How Do You Study Your Scriptures? Do You Want To Admit It?
by Christie Perkins
I know, go ahead roll your eyes. I know what you’re thinking blaring my horn like that. But, I must say it’s not much of a horn at all. Lets be honest here, I go through some less than perfect phases of scripture reading. I’ll share… (only read ahead if we’ll still be friends).
Do you promise? Ok, then go ahead… read and judge lightly.
5 Most Common Moon Phases of Scripture Reading
Waning Moon Scripture Phase: A synonym for waning is shrinking or diminishing. It’s that feeling you get when you look at your scriptures on your night stand. You take a breath and say, “I guess I better read.” It’s like taking my boys clothing shopping where they are present but less than thrilled to be there. But, still, they do it for me because they know I want to be there. I appreciate their effort but I wish they would enjoy it like I do.
It’s the same with scriptures: we do it because we know Heavenly Father wants us to be there. He wants us to enjoy it a little more too. The Waning Moon Phase shows lack of enthusiasm for scriptures. It’s checked off the list and only approached partial hearted.
Crescent Moon Scripture Phase: This phase matches the eyelids. I have spent the day squeezing time, limes, dimes, (and lame rhymes) and now I’ve got to do my spiritual climb. I quickly breeze through scriptures, maybe catching just one verse before nodding off. This method simulates the most effective bedtime story ever written and, unfortunately, also the least memorable.
It is these “Crescent Moon” nights that I fervently pray that my husband won’t ask me what I just read… because, honestly, I can’t remember. For real. And then I realize- wow, what a dumb prayer.
I can’t believe I just prayed for that. But, I did.
There have been many answered prayers in my life like that. Yep, I’m admitting my slacker reading habits. The Crescent Moon Phase could hardly be categorized as study at all. It’s like my husband always says when he’s falling asleep- “I’m just studying the back of my eyelids.” Yeah. That’s it.
But, I read (or saw words printed on a page, anyway). And that counted, right?
New Moon Scripture Phase: Ok, so I’ve had a few times in my life where my willpower to walk all the way down to the other end of the house to get my scriptures wimps out. So, I go with my back up plan: AKA New Moon Phase. I turn to my 9/10th asleep husband and say, “Can you quote me a scripture?” But, his deep breathing, raised eyebrows, and sealed eyelids indicates that he wants to help but simply can’t.
Where’s my children when I need them? They could always quote that one scripture verbatim, what was it? Oh, yah, “Jesus wept.” So, to not cheat myself out of a quick scripture I dwell on the meaning for several cricket creeks then blink off to sleep. And sometimes I get creative and find hidden scriptures buried in some of the books resting on my night stand. This hide and go seek doesn’t quite have the same effect on me, but gotta get that scripture reading in.
I’ll zip flip through pages that click like rapid fire through my fingernails. Ah, bingo! There’s a little scripture… or a partial one, anyway. I always say, “tomorrow, I’ll do better.” But, really all I’m doing is developing some very poor tricks to try for next time. The New Moon Phase of scripture reading is pathetic. It’s trying to gain a little light in shady attempts.
Waxing Moon Scripture Phase: I like this phase. Waxing means growing. It’s like there’s a fire inside and I’m excited to read. This is usually followed by the New Moon Phase. I want to read and I make efforts to do better and be better. Yes, I still check it off the list but I’m genuinely happy about it. I notice that I am somehow able to handle the day, my life; my strife much better. It’s a good phase.
Full Moon Scripture Phase: Ah. The powerful moments in scriptures. I sometimes feel like these phases don’t come enough. Hm? You wonder why? (Yeah, you just read my post so I know you’re on to me. Shoot.) If I’m not putting my best into it I don’t get my best out of it. So, here’s a few tips I’ve learned along the way that really seem to shed a little light on my scripture reading. And suddenly a 10 minute attempt quickly ends up as 30 minutes. I love these moments.
Try these 8 tips for more successful scripture reading:
- Begin with a prayer. What are you searching for? Be specific.
- Put yourself in the story. How can you relate to what is written? (This is my favorite method.)
- Read until you get insight. Someone once mentioned this in a talk and I love it and use it.
- Ask questions as you read. Recognize and find answers to your questions. It’s so awesome how the answers pop up and you get some really cool “aha moments.”
- Read with a dictionary or thesaurus (and don’t forget to use the Bible dictionary). I also use the index as insight. I’ve learned a lot through this method.
- Read with a pencil and paper. Write down what insight comes to you. I’ve been surprised how it can be totally unrelated to what I’m reading.
- Consistently read a set amount of time each day. Maybe 15 minutes. And never miss a day.
- If your current reading time is ineffective switch it up. I find I get much more insight in the mornings, but that’s just me.
Improve Your Study Habits And Keep Reading
All of these phases show effort and have rewards. All are acknowledged and taken note in heaven. In fact, I have received some insight in the less than perfect attempts because I believe God chooses to bless us with any attempts to keep his commandments- no matter how tiny our steps are.
But I believe that I can be a little better. I loved the quote by Elder Kevin W. Pearson, he said, “Begin again to prayerfully study the Book of Mormon and live its teachings every day, every day, every day!” I also believe the Bible to be a powerful tool. See how scriptures change your life. So, if you would like to join with me in a better “study” of the scriptures every day (not just in a blue moon phase) please join me. Recommit to the full moon scripture phase “every day, every day, every day!”
Or at least memorize some scriptures so you don’t have to wake up your husband.
Hope you enjoyed reading. On some devices my share buttons are a little tricky to find. To access, click on the comment bubble to load up my share buttons and scroll to the top of the page. My share buttons are underneath my title. Click and share! And oh, have a fantastic day!