The following are my suggestions for increasing gospel knowledge through daily study of the Book of Mormon:
- Pray and ask for understanding of the scriptures. Heavenly Father wants us to understand the scriptures, and He will help us. In my case, I pray before I read the scriptures. I also pray afterward and give thanks for the understanding I gain.- Search the scriptures diligently and consistently. The more we read them, the easier it will be for us to understand them. The scriptures themselves won't change, but our understanding of them will increase.
A lot of people find that a scheduled time to read helps. Try to set a scheduled time, but if that doesn't work, don't give up. In my case, my schedule varies. It helps me to be flexible.
- Have faith. Believe that Heavenly Father will answer our prayers and help us to read and understand the scriptures.
- Apply the scriptures. The scriptures will reveal what Heavenly Father wants us to know and do. So do it! Sometimes, as we are studying the scriptures, we find out there's a weakness we need to straighten out in our lives. But be mindful that the Lord chastens those He loves.
In addition, we can receive inspiration. One time when I was a visiting teacher, I was reading a scripture on prayer, and I used that scripture for every sister I visited that day.
The Book of Mormon bears testimony of Jesus Christ, so we should listen for His voice as we read and ponder. - Janice Leilani Smith, Kingsville, Texas
What we did:
Pray before reading
The principle is similar to the saying that when we go to the temple, let the temple go through us. We need to let the Book of Mormon go through us as we read it. To allow that to happen, we should always say a silent prayer as we begin each reading session of the Book of Mormon and ask Heavenly Father to help us understand the things we read.
As we read, we should try and put ourselves in the story. We should ponder what is happening in the story and ask ourselves what and how the material relates to the Savior. As we do so, we will receive impressions from the Spirit bearing to us testimony of the truths we are reading and applications for our daily lives. This refers to the promise at the end of the Book of Mormon, and we don't have to read the entire book before we apply the promise. - Ricardo Sheento
Be flexible, persistent
The most important words for our daily family scripture study are "flexibility and persistence." With each change in our family we have had to adapt to the new situation.
I have read scriptures with toddlers and pre-schoolers at nap time, done a chapter a day between early morning seminary and school with grade schoolers, and in our current family - with four children already gone off to college, marriage and beyond - we read from the Book of Mormon and then have family prayer at bed time.
My own personal study is most enhanced by reading the Church Educational System Book of Mormon text. I also keep a file of all the Book of Mormon lesson material for gospel doctrine, clipped form the Church News each week.
I have used this material for teaching family home evening and seminary lessons as well as gospel doctrine classes. - Gwen Krumperman, Redmond, Wash.
Search the scriptures
- Feast on the words of Christ. Not once are we told to simply "read" the scriptures. "Feast" and "search" are verbs commonly used. Stop and study areas that may be unclear or hard to understand. Go beyond the black and white on the pages. We should use the footnotes, Topical Guide, Dictionary and approved Church literature to increase our understanding.
- Study daily. Knowledge and wisdom are blessings from the Lord and will be given to all those who diligently seek them. Our persistence to know more will grant us the right to receive more. "For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have." (2 Ne. 28:30.) - Travis J. Hannan, Salt Lake City, Utah
Read by topic
When you read the Book of Mormon with a topic in mind, you can focus more on what you are reading. You learn much about that topic, and the concentration opens your understanding to other principles too. Some topics have been faith and power, trials, obedience and disobedience, gratitude, praise, hope, prayer and "I trust my Heavenly Father."
With minimal time and effort, reading the Book of Mormon can be accomplished twice a year. There are just over 520 pages. If you divide 52 weeks into 520 pages, it's 10 pages a week to read it once and only 20 pages a week to read it twice.
We can't get the good of the Book of Mormon into us until we get ourselves into the Book of Mormon. - Jan Dickson, Hawthorne, Calif.
Study time periods
As a seminary teacher, I try to read the scriptures every day. I have found the following helpful in my daily study:
- I read by topic rather than front to back. This way I am able to focus my efforts.
- I put myself into the scriptures, imagining that I was living during that time.
- I study similar topics in different periods of time. History tends to repeat itself. - H. Paul Shurtz, Mechanicsburg, Pa.
I have found studying the Book of Mormon by subject is a good way to increase gospel knowledge. Once the subject is selected I ask myself questions about the subject. These can be tough questions, the kind of questions you would only ask your closest friend. Then I find that subject in the Topical Guide and begin reading each Book of Mormon scripture reference. Since I usually don't have a long time to do this, I may read these scriptures over a period of several days.
For example, I take tithing as a subject. I ask questions like, "Why do we pay tithing?" or "Will my testimony still grow if I don't pay tithing?"
It may take up to a week to read all the scriptures and to get my questions answered. I find this way of studying the Book of Mormon a satisfying process. - Charles Eric Boswell, Montgomery, Ala.
Read with a goal
To make daily reading of the Book of Mormon more interesting and productive, have a specific purpose or goal in mind - such as searching for the words of Christ - or a specific doctrinal subject such as how to avoid sin or how prayers are answered. This type of reading not only increases knowledge of the specific topic but because reading is more precise, overall knowledge increases more completely than with a more casual reading. - Richard Max Fredline, Owosso, Mich.
How to checklist:
- Begin study with prayer; seek understanding.
- Search the scriptures diligently and consistently.
- Feast on the words of Christ; study daily.
- Study with specific purpose or goal in mind.
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