How are you doing with your scripture study as a family? Are you holding it? If you clicked on this link, I suppose you are interested in studying the scriptures as a family. We have done it since our children were young. We cannot be held up as a perfect example, but we never give up.
When our oldest daughter was young, we would read a scripture story to her each night from one of the scripture readers, such as Book of Mormon Stories, and then at least one verse from her own copy of the Book of Mormon. She had a set of scripture markers; they were kind of like crayons. We would let her mark the verse we read herself, though it was messy business. It was a wonderful adventure seeing these stories from a child’s eyes. I remember she called the Lamanites “the guys with the yucky panties.”
When the children got older and were able to read, we would gather in the living room, usually in the evening, and each take turns reading verses of scripture. The younger readers took more time, of course, to read their passage, but it was worth the wait. We would tackle the whole Book of Mormon or the whole New Testament over a year.
One of the things we have struggled with is just reading scriptures dryly, without any discussion or commentary, so for several years, we have not been reading just books of scripture but have been following the course of study for the Sunday School. This year it’s the New Testament.
We have a member of the family take the lead in our study for a week. When I take the lead, I am called the “scripture boss.” When my wife leads, we call her the “scripture diva.” And our daughter likes to be called the “scripture commando.” Did you guess she is a teenager.
We follow the assignments for the lessons found in the New Testament Class Member Study Guide. This week we will be studying the Epistle of James. It has 108 verses. That’s a least 16 verses a day for the week. We’ll aim to read 6 verses each a day (18 a day) and then talk about what we read. We usually read before bedtime which is the time that works well for us.
Other than prayer, temple and Church attendance, nothing has been more healing to me than reading the scriptures. I got into the daily reading habit when I was a teenager, and that has been one constant that has been with me throughout my life.
It’s not so much the black and white on the page as it is what I feel and experience when I read the words on the page. And it is more than what I feel: it is a mind, body and spirit connection, a heavenly connection, that is critically important to surviving and thriving in this confusing world. Nothing has given me more hope. Nothing has given me more peace.
All of our children are independent scripture readers with a regular habit. We didn’t have to force this on them. They picked it up because they wanted to. We are very proud of them all.
If you don’t have this habit in your family, I highly recommend it. Why not start or restart today?
P.S. For tips on scripture marking, see an earlier post on “Scripture Marking Success.”