We are all striving for daily scripture study, and sometimes it can be harder or easier than other times. The blessings of daily scripture study have no end, from guidance, happiness, and protection against the adversary in this life to the blessings of eternal life and becoming like our Savior.
Sometimes it can help to mix up your daily scripture study, especially when you might feel in a rut, just doing the same thing each day and plugging along cover to cover. By adding variety to your daily scripture study, you will find yourself getting more out of those precious moments you have to explore the scriptures.
1. Study all the scriptures from a single General Conference talk
Pick any General Conference (online or find a May or October Ensign laying around), select a talk, then actually look up each and every scripture cited as you study the talk. Give yourself permission to read more and wander around the scriptures instead of getting right back into the talk. Take in the full stories, lessons, and testimonies that go with each of the verses cited.
2. Pick a favorite verse, then go two levels deep with all footnotes
Start with a favorite verse (or find one from the list of Scripture Mastery scriptures), study and ponder it, and for each footnote, study and ponder those verses and do the same with that verse’s footnotes. You’re now two levels deep!
Tip: It may help to write down the first set of footnote references so you can get back to each of them after visiting each footnote of that verse.
3. Pick a favorite verse, then read all the citations
“Citations” is one of the most innovative and unique features of our app (LDS Scriptures App for iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle, Nook, Mac, and PC). Open the app, go to a verse (for this example I will do 1 Nephi 3:5), and then tap the grey icon with the quotes and a number, located next to the verse number. This will open up a list of citations, other manuals and resources that “cite” this verse. Tapping on any of those will take you to that content where you can read what is being said about the verse you are reading. This is a great way to get “commentary” on a verse of scripture, find stories relating to it, and to just dig deeper into a verse in general. See the below images for reference:
4. Blank Book of Mormon, highlighting a word or topic
Elder Bruce R. McConkie has been known to use this method of studying the scriptures. He would get an inexpensive Book of Mormon without any markings in it, and then read through it cover to cover and underline with a red pencil a single word, phrase, or topic (like Jesus Christ or Faith). For a digital option, create a new account inside your LDS Scriptures App and use the highlight function to highlight (see screenshot below).
Tip: Pick a word that occurs often enough that you are actively looking for it in every verse or chapter, and mark any variation or form of that word.
5. Pick a favorite hymn and study the scripture references
Almost every hymn in the hymn book has a couple of scriptures to go along with it. Pick one of your favorite hymns, sing it, and then read the verses in the scriptures attached to the hymn.
6. Write a talk even though you aren’t speaking in Church
You don’t have to be called by a member of the Bishopric to write a talk or to prepare a lesson, just do one for fun! Pick a topic that you want to learn more about, and act like you’re giving a talk on Sunday. Work on it for your scripture study each day that week. Find inspirational stories and quotes to go along with it, and have it all ready to go. Who knows, it might just come in handy!
7. Pick 3 people you know and find a scripture for each of them
Think of 3 people you know that could benefit from a scripture and words of encouragement from you. Find each of them a scripture that you think they would benefit from, then tell it to them or send it to them by email or text. You will be amazed at the blessings and experiences that can come from doing something as simple as this, for both you and them.
8. Read the Book of Mormon chronologically (instead of cover to cover)
Using this link to the Book of Mormon Chronology Chart, you can read the Book of Mormon chronologically instead of cover to cover. The links don’t cover the entire Book of Mormon, but it’s a great way to go through The Book of Mormon based on the timing of the actual events. You will start off in Ether and then of course finish up in Moroni.
9. Pick a person in the Scriptures and do a mini Biography report on them
Remember doing a biography on famous people like George Washington or Rosa Parks when you were younger? Time for a new assignment! Pick someone in the scriptures for your biography, and find out as much as you can about them. Break it up into sections on different aspects of their life (where were they from, who were their parents, what was life like, etc.), answer questions people might commonly ask about them, and include famous quotes (or verses!) from them.
10. Visit Mormon.org and study Values, Beliefs, and FAQ
The website Mormon.org is different from LDS.org in that it is geared towards non-members. But that doesn’t mean you can’t read it too! The sections on Values, Beliefs, and FAQ are filled with interesting narratives, verses of scripture, questions and answers, and videos on various topics. Study the verses referenced in the content as you go along.
11. Write a journal entry, blog post, or social media post about your scripture study
Writing is therapeutic, and also is a great teacher. Turn your scripture study into a writing session by writing a journal entry, a blog post, or a social media post (Facebook or Google+ let you write the longest). Choose a title, open with something to draw in a reader, and dig into what came out of your scripture study.
12. Use Preach My Gospel to guide your study
One of the greatest scriptural resources the Church has created is Preach My Gospel. While it was primarily designed for missionaries, Preach My Gospel is an excellent source of doctrine and scriptures. Pick a lesson and study with your scriptures in hand, reading the full context of the referenced verses.