Ideas to Improve Your Personal Scripture Study
    Footnotes

    “Ideas to Improve Your Personal Scripture Study,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)

    “Ideas to Improve Your Personal Scripture Study,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2020

    woman studying scriptures

    Ideas to Improve Your Personal Scripture Study

    Here are some simple ways to enhance your study of the word of God in the scriptures.

    Look for Truths about Jesus Christ

    The scriptures teach us that all things testify of Christ (see 2 Nephi 11:4; Moses 6:63), so look for Him in the events, stories, and teachings of the Book of Mormon. Consider noting or marking verses that teach about the Savior and how to follow Him.

    Look for Inspiring Words and Phrases

    You may find that certain words and phrases in the scriptures impress you, as if they were written specifically for you. They may feel personally relevant and inspire and motivate you. Consider marking them in your scriptures or writing them in a study journal.

    Look for Gospel Truths

    Sometimes gospel truths (often called doctrine or principles) are stated directly, and sometimes they are implied through an example or story. Ask yourself, “What eternal truths are taught in these verses?”

    Listen to the Spirit

    Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings, even if they are unrelated to what you are reading. Those impressions may be the very things that your Heavenly Father wants you to learn.

    Liken the Scriptures to Your Life

    Consider how the stories and teachings you are reading apply to your life. For example, you could ask yourself, “What experiences have I had that are similar to what I am reading?” or “How can I follow the example of this person in the scriptures?”

    Ask Questions as You Study

    As you study the scriptures, questions may come to mind. These questions might relate to what you are reading or to your life in general. Ponder these questions and look for answers as you continue studying the scriptures.

    Use Scripture Study Helps

    To gain additional insights into the verses you read, use the footnotes, the Topical Guide, the Bible Dictionary, the Guide to the Scriptures (scriptures.ChurchofJesusChrist.org), and other study helps.

    Consider the Context of the Scriptures

    You can find meaningful insights about a scripture if you consider its context—the circumstances or setting of the scripture. For example, knowing the background and beliefs of the people a prophet spoke to can help you understand the intent of his words.

    Record Your Thoughts and Feelings

    There are many ways to record the impressions that come as you study. For example, you could mark a meaningful word or phrase and record your thoughts as a note in your scriptures. You could also keep a journal of the insights, feelings, and impressions you receive.

    Study the Words of Latter-day Prophets and Apostles

    Read what latter-day prophets and apostles have taught about the principles you find in the scriptures (for example, see conference.ChurchofJesusChrist.org and Church magazines).

    Share Insights

    Discussing insights from your personal study is not only a good way to teach others, but it also helps strengthen your understanding of what you have read.

    Live by What You Learn

    Scripture study should not only inspire us but also lead us to change the way we live. Listen to what the Spirit prompts you to do as you read, and then commit to act on those promptings.

    man studying scriptures

    President Russell M. Nelson said: “If we ‘press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, … [we] shall have eternal life’ [2 Nephi 31:20].

    “To feast means more than to taste. To feast means to savor. We savor the scriptures by studying them in a spirit of delightful discovery and faithful obedience. When we feast upon the words of Christ, they are embedded ‘in fleshy tables of the heart’ [2 Corinthians 3:3]. They become an integral part of our nature” (“Living by Scriptural Guidance,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 17).