Sabbath Delight: Scripture Study Methods


Scriptures, Study, And You

I love Sunday! In order to prepare for taking the Sacrament, I review my week.  Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, but I try to always find something to focus on as I await my turn for the bread and water.

One great way to review your week is to reflect on that which you studied in the week before. Hopefully you are making time each day to feast upon the words, teachings, and doctrine of Christ. I’m not perfect at this by any stretch of the imagination, but I am constantly striving to improve.

Perhaps this Sunday is the time to implement this into your life if you haven’t already. Why? Because the time spent in reflection each day will benefit you tremendously and fill that lamp with much-needed oil.  It takes the lessons and boost you get on the Sabbath day while worshipping with your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and carries you throughout the week.

So let’s talk Scripture Study methods! What works for you?

Over the years, I’ve traveled several different routes towards study.  Here’s just a few things I’ve benefitted from.

Topic Study

Sometimes you just need to delve into a particular topic.  Are you preparing for marriage? Having a baby? Going to school? Need a new job? Battling an illness? Struggling with the need to repent?

Whatever the topic, an in-depth focus on just that topic can prove beneficial. I once heard Elder Bednar say that he would search out a topic and mark every verse pertaining to it in a fresh book of scriptures. Wow! Can you imagine the wealth of information he found by doing this and relating so many verses together? You start to pick out similarities, truths, and your mind expands.

Once I held a calling that had me traveling around our region. During that time, we had the theme of D&C 82:14:

 For Zion must increase in beauty, and in holiness; her borders must be enlarged; her stakes must be strengthened; yea, verily I say unto you, Zion must arise and put on her beautiful garments.

Week after week, I heard different messages centering around this topic. I began finding other scriptures, in my personal study, that related back to this verse and marking them. I now have indexed many verses linking back to this very theme!

Straight Read

There’s always the classic method of starting on Page 1 and working through until the very end. This helps you navigate through books and gain more context both historically and in theme.  Never underestimate the value of starting from the beginning.  Often, the greatest method towards learning is to go to the beginning.

Read the Stories

Prior to my baptism, the missionaries had me jumping about in Scripture, reading the most popular of the stories. Each time we review the tale of Esther, Moses freeing the enslaved Jews, the conversion of Alma, or the Resurrection of Christ, we gain more knowledge.  Sure, we all know the story of David and Goliath, but sometimes refreshing those stories in our mind is a beautiful thing.

Don’t read only the stories, but focusing on these can really enrich your memory of them and give you a new appreciation of old things.  Also, this is a perfect way to prepare Family Home Evening lessons or do Family Scripture Study with little ones.

Mark Them Up

Naked Scriptures are fine, but well-loved scriptures with notes in the margin, quotes shoved in between the pages, and passages underlined show that you are truly delving into what’s on the page, not just lightly perusing.

Journal

Do you ever record those precious truths that come to your mind as you study? Imagine if those were lost to you as time dulls our memories! This would be tragic. Do not lose that and imagine the gift you bestow upon your posterity as they witness your devotion to serious sturdy.

Develop a Study Method for You

Developing your own study method is key.  Everyone works a little different and you need to find what works for you.

A popular method right now is the SOAK/SOAP method. This is a simple acronym for: Scripture, Observeration, Application, and Prayer (Kneeling in Prayer). How simple this plan is! You simply pull that one line/verse that stands out to you and record it.  Then you list your observations from your reading.  Facts, figures, etc.  Application refers more to how this applies in your life.  You conclude with prayer, as all things should be done.

Ask Questions

The only wrong question is the one you leave unasked. Don’t consider things controversial or problematic or stupid. The way you learn is by asking questions and preparing to go in to your study looking for something proves you are actively engaged instead of passively.

What are your favourite methods? What do you enjoy most about your study? What’s at the top of your study now? Sound off in the comments and let me know what you’d like to hear about next!

–Lady O