When I was in college I took a class titled “Keys to Studying the Scriptures”. Not only was it SO beneficial to me at that time in my life (the pursuit of my eternal companion), but it opened my eyes to a way to study the scriptures that really helped me find answers to my life’s questions.
I learned about TOPICAL STUDY.
Quotes about How to Study the Scriptures
“You should care more about the amount of time you spend in the scriptures than about the amount you read in that time. I see you sometimes reading a few verses, stopping to ponder them, carefully reading the verses again, and as you think about what they mean, praying for understanding, asking questions in your mind, waiting for spiritual impressions, and writing down the impressions and insights that come so you can remember and learn more” (“When Thou Art Converted,” Ensign, May 2004, 11)
“Time is always precious to busy people, and we are robbed of its worth when hours are wasted in reading or viewing that which is frivolous and of little value…. Those who delve into the scriptural library, however, find that to understand requires more than casual reading or perusal—there must be concentrated study…. Not only should we study each day, but there should be a regular time set aside when we can concentrate without interference” (“Reading the Scriptures,” Ensign, Nov 1979, 64).
“Developing spirituality and attuning ourselves to the highest influences of godliness is not an easy matter. It takes time and frequently involves a struggle. It will not happen by chance, but is accomplished only through deliberate effort and by calling upon God and keeping his commandments” (“Developing Spirituality,” Ensign, May 1979, 24).
“The scriptures were one of the ways God spoke to me—even when I was a child—about my needs, my situation, and my life. They still are. Since our needs change over a lifetime, God has different things to tell us at different times… – President Eyring
Why should we read the Book of Mormon on an ongoing basis?
Elder Eyring: The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ, and we learn about Him in its pages. We know that it has great power. It has the power to change lives. It has the power to convert. If you read it with an open heart, you will know that it is the word of God and that it is true.
What have you done to make your own scripture study meaningful?
Elder Eyring: When I came into the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Richard G. Scott suggested I buy an inexpensive set of scriptures and mark the insights and revelations I would gain in my new calling. So I did. But I went a little further.
I asked Heavenly Father what He would have me do as an Apostle. I wrote down what I felt His answers were. I typed, color coded, and pasted those answers in the front of my scriptures. For example, the first one was “I am to be a witness that Christ is the Son of God.” Then I read my scriptures looking for ideas that taught me how to witness that Christ is the Son of God. Every time I came to something, I marked it in blue. Soon I developed my own topical guide around what I thought the Lord wanted me to do. I have learned much through this process.
Going to the scriptures to learn what to do makes all the difference. The Lord can teach us. When we come to a crisis in our life, such as losing a child or spouse, we should go looking in the scriptures for specific help. We will find answers in the scriptures. The Lord seemed to anticipate all of our problems and all of our needs, and He put help in the scriptures for us—if only we seek it.
What can we look forward to as we consistently study the scriptures?
Elder Eyring: In time, if you truly begin to feast upon the scriptures, you will find that they become a part of you. I remember that with Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–85) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who was as familiar with the scriptures as anyone I know. I would sometimes listen to him and say to myself, “Now is he quoting the scriptures, or are those his own words?”
President Gordon B. Hinckley is the same way. His ordinary speech is scriptural prose, and even in his pleasant, easy moments, that prose is a part of him. I think he has a great literary gift, in part because of his knowledge of the scriptures. I was with him just the other day when he very casually pulled a scripture into the conversation and it fit perfectly. Obviously the scriptures are in him; they’re part of him.
We all can have the dream of someday having the word of God be so much a part of us that the Lord can draw upon it and we can learn to think as He does. And in the process we can come unto Him.
“I promise you, whether you hold the Aaronic or the Melchizedek Priesthood, that if you will study the scriptures diligently, your power to avoid temptation and to receive direction of the Holy Ghost in all you do will be increased.” – President Monson
An easy way to know if you are giving sincere effort to your study of God’s word is to ask yourself, “Am I putting forth real effort to study the word of God?”
Scriptures about Scripture Study
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
“And I said unto them that [the rod] was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.
“Wherefore, I, Nephi, did exhort them to give heed unto the word of the Lord; yea, I did exhort them with all the energies of my soul, and with all the faculty which I possessed, that they would give heed to the word of God and remember to keep his commandments always in all things.” 7 (1 Nephi 15:24-25).
“Feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:3)
“But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept… line upon line… here a little, and there a little…” (Isaiah 28:13).
“Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (D&C 88:63).
“But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage” (D&C 7:33).
My Thoughts On Studying the Scriptures
As it’s noted above, there are tons of quotes and tons of scriptures about why we should study the scriptures.
I feel strongly that studying them topically will be what’s best for me right now in my life.
Since I plan to go back to the meetings in Springville coming up (since Becky’s schedule is changing), I feel that studying topically in relation to the 12 steps will be appropriate. Granted, I may study about other topics I find from time to time or possibly even study topically based on a question I have, but this is a good base.
Here are the 12 Topics I want to study:
- Trust in God
- Change of Heart
- Seeking Forgiveness
- Restitution & Reconciliation
- Daily Accountability
- Personal Revelation
As I typed these topics, I realized that THIS IS THE GOSPEL of JESUS CHRIST. This is all part of the “formula” for success in life, both temporally and spiritually. It’s like the scripture in Mosiah 2:41:
41 And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and ahappy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are bblessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out cfaithful to the end they are received into dheaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.
I’m going to invite my friend(s) to study with me and contribute to this site.
I feel having them work with me will benefit all of us and keep us accountable to one another. I also feel our different insights will only help all of us “come unto Christ and be perfected in Him”.
32 Yea, acome unto Christ, and be bperfected in him, and cdeny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and dlove God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be eperfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
I’m excited to start this challenge.