Scripture Study: Study by Topic

I think as my first post on this blog, I will share a scripture study technique I tried this last summer. But before I share the technique, here is how it came about.

We found out at the beginning of the summer that our area will be home to a new missionary pilot program that the church is trying out. The mission only covers about 5 miles and there are about 80-100 missionaries in the mission. Each stake is assigned 2-3 sets of companions. That is a lot of missionaries in a small area, especially in a state that has so many members of the church. But there are many who are inactive and many who have also lived in the area for years and have never had the opportunity to hear the gospel. The mission president has explained that this is to be a “Rescue” mission because for many of these non-members/inactive people in our neighborhoods, it may be the last opportunity they have to come into the gospel.

At the stake conference that this was announced, our stake president gave every single member of the stake a new Book of Mormon. We were all challenged to read the entire Book of Mormon before the mission was to open on July 1, 2012 (that only gave us 60 days) and to mark every example, reference, verse, and insight pertaining to rescue.

Before I started reading, I opened to one of the blank pages in the front of the book and wrote down the Webster’s Dictionary definition of rescue:

  1. To free from confinement or danger
  2. To take by forcible means from lawful custody

I also kept a journal where I kept my thoughts and feelings on the subject as I read. I was really surprised to see how much I had learned from reading the Book of Mormon in this fashion. I was really searching, pondering, and praying about rescue the entire time I read. The more examples I found, the more I wanted to just keep reading. It was the first time I had ever really understood and enjoyed the term “feasting upon the words of Christ.”

This technique of reading the entire Book of Mormon searching for one thing worked so well in my scripture study that I have decided to implement it into all of my future scripture study methods. I am currently working on Personal Progress, (Yes, I’m doing the program as an adult. Why not?) I thought it would be neat to do the same thing with all 8 young women values. So I bought a new Book of Mormon (an inexpensive blue one with a hard cover from the distribution center) and on the inside gave each of the values a color. I tried to make sure to keep to the value colors for each value, but used other ones like brown for faith and pink for virtue since yellow (gold) was used for good works.

I plan to read the book through 8 times, each time focusing on a specific value. I thought about doing it all in one read through, but I thought that would be a bit overwhelming looking for so many examples at once.

Happy feasting!


2 thoughts on “Scripture Study: Study by Topic

  1. I have been looking for ideas for scripture study and i like your idea. I am curious how it’s going and if you have any other insights on studying the scriptures.

    • This method has worked really well for me. I feel like I get more out of my scripture study because I have something to look for and I’m not just reading. I often learn something new from a passage I have read hundreds of times because I was looking at it from the perspective of faith, or rescue, etc.

      I also find it useful to use sticky notes. Any time I have a thought or impression, I write it on a sticky note, date it, and include the scripture reference for future reference and stick it right on the page. I found it to help me when preparing talks and lessons as I search the scriptures and have used them often. I do this mostly because sometimes I want to write more than the margins have space for. Plus, it can make it more organized and not scribbled all over, which I find distracting. Just make sure you don’t use the super sticky sticky notes. They can rip the thin pages in the scriptures.

      I actually have been thinking of putting together another blog post on scripture study techniques. Are there any questions you might have that I could probably address in that post?

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