Friday, September 16, 2011

How I Do It: Personal Scripture Study

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Scripture study is a very important time of day for me. I am a believer in daily scripture study. I find that when I study my scriptures daily, I am a more patient person. I am kinder. I am a better wife and mother. I am better able to manage my time and accomplish the things I need to.

Basic Info:


What: Personal Scripture Study
When: Early morning (right after I exercise)
Where: In my room
Why: To grow spiritually, follow commandments, and be the best me I can be
How: Linear reading, topical study, random reading

The Details....

What: Personal Scripture Study
As I said above, scripture study is important to me. I am talking about reading, pondering, and praying over the scriptures. 

Our family also does family scripture study, but I am talking about personal scripture study in this post.

When: Early Morning
I study my scriptures immediately after I am done exercising each morning. I think a key to accomplishing scripture study each day is to have it be at a consistent time daily. I also want to have my scripture study be something that I can learn from--so I find early morning to be a good time when my children can't constantly interrupt me.

My older two children do see me at the end of my scripture study each day. Then wake up and come to my room as I am nearing the end. I like it this way because then they see that mom reads the scriptures each day and so she must value the scriptures. 

Now, I haven't always done this in early morning hours before my children wake up. When I am pregnant or have a young baby, I don't get up early. I still try to do it as one of my very first things of the day, though. If I put it later in the day, I tend to forget. But that is me. Find a time of day that works best for you. It might be naptime, while nursing a baby, during indpendent playtime, or after children are in bed. The key is having a regular time. I can't just say, "Today sometime I will study my scriptures." I have to have a specific time.

Where: In My Room
I think having a consistent place for scripture study is also important. Being in that place reminds you that you need to do it. I like my room. It is peaceful in the morning. It is bright. I can sit on the floor and stretch if needed, I can relax in my bed, or I have a chair I can sit in (though I plan to get a nice comfortable chair for reading in--doesn't that sound nice?). You might like your kitchen table, a desk, the family room, your back patio...

Why: Personal Growth and Obedience
Like I said in the opening of this post, I am a better person all around when I study my scriptures each day. As to why scriptures, I love this analogy. Let's say we were going to make a cake. The recipe for the cake was pretty old so we decide it is not relavent. We just make up our own recipe. In the end, it doesn't turn out. The scriptures are like our recipe for our lives today.

How: Linear reading, topical study, random reading
There are several ways to go about studying the scriptures, and I think they each have their own merit. I like to mix things up. One way is to simply read the scriptures. So you start at the beginning and read. A great thing about this method is you read everything in context. You can draw from the experiences you read about and improve your ability to react in your own life. 

Another idea is topical study. So say you wanted to know more about prayer. You would look up scripture versus that talk about prayer and read it. A great thing about this method is you really get to know that topic. You can read everything the Lord has said about that topic in the scriptures and gain greater understanding.

Another idea is to simply open in a random place up and start reading. Many people say doing this at times can help them find answer to prayer. This is a fun thing to do if you need some spontenaeity. 

Yet another idea is to read linearly, but with a certain topic in mind. So you say to yourself, "I want to read and focus on all of the commandments the Lord has given" or "I want to read and focus on all of the blessings the Lord has given." As you read, you look for that topic. 

I think it is nice to switch up exactly how I do my studying. I do like to also study articles and read great books, but that is rarely part of my scripture study time--I just don't have enough time in the morning to put all of that in in the morning study time.

No matter which method, I think it is wise to pray about the scripture study, think about what you are reading (don't just read for the sake of reading, but ponder about what you can learn from it), and even keep notes. I don't always remember to do this, but I find scripture study most effective when I have my scripture journal at my side and write things down I want to remember. It might be a lesson from a story, interesting tidbits on a topic, or thoughts I had on how to improve myself as I read. 

8 comments:

Kendra L. said...

Thanks for posting this. This is something I need to improve on, and I think it comes down to the consistency thing. HUH- FUNNY. I try so hard to give my baby consistency in his life and yet I fail at being consistent with my own schedule!!

Plowmanators said...

That is funny, Kendra. I do things like that in a lot of areas also...like a rule that you can only have ONE cookie...I don't always follow that rule...

Rebecca said...

Thanks! What a great reminder! I agree that when I spend time in the Word at the beginning of the day, I do much better during the day as well. :) Amazing how the right focus/ perspective can help!

Charity Frazier said...

Amen to all that you said. I have a 5 month old baby right now and when he was born I found that my personal Bible time was one of the first things to suffer but in reality it was the one thing I needed most in my life as I was learning to be a mom. My husband really encouraged me to make it a priority to put Bible time first thing each day and it really made a huge difference. Now we practice the principle of "no Bible, no breakfast". First things first. :-)

Plowmanators said...

So true Rebecca.

I love it Charity. First things first.

Julie said...

Thank you so much for writing this! I was just telling my husband today I need to be better at this but it's hard for me to find the time AND be consistent!
I know you mentioned that you don't get up early when you are pregnant or have a young child. How do you fit everything in if you don't? Now that you have Brinley can you maybe post a schedule of what your day looks like with a young baby without getting up early? I have a 4 week old and could use some tips. :)

Thanks for all your posts! I love them!

Plowmanators said...

Julie, I will definitely do a post on four kids.

I actually get up early even with a newborn this time! Crazy. But I need to with two kids in school.

For scriptures and a young baby, I have always read while nursing the first nursing of the day.

Katie Ball said...

I'm so glad you mention that you don't get up early when you are pregnant or have a young baby. My daughter is 3 months and I am just now starting to be able to function somewhat normally again! I have felt so guilty about struggling with my quiet time, but have just found that, for now, I have to get it in differently. I read sometimes during my lunch break at work, listen to praise music while I get ready, and try to focus on a verse each week or so. Hopefully I can get back in the groove once we're all sleeping longer!

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