Ideas to Improve Your Family Scripture Study
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“Ideas to Improve Your Family Scripture Study,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)

“Ideas to Improve Your Family Scripture Study,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2021

Family Reads Scriptures

Ideas to Improve Your Family Scripture Study

Regular family scripture study is a powerful way to help your family learn the gospel. How much and how long you read as a family is not as important as being consistent in your efforts. As you make scripture study an important part of your family life, you will help your family members come closer to each other and to Jesus Christ and build their testimonies on the foundation of His word.

Consider the following questions:

  • How can you encourage family members to study the scriptures on their own?

  • What can you do to encourage family members to share what they are learning?

  • How can you emphasize the principles you are learning in the Doctrine and Covenants in everyday teaching moments?

Remember that the home is the ideal place for gospel learning. You can learn and teach the gospel at home in ways that are not possible in a Church class. Be creative as you think of ways to help your family learn from the scriptures.

Activity Ideas

Consider some of the following ideas to enhance your family scripture study:

Use music

Sing songs that reinforce the principles taught in the scriptures. A suggested hymn or children’s song is listed in each weekly outline. You might ask questions about words or phrases in the lyrics. In addition to singing, your family can perform actions that go with the songs or listen to the songs as background music while they are doing other activities.

Share meaningful scriptures

Give family members time to share scripture passages that they have found meaningful during their personal study.

Use your own words

Invite family members to summarize in their own words what they learn from the scriptures you study.

Apply the scriptures to your life

After reading a scripture passage, ask family members to share ways the passage applies to their lives.

Ask a question

Invite family members to ask a gospel question, and then spend time looking for verses that can help answer the question.

Display a scripture

Select a verse you find meaningful, and display it where family members will see it often. Invite other family members to take turns selecting a scripture to display.

Make a scripture list

As a family, choose several verses that you would like to discuss during the coming week.

Memorize scriptures

Select a scripture passage that is meaningful to your family, and invite family members to memorize it by repeating it daily or playing a memorization game.

Share object lessons

Find objects that relate to the chapters and verses that you are reading as a family. Invite family members to talk about how each object relates to the teachings in the scriptures.

Pick a topic

Let family members take turns choosing a topic that the family will study together. Use the Topical Guide, the Bible Dictionary, or the Guide to the Scriptures (scriptures.ChurchofJesusChrist.org) to find scripture passages about the topic.

Draw a picture

Read a few verses as a family, and then allow time for family members to draw something that relates to what you read. Spend time discussing one another’s drawings.

Act out a story

After reading a story, invite family members to act it out. Afterward, talk about how the story relates to the things that you are experiencing individually and as a family.

Teaching Children

If you have young children in your family, here are some activities that can help them learn:

Sing

Hymns and songs from the Children’s Songbook teach doctrine powerfully. Each outline in this resource includes a suggested song. You could also use the topics index at the back of the Children’s Songbook to find songs that relate to the gospel principles you are teaching. Help your children relate the messages of the songs to their lives.

Listen to or act out a story

Young children love stories—from the scriptures, from your life, from Church history, or from Church magazines. Look for ways to involve them in storytelling. They can hold pictures or objects, draw pictures of what they are hearing, act out the story, or even help tell the story. Help your children recognize the gospel truths in the stories you share.

Read a scripture

Young children may not be able to read very much, but you can still engage them in learning from the scriptures. You may need to focus on a single verse, key phrase, or word.

Look at a picture or watch a video

Ask questions about a picture or video related to a gospel principle you are discussing. For example, you could ask, “What is happening in this picture? How does it make you feel?” The Gospel Library app, the Gospel Media Library at ChurchofJesusChrist.org, and children.ChurchofJesusChrist.org are good places to look for pictures and videos.

Create

Children can build, draw, or color something related to the story or principle they are learning.

Participate in object lessons

A simple object lesson can help your children understand a gospel principle that is difficult to comprehend. When using object lessons, find ways to let your children participate. They will learn more from an interactive experience than from just watching a demonstration.

Role-play

When children role-play a situation they will likely encounter in real life, they are better able to understand how a gospel principle applies to their lives.

Repeat activities

Young children may need to hear concepts multiple times to understand them. For example, you might share a scripture story several times in different ways—reading from the scriptures, summarizing in your own words, letting your children help you tell the story, inviting them to act out the story, and so on.

Make connections to their personal development goals

Family scripture study can provide inspiration for youth and children to set goals for their spiritual, physical, intellectual, and social growth (see Luke 2:52).

Family Activity

Teaching Youth

If you have youth in your family, here are some activities that can help them learn:

Invite them to teach

We typically learn more when we teach something than when we just hear about it. Give your youth opportunities to lead family discussions about the scriptures.

Make connections to seminary

This year seminary students are studying the Doctrine and Covenants. If your youth are attending seminary, invite them to share what they are learning there.

Liken the scriptures

Sometimes youth have trouble seeing how the doctrine and principles in the scriptures connect to their lives. Help them see how the stories and teachings in the scriptures relate to the situations they face at home, at school, or with their friends.

Ask questions that encourage pondering

Many youth respond well to questions that allow them to express their thoughts and feelings about the scriptures rather than simply repeating what the scriptures say. For example, you could ask, “What might the Lord be teaching you in these verses?” or “Why do you think this revelation would have been meaningful to the Saints in the 1830s?”

Make connections to their personal development goals

Family scripture study can provide inspiration for youth and children to set goals for their spiritual, physical, intellectual, and social growth (see Luke 2:52).

Be open to their questions

A question from a youth is a precious opportunity to share truth and seek understanding on a topic that he or she is genuinely interested in. Don’t be afraid of questions or dismiss them, even if they seem unrelated to the topic of discussion. It’s OK if you don’t have all the answers. The home is the ideal place to look for answers together.

Encourage them to share their insights

Youth have unique perspectives and insights to contribute to family scripture study. Let them know that you are interested in what the Spirit is teaching them about the scriptures. You could even ask them to share insights from their personal study.

Be flexible

If you have a youth who isn’t willing to participate in family scripture study, look for other ways to connect with him or her. For example, could you bring up the gospel naturally in your conversations or share a meaningful scripture in a way that doesn’t seem preachy or overbearing? Scripture study doesn’t have to look the same in every family. Some children may respond better to studying the scriptures one on one. Be prayerful and follow the promptings of the Spirit.

President Russell M. Nelson said: “I promise that as you diligently work to remodel your home into a center of gospel learning, over time your Sabbath days will truly be a delight. Your children will be excited to learn and to live the Savior’s teachings, and the influence of the adversary in your life and in your home will decrease. Changes in your family will be dramatic and sustaining” (“Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2018, 113).