Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Shaking Up Scripture Study

Since the move, and probably, if I'm being honest, some time before the move, our family scripture study has really gotten pretty lame.  Although we're on our third time through the Book of Mormon as a family, I feel like we've been stuck on the same chapters in Alma for weeks, maybe months?

What happened?  Was it that our routine got blown out of the water?  Was it the stress of moving into an apartment?  Is it that my husband leaves so early and returns so late? Is it because my children are growing up and moving into a new stage of development?

Yes to it all.

And it's gone on long enough.

We talked about it during family council on Sunday, and I suggested that instead of trying to plow through the scriptures chronologically that we instead have a "question of the week."

We'll introduce the question at the beginning of the week at family council, and every member of the family is expected to search the scriptures on their own to find answers to the question to share in family scripture study each day.

This will hopefully help us turn the corner in our study, while encouraging all members of the family to dive into personal study and also take personal responsibility for how our family scripture study goes.

In my previous post, I mentioned how the kids were locked out of the house.  I told them that we want them to be spiritually prepared to survive in the future, that we didn't want them to be figuratively "locked out" in a spiritual emergency not knowing where to turn for answers.  So we were going to practice getting answers now.

We spent the rest of our time in family council practicing looking up scriptures by topic, and the kids helped me write a list of ways we can find answers to our questions.

I'm excited to see how this change affects our spirituality and participation during family scripture study.  And I hope that my three oldest take our challenge to search the scriptures more diligently on their own!  I will let you know how it goes!

In the meantime, I'd love to hear ideas of how you've approached family scripture study or ways you've tried to encourage your children to read on their own!


  1. It's kind of lengthy, but this post shares some of the things that worked for us over the years - http://neverboredwhispers.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-evolution-of-our-family-scripture.html

    Family scripture study does evolve, as you're discovering, and each stage has its challenges and benefits. The important thing is to just do it, and realize that the real reward comes years (decades!) later when you see your children teaching their children.

  2. I LOVE THIS IDEA!!! I can't say that any louder but I just LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS IDEA!!! We do a good job of reading and have read the Book of Mormon multiple times now as a family but I think this is a FANTASTIC idea to teach them how to seek answers! Thanks for the inspiration and idea!!!

  3. perfection is a process of failing, starting over again and just keep trying. You are on the right track...keep going!

  4. Thank you for this idea! I'd love to know WHEN you fit your scripture study in though. We just can't seem to find a time that works consistently so it can become a habit.

  5. I started doing something similar for FHE after reading this wonderful talk by Elder Bednar: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2010/04/watching-with-all-perseverance?lang=eng I was particularly touched by these two paragraphs: "Inviting children as gospel learners to act and not merely be acted upon builds on reading and talking about the Book of Mormon and bearing testimony spontaneously in the home. Imagine, for example, a family home evening in which children are invited and expected to come prepared to ask questions about what they are reading and learning in the Book of Mormon—or about an issue that recently was emphasized in a gospel discussion or spontaneous testimony in the home. And imagine further that the children ask questions the parents are not prepared adequately to answer. Some parents might be apprehensive about such an unstructured approach to home evening. But the best family home evenings are not necessarily the product of preprepared, purchased, or downloaded packets of outlines and visual aids. What a glorious opportunity for family members to search the scriptures together and to be tutored by the Holy Ghost. “For the preacher was no better than the hearer, neither was the teacher any better than the learner; … and they did all labor, every man according to his strength” (Alma 1:26).

    Are you and I helping our children become agents who act and seek learning by study and by faith, or have we trained our children to wait to be taught and acted upon? Are we as parents primarily giving our children the equivalent of spiritual fish to eat, or are we consistently helping them to act, to learn for themselves, and to stand steadfast and immovable? Are we helping our children become anxiously engaged in asking, seeking, and knocking? (See 3 Nephi 14:7.)" For us, it's going okay but I hope it will become better as they get more used to it.

    Also, maybe having some type of family journal to record what you are learning might be a good idea. (I think this probably just came as inspiration for me to try out in my own family!) I have used a couple of the study guides from the Red Headed Hostess and have been impressed with them. I've been wanting to purchase one of her study by topic journals...that might be a good way to determine topics/questions to study and also provide a place to record what you are learning. I don't know her or anything but I have been impressed with her products. But a plain journal or spiral notebook could work just as well.

    We've tried a variety of things over the years, some successful and some only somewhat so. One thing we really loved was last year we watched all of the church's New Testament videos. We would read the related verses in the Bible and then watch the video. Sometimes we would read and watch 2 or 3 because some are quite short. But we had some good discussions and I feel like connecting the scriptures with the videos really helped bring them to life. (And my kids are 13, 11 and 8...but they loved it.) Right now, we are reading the Book of Mormon again and each of us tells something we learned, something that stood out to us or asks a question after we read our verses (typically we read 5 verses each, per night). It helps us stay more focused and sometimes helps me notice when they aren't quite understanding something or there is something we should stop and talk about a bit more. Your plan sounds great! I'd love to hear a report back in a few weeks about how it is going.

    1. I remember that talk! I think we're going to need like two months before we have an honest report back. So much in our lives is so scattered but we will keep his up and I hope to add your ideas you mentioned as we get into our house and hopefully get more settled!!