By studying the scriptures, family 'learns how to learn'

When Stephen and Kathleen Barlow began gathering their seven children together in April 1993 for family scripture study, they were doing so because it's what the prophet said they should be doing.

Today, Brother and Sister Barlow of the Parleys 5th Ward, Salt Lake Parleys Stake, speak of the positive effects of family scripture study, which include enhanced spirit and harmony in their home, increased testimonies and an increased capacity for learning.Every evening, Brother and Sister Barlow gather around them Matthew, 11; Daniel, 9; David, 7; Ann, 6; Michael, 4; Sarah, 2; and Thomas, 1. Sister Barlow explained that they have both quiet reading time and family scripture study. The evening ends with family prayer.

"We take about half an hour or an hour for everyone to read or be read to if they're not old enough. Ann will read to Michael and Sarah, and it's heart-warming to watch her read to them; they're very attentive," Sister Barlow said.

Brother Barlow explained that gathering together each evening to study the scriptures is a "daily reminder to them of the family and of the gospel. It forms a basis for all that we do in our lives. Scripture reading is a time when the family gets together every night and interacts with one another. It sets an example that learning and reading are important."

Sister Barlow added: "Studying the scriptures can increase our capacity for learning. It teaches us how to learn how to learn. We teach our children to look for answers in the scriptures. We've taught them how to use the Topical Guide, the Bible Dictionary, the maps and the references to the footnotes.

"They then learn how to go to other source material, such as encyclopedias and dictionaries."

Sister Barlow emphasized the importance of using scriptures with children. They have used scripture readers for young children. However, it's important to also use the scriptures because "the readers tell you the story line, but the scriptures give you the gospel."

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