I’m so tired this morning. It’s possibly because I went to play ball at 6:15 a.m. – something I hadn’t done for a while. But it was good to get out and work out.
Yesterday I fasted about how I can hunger and thirst after righteousness. I feel the theme of the meetings at church was studying the scriptures and praying – at least that’s what I heard a lot.
As I’ve tried to study today, I found a couple really great quotes about scripture study and hungering and thirsting after righteousness:
“I find that when I get casual in my relationships with divinity and when it seems that no divine ear is listening and no divine voice is speaking, that I am far, far away. If I immerse myself in the scriptures the distance narrows and the spirituality returns. I find myself loving more intensely those whom I must love with all my heart and mind and strength, and loving them more, I find it easier to abide their counsel” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball , 67).
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. Sometimes I go to the scriptures for doctrine. Sometimes I go to the scriptures for instruction. I go with a question, and the question usually is “What would God have me do?” or “What would He have me feel?” Invariably I find new ideas, thoughts I have never had before, and I receive inspiration and instruction and answers to my questions” (Henry B. Eyring, “A Discussion on Scripture Study,” Liahona, July 2005, 8).
I finished reading the Book of Mormon last night. My goal was September 1st so I was just a few days off. I plan to read the book again and focus on specific topics. I think the three topics I’ll focus on are:
- Submitting my will to God
- Recovery & Deliverance
- Being Spiritually Minded
This time, I’m going to read the entire Book of Mormon and use three marking pencils for the different topics I’m studying. I’m also going to write out things in the margins. I’m going to only read with the actual book and not on my phone.
My goal to finish the Book of Mormon will be by December 1st. Here’s a good reading schedule:
What I think I’m going to do is read the day 31 – 60 first, then the day 61 – 90, then the day 1 – 30.
I also would like to try some of these ideas:
- Questions: Ask questions like “What did this prophet want me to know?” or “How can I apply this to my life?” Increased understanding comes as you explore the answers to these questions.Example: Mosiah 4:14–15.
- Word definitions: Ancient prophets used words that may be foreign to us. Use the Bible Dictionary, a regular dictionary, and footnotes to understand words and recognize synonyms.Example: Define the word flaxen in 2 Nephi 26:22.
- Name substitution: Insert your name for a name or pronoun in the scriptures.Example: D&C 25:1.
- Scripture chain: Group or link together scriptures on the same topic and use cross-references to clarify meaning and unlock understanding.Example: Chain for the law of consecration—D&C 42:30–34; 51:3; 83:1–6.
- Cause and effect: Look for if/then and because/therefore relationships.Example: Jeremiah 7:5–7.
- Words of emphasis or explanation: Words and phrases like behold, wherefore, because, nevertheless, and thus we see are invitations to stop and look for lessons learned or meanings given.Examples: Helaman 6:35–36; 3 Nephi 18:30–32.
- Scripture lists: Prophets often gave lists in their warnings and challenges without identifying them in ways we are used to. When you find lists, number each element.Example: 2 Timothy 3:16–17.
- Clarification: Define the who, what, when, and where of scriptural events or passages.Example: Luke 10:25–29.
- Visualization: Look for descriptive details and create a mental picture as you read. Ask questions about the event and imagine being present when it took place. Try to see it from different points of view.Example: Acts 3:1–11.
- Scriptural symbolism: Words such as like, as, or likened unto identify symbols. Look beyond the symbol by exploring its nature and pondering its characteristics or attributes. The Bible Dictionary, Topical Guide, and footnotes can also help you find the interpretation.Example: Compare Daniel 2:31–35 with Daniel 2:36–45.