9 Tips for Searching The Word
"Help! I want to read the scriptures more, but there are so many books and chapters, and I'm not sure where to start!"
Drawing closer to the Lord through the word of God is so applicable to our lives, but sometimes we struggle to fully dig into the word because — let's face it — there's so much in there! Here are a few suggestions to develop our studying habits:
1. First and foremost, pray for understanding and discernment of the word! After we've been baptized, we're not expected to know everything. Our relationship with the Lord is a lifetime development that is extremely personal. Ask God for help, and He will certainly open your mind to the fullness of the gospel.
2. Having trouble landing on a topic? Why not look for lists, maps, and trends in the scripture? Map out the Nephites' journey to the Americas. Explore the signs and wonders that foretold Christ's birth. Figure out how many miracles Jesus performed, and compare them across the gospels.
3. Find your motivation. What topic interests you? Patience? Military leaders? Mothers? Zion and the latter day events? Start your search in a scriptural concordance, and follow footnotes to similar verses.
4. Are you tech-savvy? Download a scripture-tracking app (like The Church's Bible and the Book of Mormon app) to keep tabs on your recent chapter-reading history. If you find yourself reminded of a scripture you recently read, you can easily search your history to find it.
5. Do you like to listen to the word? Find Bible and Book of Mormon apps with audio capabilities, or get your hands on the church's audio scriptures and fill your home with words of truth.
6. Are you a doodler like me? Grab a blank sheet of paper and chart the latest in-depth passage (see the "Beatitudes" study sheet I created below). It doesn't have to be elaborate, but it should be personal and memorable to you.
7. Two heads are better than one. Grab a scripture-studying friend! Be it your spouse, friend, brother or sister, getting into the word of God with another person not only holds you accountable but turns your conversations toward seeking the Lord and following his teachings.
8. Take notes on Wednesday nights, Sunday schools, and Sunday service meetings. What scriptures were used? How do they relate to your life? This can be used as a starting point to continuing studying throughout the following week.
9. Rejoice in the blessings! I can't tell you how many times I've read scripture during the week and heard the ministry preach on it during their morning address. Coincidence? I think not. These are confirmations of the Spirit working in our lives to unite us together with one mind that is focused on Christ.