Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Scripture Study Techniques and Ideas

A lot of my time lately is spent hours at my desk at home reading and studying and pondering and learning as much as I can from the scriptures.  I love it!  I cannot get enough of it.

I have enjoyed scripture study suggestions from the Red Headed Hostess which her blogsite is:  www.theredheadedhostess.com

She has taught me so much, but the way she does things is not necessarily how I would do things. 

And so my search for scripture study techniques turned directly to the source I feel most confident with:  Church Approved Manuals and Materials.

On lds.org, you can find ALL the manuals used that are Church Approved.  Including manuals used for seminary and institute classes.  Oh yeah, you heard me correctly, ALL the manuals are available online.

I know, I know, it was like a candy store of scripture delightfulness for me and I about cried when I found the manual "Scripture Study- The Power of the Word of God."

I cannot stop reading and studying from this manual and I am learning S.O. M.U.C.H!!!!!

I thought that periodically when I came across something that was so awesome that I would share the technique for those of you that would like a quick little snipit on making your scripture study just a little bit better.  Maybe even mind boggling!

So, here wer go for the first technique that I want to share with you.  And it has to do directly with the Ensign.  Get up, go get it and you will love this. 

Let us begin with the Principle of Prophetic Commentary on the Scriptures is of Great Value.  Elder Marriner W. Merrill, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said:

“The Bible is a good thing, the Book of Mormon is a good thing, and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants is a good thing.  They are the words of the Lord. But I say that the living oracles of the Church are worth more than all of them. If we could have but one of them, give me the living oracles of the Priesthood for my guidance. Of course, it is proper and a good thing to have it all, because the living oracles of the Church work in harmony with what is written, and their counsel will not come in conflict with the words of the Lord in former ages. But the conditions of mankind change. The counsel that was suitable for the Saints forty years ago may not be so suitable today. Hence the importance of having in our midst the living oracles of God to guide us day by day in the performance of our labors” (in ConferenceReport, Oct. 1897, 6).

How does this apply to you and me?

In your Ensign, the first presidency always gives a first presidency message.  That's the first article I read because to me it would be the most important message of the entire magazine.  I have found that the First Presidency will pick a gospel principle that will directly help us with our current problems and situations that we face today.  Now note this:

Elder Marion G. Romney, then an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in which he emphasized the importance of prophetic interpretation of scripture: “Another fundamental to bear in mind in our search is that the manifestations of the Father’s will to this generation did not cease with what is written in the Doctrine and Covenants. He has not left us unguided to jangle over the interpretations of those revelations, nor does he leave us ignorant of his will on current issues. He has given us living prophets to interpret those revelations and to declare to us his will on present problems” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1945, 89)

The First Presidency Message is a brief monthly interpretation of the scripture they choose that will help us in our lives.  It would be of great value to note in our scriptures what our current prophets are teaching us from that scripture.

For example:  This month the First Presidency Message is titled:

In this message, President Monson does not directly refer to any specific scripture, but his counsel is profound and should be noted with our scripture studies.   However, you can find the scriptures you enjoy that talk about loving one another and write in a quote from President Monson's message that speaks to you.

For example:  by the scripture 1 John5:2 where it says

2By this we know that we alove the bchildren of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

I would then write on the page in the margins: "To you parents, express your love to your children. Pray for them that they may be able to withstand the evils of the world. Pray that they may grow in faith and testimony. Pray that they may pursue lives of goodness and of service to others." Thomas S Monson, First Presidency Message, August 2011

Or by the scripture Doctrine and Covenants 88:123 where it says:

123See that ye alove one another; cease to be bcovetous; learn to impart one to another as the gospel requires.

I would then write in the margins next to this scripture this quote from President Monson's talk:
“Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey and share our love with friends and family. One day, each of us will run out of tomorrows. Let us not put off what is most important.” Thomas S Monson, First Presidency Message, August 2011.

Can you see how adding current revelation to the scriptures, we then  have expounded the meaning and depth to it?  I think this is a wonderful technique to do once a month when we receive our Ensigns in the mail.  Many times the prophets will site specific scriptures and we can add to that scripture our favorite quote from that talk which will  expound that scripture and you will find personal meaning and counsel when you do so.

I hope this was beneficial to you, because I know for me, it has been such an amazing technique to add to my personal scripture study.  This technique can also apply for General Conference talks and the Church News.


Mackenzie said...

I just love your blog. It makes me all kinds of happy. Thank you for sharing your insight. Mwah!

heather said...

I'm a big fan of the RHH too. I started a scripture journal by topic about a week ago. It had never occurred to me to study that way until I read one of her posts about it.

And I just found out I can get church magazines and manuals on my itouch. Woot WOot!

marisa said...

Thank you for this post!!! What a great idea.


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