“Ideas to Improve Your Personal Scripture Study,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2019 (2019)
“Ideas to Improve Your Personal Scripture Study,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2019
Here are some simple ways to enhance your study of the word of God in the scriptures:
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 New Testament. Consider noting or marking verses that teach about the Savior and how to follow Him.
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.
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?”
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.
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?”
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.
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.
Read what latter-day prophets and apostles have taught about the principles you find in the scriptures (for example, see conference.lds.org and Church magazines).
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.
Scripture study should not only inspire us—it should 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.
President Thomas S. Monson said: “As we read and ponder the scriptures, we will experience the sweet whisperings of the Spirit to our souls. We can find answers to our questions. We learn of the blessings which come through keeping God’s commandments. We gain a sure testimony of our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ, and of Their love for us. When scripture study is combined with our prayers, we can of a certainty know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. … As we remember prayer and take time to turn to the scriptures, our lives will be infinitely more blessed and our burdens will be made lighter” (“We Never Walk Alone,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2013, 122).