“Ideas to Improve Your Personal Scripture Study,” Scripture Study Ideas (2021)
“Ideas to Improve Your Personal Scripture Study,” Scripture Study Ideas
Here are some simple ways to enhance your study of the word of God in the scriptures.
The scriptures contain the word of God. While you are studying them, ask your Heavenly Father for His guidance and receive His Spirit to help you understand them.
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 scriptures. 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 about 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 gospel truths are taught in these verses?”
Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings, even if they seem unrelated to what you are reading. Those impressions may be the very things that your Heavenly Father wants you to learn and feel.
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?”
Asking questions about the gospel can help you decide what to study. As you study the scriptures, questions may also 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. After your study, ask what more God would have you learn, and watch for answers during the coming hours and days.
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.
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 messages.
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. Or you might record the question that you asked before beginning your study, followed by the answers you were guided to.
Read what latter-day prophets and apostles have taught about the principles you find in the scriptures. Their messages are available in the “General Conference,” “Magazines,” and other collections in Gospel Library.
Read the stories in the scriptures, seeking to understand their context (time, place, speaker, and audience). The illustrated scripture stories are a great resource for this, especially for children and members less familiar with the scriptures.
Discussing insights from your personal study is a good way to teach others and helps strengthen your understanding of what you have read.
Scripture study can inspire us and 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.