Scripture Marking Success years of trying to figure it out, I’ve discovered a scripture marking system that’s working for me. I’ve been meaning to share it with you for months. Here it is.

My old set of the 1979/1981 editions of the Standard Works have seen better days. There are some pages I wish I could tear out and replace because the markings are so distracting. I got a new set of scriptures when I was called as bishop [in 2005], but was reluctant to put a mark in them until I figured out a better, more workable system. I have found one and have been using it for months now.

The system uses a spectrum of colors. Each color represents a set of topics. On one end, red is dedicated to Christ and His Atonement, the gospel, salvation, and the resurrection. On the other end of the spectrum is black or gray, which is dedicated to wickedness, Satan, and his minions.

Here’s how the colors are organized on, along with the topics I assign to them:

  • Red: Christ, Atonement, gospel, salvation, resurrection
  • Orange: Covenants, laws, revelation*, commandments, prophecy*, doctrine, history
  • Yellow: Light, truth, wisdom, faith, inspiration, testimony
  • Green: Promises, blessings, obedience*, prosperity, abundance, grace‡
  • Light Blue: Meanings defined by scripture‡
  • Blue: Prophets, priesthood, keys, ordinances, temple
  • Purple: Temptation, sin, evil, darkness, fear*
  • Deep Pink: Second Coming, Millennium, last days, end times‡
  • Brown: Open‡
  • Black or Gray: Satan, evil spirits, evil doers, great wickedness†

* Added in 2011
Added in 2015
Added in 2020

I highlight the verses online or underline the verses with a pen of a given color (PaperMate Profile pens write smooth and don’t bleed through pages), and highlight important words in the verses with pencil of the same color. For pencils, I am using Prismacolor Col-Erase, which you can buy individually at the BYU Store, among other places.

I love having a plan for marking my scriptures, especially one that makes sense without being too complicated. It’s a delight to rediscover the scriptures by marking them anew. I recommend it.

P.S. For a post on studying the scriptures as a family, see “How Our Family Does Scripture Study.”

P.P.S. This post has been edited. The original post was published in 2008, with adjustments in 2011, 2015, and 2020.

4 thoughts on “Scripture Marking Success

  1. Anonymous August 18, 2009 / 3:05 pm

    Thank you for your ideas. I too bought a new set of scriptures and would like a simple way to mark them without too many pencils. I like the idea of circling just the number reference I've read from other suggestions of people. Thanks for listing your subjects for the colors. That will be helpful. (From Salmon, Idaho)


  2. BeckyB January 5, 2010 / 5:22 am

    Bro Fitzgerald,
    This is an old seminary student and ward member, Scott Bailey writing. My wife Becky found your blog about scripture marking and really likes your ideas. Hope all is well with you and your family.


  3. Mike Fitzgerald January 5, 2010 / 5:36 am

    Good to hear from you, Scott. I hope you are doing well. I am glad someone is getting some use out of this blog! Happy New Year to you.


  4. Elder Greg M Padgett March 28, 2011 / 3:25 pm

    Bishop! We are helping a less active member come back to activity and he really wants to start marking his scriptures so I went to the web to look for good suggestions. I was in for a good treat as I soon found myslef on your blog. Thanks for the help! See ya soon.


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