create a powerful source of spiritual light from the scriptures every single day.