Scripture Studying Goals
This post will be mostly interesting to me as a way to track what I have done and what I am hoping to do in my scripture studying. While I’m feeling more positive about the attention I am paying to the scriptures now, I have to feel embarrassed when I think of the years where I never did any studying at all. In looking over my reading record, I came home from my mission and retired my scriptures for about 10 years, only using them at church or sporadically at home. Not very impressive. I hope to not do that again!
Last year I read the Bible. I heard about the New Thru 30 challenge and started my year with a more intense scripture study. It was very rewarding and I was inspired to finish the rest of the Bible (which was also the topic of last year’s Sunday School curriculum in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). I followed a chronological reading plan, which was interesting and had me skipping all over the book (which made things lively!)
This year, in the effort to continue marking my new scriptures, I thought I would read The Doctrine and Covenants and then do a more intense study of The Book of Mormon. Last year in the February New Era (a Church magazine for teens) I read “Waiting for my Testimony” where the author relates her experiences of reading The Book of Mormon four times in a year in an attempt to gain a testimony of the book. I’ve read this book pretty consistently since President Hinckley issued his challenge in August 2005 to read it through by the end of the year (except 2010 – I was reading the Bible). So I’d like to do more than just read a chapter a day. Can I read it four times in 2011? I’m not sure, but I think I’m going to try. I’ve also finished up The Pearl of Great Price this month – I read “Joseph Smith-Matthew” when I was reading The New Testament, and “Abraham” and “Moses” when I was reading The Old Testament” and “Joseph Smith-History” as an introduction to the Doctrine and Covenants.
What I have found from reading my scriptures regularly – while I know that there are really inspiring and comforting and chastening passages in the scriptures, actually reading them each day has helped me to remember the Savior more often. Last year while reading Isaiah, I came across this passage in Isaiah 41:10,13:
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness… For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
I wrote in on a card to carry around and posted it on the wall in the kitchen. It reminds me everyday that I don’t have to let my responsibilities frighten me, that God is with me and can strengthen me as I ask for that. This is reassuring and helps me not to worry so much.