Scripture Study Tools
I choose an inexpensive set of Scriptures so I don’t feel bad marking them.
I try to get a new set every time I complete the standard works.
Nephi said we ought to “feast upon the words of Christ” (2 Nephi 32:3), and Jesus commanded the Nephites to “search [the scriptures] diligently” (3 Nephi 23:1). This kind of study involves more than just quickly reading through the scriptures. The following ideas and tools will help you learn more when you study. They are divided into three categories: before reading, during reading, and after reading.
- Before Reading
- pray Pray PRAY!
- Understand the Setting
- Read the Chapter Headings
- Ask Questions
Before you read, it is helpful to ask yourself questions like:
- Who wrote these verses?
- To whom were they originally writing?
- What is happening historicaly?
- What customs and societal ‘norms’ did they have?
- How these norms might help or hindered their willingness to receiving it?
- Why is this teaching included in the scriptures?
- What do I want to know or learn as I read today?
- What does the Lord want me to learn as I read today?
- What is the missionary application in these scriptures?
- How would/should/will understanding this make me more Christ like?
- If I receive inspiration to act; how will I follow it quickly?
- How can I liken these passages unto myself?
- During Reading
- Don’t Be Afraid to Stop
I frequently circle footnotes and draw lines to them so I do not over look them. you can underline the footnote reference in its corresponding color.
- Ask Questions
- Answer Questions Given in the Scriptures and Find answers you have asked
- Use the Study Helps*, Talks from General Conference and General Authorities Quotes
- Guide to the Scriptures (http://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs?lang=eng )
- Bible Dictionary (a personal favorite full of fascinating details)
- Topical Guide
- Joseph Smith Translation
- General Conerence/Ensign, New Era Friend,
- Leahona, A Proclamation to the World etc etc
- Bible Maps
- Church History Maps
- Photographs of Scriptural Sites
- Photographs of Church History Sites
- Chronology of Church History
- Abbreviations and Designations
- Explanation Concerning Footnotes
- Preach my Gospel
Most of these resources are easy to use because they are referenced in the footnotes of the Scriptures. don't miss out on these inspired LDS scripture study tools.
- Add New Prophetic Utterances or Meaningful General Authority Quotes
- Scriptural Journal & Patriarchal Blessing
You can also use your patriarchal blessing when studying the scriptures and make notes in your journal about it. A patriarchal blessing is your own personal scriptures from the Lord, like a chapter written just for you and it can be a very powerful resource if you study it often. You can study it word by word, phrase by phrase, or paragraph by paragraph by looking up topics in the Study Helps. I have a small, laminated copy of mine that fits in my scriptures so I always know where it's at. If you'd like to mark up your Patriarchal Blessing make sure you use a copy and not the original.
- Post-it Notes
- Understand the Words
- Use the Topical Guide
- Insert Your Name
Wherefore, ye must press forward with a asteadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of bhope, and a clove of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and dendure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eeternal life.
- Memorize (treasure up) Powerful Scripture Verses (Scripture Mastery)
I printed up a bunch of small cards with scriptures mastery scriptrues on them. You can also then attached them to a key ring if you would like.
Studying the Scriptures is important. It is vital to our understanding. We first have to be exposed to the truth so we can live the truth. As we take the time to really focus our minds and study them instead of just reading them we will come to love them.
If someone took them from us; could we together have them sufficiantly memorized them that we might be able to recall all their truth, commandments, moving addresses, and comforting council?
MAKE A MENTAL OR PHYSICAL MAP ON PAPER OF THE PEOPLE IF YOU CAN NOT KEEP THEM STRAIGHT.
- Look for Connecting Words
- Look for Patterns
- Look for Lists
- Look for Types (shadows casts’) and Symbols
1. Look for comparisons between persons, places, and things. Sometimes words such as like, as, or likened unto help identify symbols.
2. Look for an interpretation in the scriptures. For example, Lehi had a vision (see 1 Nephi 8). Nephi later had a vision in which he saw what his father saw, along with the interpretations of the symbols in his father’s vision (see 1 Nephi 11–14). Sometimes an interpretation can be found by using a cross-reference in the footnotes.
3. Think about the nature or characteristics of the symbol and what the symbol teaches you. You might ask, “Why was this symbol used?” Alma used this skill in explaining the Liahona to his son Helaman (see Alma 37:38–47).
4. See if the symbol teaches you something about the Savior. The Lord told Adam that “all things bear record of [Him]” (Moses 6:63). For example, how do the different elements in the story of Abraham’s sacrifice of his son Isaac testify of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ? (see Genesis 22:1–19; Jacob 4:5).
- Look for Contrasts
Stories and examples of good and evil are often placed next to each other in the scriptures to show the differences between the two. As you identify scriptural contrasts, ask, “What am I supposed to learn from contrasting these two stories?” For example, consider what can be learned by contrasting the reign of King Benjamin (see Mosiah 2) with that of King Noah (see Mosiah 11).
- Cluster Scriptures
- Write down feelings and insights
- Marginal Notes
I also like to keep track of who's speaking to whom so in the top margin, above the column I'm reading, I write the name of the speaker and put an arrow then write the name of the person/group being spoken to. For example, when an angle speaks to Nephi in 1 Nephi 14 I write: Angel -> Nephi. If there isn't a particular audience you can just write the speaker's name or put "me" or "us" as the receiver.
You can also keep track of who’s who when there's more than one person with the same name, such as Nephi, Lehi, Helaman, Jacob, etc. When you come across the name of a new person look them up in the Scripture Index. If there is more than one person with the same name you'll see a small number following each name along with a bit of info and corresponding references. Go back to your LDS scripture reading and write the number of the corresponding person after their name. For example, when reading in 1 Nephi you come across Jacob. Look in the Index, you'll see four different Jacob's listed. Each has a number following the name along with some references. Which Jacob you've come across will depend upon where you're reading in 1 Nephi since both Jacob 1 and Jacob 2 are mentioned. If you're in 1 Ne 5:14 you would put a small one after Jacob's name, but in 1 Nephi 18:7 you would put the number two.
- Color Coding Subject Matter
- Red = words of Heavenly Father, Christ
- Pink= words of the prophets
- Yellow = Holy Ghost
- Orange = Charity, Services
- Peach = Faith, Hope
- Dark Yellow = Repentance
- Gold = Creation, Fall
- Turquoise = Righteousness of People
- Light Green = Salvation, Eternal Life
- Dark Green = Prophecies yet to be fulfilled
- Light Blue = Prayer
- Dark Blue = Wickedness of People/Evil Works
- Purple = Prophecies already fulfilled
- Brown = Baptism
- Liken the Scriptures to Yourself
- Write write write talk about it
That’s “HOW” we can study- but “WHY” do you study…. What are some of the real reasons we study them? Why do we study the scriptures?
- to comply with the commandment
- to know how and what to do
- to get answers
- to understand where we came from why we are here where we are going
- to feel close to Heavenly Father
- to understand Christs Atonement
- to feel and hear the Spirit
- to gain a testimony
- to get more commandents
- to gain strength
- to put on the whole armor of God
- to get more understanding
- to be comforted or given peace
- to understand history
- to have the desires of our hearts met
- a desire to know Christ
- a desire to be like Christ