Six Hows of Scripture Study

Scripture study is a personal matter.

Photo by Ben White

People at church always say that we need to study our scriptures. But how can we actually have meaningful experiences with scripture study?

For a long time, I struggled with studying the scriptures. I was always jealous of how other people had meaningful experiences with the scriptures, and I felt guilty that I wasn’t having the same experiences. But I could never figure out the “right” way to study my scriptures. Then, I stumbled upon a speech that Elder David A. Bednar gave called “Understanding the Importance of Scripture Study.”

It turns out that scripture study can be easy! Elder Bednar suggests we do six simple things to improve our scripture study time:

  1. Pray for understanding and invite the help of the Holy Ghost.
  2. Work.
  3. Be consistent in terms of time and place.
  4. Ponder.
  5. Look for connections, patterns, and parallels in the scriptures.
  6. Record thoughts and feelings.

That’s it. Scripture study can be very easy and simple, so we should never feel guilty about the scripture study habits we adopt. Elder Bednar doesn’t tell us to use a specific marking technique or how to record the impressions that come to us. The way we study (topic, time spent, etc.) needs to be decided on an individual basis, but we should all use Elder Bednar’s suggestions.

By no means has applying these steps made me perfect at studying my scriptures. However, I have received comfort and answers as a result of my efforts to understand the way I should study.

Read Elder Bednar’s full address, “Understanding the Importance of Scripture Study,” to learn more about the importance of scripture study and about effective scripture study habits.

Source: BYU-Idaho Speeches

—Naomi Hurd, Mormon Insights

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Find more insights

To learn how Stephanie Nielson and her husband study the scriptures, check out “Self Reliance: Personal Scripture Study.”  

Use the tips in Preach My Gospel chapter 2 (“How Do I Study Effectively and Prepare to Teach?”) to add more study tools to your belt.

Read Paul Vandenberghe’s suggestions on how to have a “Successful Scripture Study” session.

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  1. I know I could always do better in my scripture study! These are useful tips. I especially like the last one about keeping a record. Making notes of thoughts/impressions I have while reading is definitely something I want to work on.

  2. I really like how you point out that Elder Bednar didn’t say how exactly we should do our scripture study but rather lists some nob-specific ways we can improve. What I got from the scriptures really took a nosedive a while ago, and I found myself just reading them so that I could check off “scripture reading.” I’m trying to really get back into scripture study, and it is a lot of work at times like you point out. But your article is really encouraging and helped remind me why I want to get back to sincere scripture study.

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