Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Memorizing Scriptures

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I recently read a talk about the power of memorizing scriptures. There were so many valuable nuggets in it.

"Scriptures are like packets of light that illuminate our minds and give place to guidance and inspiration from on high."

I know I feel that way. Our world is so full of difficulties. I don't want to be all doom and gloom--there are without doubt just as many wonderful blessings in our world as difficulties. When those difficulties arise, however, it can be hard to hold fast to those good things we have experienced. 

Scriptures can really help with that--the can "illuminate our minds." Despite the availability of smart phones and apps with the scriptures on them, we can't always have our scriptures right with us, and our children definitely don't. So memorizing scriptures is a powerful tool.

"A memorized scriptures becomes an enduring friend that is not weakened with the passage of time."

"Scriptures can calm an agitated soul, giving peace, hope, and a restoration of confidence in one's ability to overcome the challenges of life."

I have found this to be true. I have found so much comfort in scriptures at various times, and I love how a particular verse might have meant nothing to me the 20 other times I have read it, but that one time it was just what I needed. 

"Scriptures can communicate different meanings at different times in our life, according to our needs." 

If you feel the same way about scriptures as I do, you will probably have an interest in helping your children memorize scriptures (if you don't already).

Each morning as we do our learning poster and calendar time, we work on our current scripture to memorize. 

For McKenna (two), I don't shoot for full memorization. I am happy to have a scripture read to her over and over. Each day we talk about the meaning of it. My hope is that maybe some phrase will really stick out to her at some point and she will remember those words in a moment of need.

When Brayden was barely four, our primary at church issued a challenge to memorize a scripture a week for the 13 weeks of summer. We did it! He was able to easily memorize each scripture. So a four year old can do it if you put the effort into it.

I imagine that each person does best with memorization differently. I will share how we do it, but Brayden and McKenna have very similar thought processes as I do, so it is easy for me to teach them things like that. Kaitlyn has an amazing ability to memorize things--she can often tell you the author of any given book if she has been told a few times. So this is how we do it.
  1. We start with me reading the scripture. Then we talk about it. I find that if I pay attention to whatever I am trying to memorize actually means, it is easier for my brain to hold on to it.
  2. Then I read a phrase and pause and they recite. 
  3. At some point, we switch to working on memorizing. I say a phrase and we repeat that phrase over and over and over again. Once that is memorized, we do another phrase and do it over and over and over again. Then we say the two phrases together over and over and over again. And so forth until the scripture is memorized.
  4. The key is really repetition. McKenna can talk along with a book on tape she has heard 10 times, so if they hear it often enough, they will remember it.
My hope is that the scriptures they know can be of comfort to them in a time of need. I think we all have those times of need throughout our lives. Maybe even throughout our days.

So if you do this with your children, how do you do it? What is your process?

And here are some scriptures I think are very beneficial to memorize:
  • Exodus 20:3-17--the Ten Commandments
  • Leviticus 19:18--Love thy neighbor
  • Joshua 1: 8--Meditate on the scriptures
  • Joshua 24:15--We will serve the Lord
  • 1 Samuel 16:7--The Lord looketh on the heart
  • Job 19:25-26--I know my Redeemer lives
  • Psalm 24:3-4--Clean hands and pure heart
  • Psalm 31:23--Love the Lord
  • Psalm 32:4--Word of Lord is right
  • Psalm 116:5--Gracious is the Lord
  • Proverbs 3:5-6--Trust in the Lord
  • Isaiah 54:13--Teach children of Lord
  • Matthew 5: 14-16--Light of the world
  • Matthew 16: 15-19--Thou art the Christ
  • Matthew 22:37-40--Great commandments
  • Matthew 25:40--Serving the least of these
  • John 7: 17--Do God's will
  • John 14:15--If ye love me
  • Romans 1:16--Not ashamed of the Gospel
  • James 1:5-6--If ye lack wisdom, ask God
I would love to hear your favorite scriptures to memorize and how you go about memorizing!


Kristy Powers said...

Thanks for the ideas for helping them memorize, and for the list of scriptures. That's what I was going to ask you next if you hadn't already included it. :)

Tiffany said...

A mommy friend of mine actually started a business its bible verse memory cards, they have some really cool features. But I totally agree with you its so important to know what the scriptures say.

Katy said...

We started memorizing verses with our 2 year old in September(she's almost 2 1/2). We decided to do one verse a month which gives all of us (ie mom and dad) plenty of time to learn it, even though she usually has it down in a couple weeks. I know that at 2, she's not necessarily going to understand the meaning, but it is always meaningful to know God's Word. We practice our verses most nights over dinner. She just picks it up with the repetition, though we have to help with some pronunciations of words she doesn't know. We love to have her share her verses with family members who love to hear it and can encourage her, too. Our first verse was Ephesians 6:1 - Children, obey your parents... We chose a verse about thanksgiving in November and a verse about Jesus' birth for December. It's been really fun!

Kelle said...

Last year I did My ABC Bible Verses: Hiding God's Word in Little Hearts by Susan Hunt with my (then 6, 4, and 2 year old) children. It has 26 short verse to memorize with a story to go with to explain it's meaning. We did one verse a week along with our homeschooling. All three memorized all 26 verses and could say them all with me starting them off with the first word by the end of the year because we reviewed them as the year progressed. I think you might be interested in this book.

Our process of memorization this year (since my now 5 and 7 yr old are reading well) is for them to read it three times a day out loud. My now 3 yr old learns it without even trying, just by being in the room and hearing it 6 times a day.

Kristy Powers said...

Thanks, Kelle!

Plowmanators said...

Thanks everyone for your comments and you are welcome!


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