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Take Your Scripture Study to the Next Level
With the beginning of the Come Follow Me curriculum, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may be wondering how to make their scripture study more meaningful in their families and personal lives.
The answer is simple, but so often under-utilized: if you want to get more out of your scripture study, you have to bring more in. If you want to discover inspiring insights, and find answers to your hardest questions, you will probably have to put your shoulder to the wheel.
Nephi in the Book of Mormon impresses upon readers to “feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.” (2 Nephi 32:3). Learning how to “feast upon the words of Christ” is a life-long journey, and varies from person to person, but here are 4 ways that you can rev up your scripture study to draw closer to Jesus Christ this year.
1. Seek out the best books
At Book of Mormon Central, we believe that we will gain more from our scripture study if we “seek out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” (D&C 88:113).
Being responsible for your own learning also means not expecting the Church to be responsible for all your spiritual growth. The Church is increasingly encouraging members to seek out faithful resources to help their study. Book of Mormon Central has a wealth of resources to facilitate deep and meaningful scripture study, and we will continue to produce resources at a rapid pace this year to meet the scripture needs of Latter-day Saints.
Since 2016, Book of Mormon Central has produced over 500 concise, media-enriched articles that explain difficult topics, interesting insights, and doctrinal gems in the Book of Mormon. In 2020, Book of Mormon Central will continue to produce these helpful articles each week that are in-sync with the Church’s Come Follow Me curriculum.
For several years, Book of Mormon Central has created selective lists of resources that will be helpful to users in their Gospel Doctrine study. This year, Book of Mormon Central intends to continue to provide a curated list of the best Book of Mormon resources for each scripture block in the Come Follow Me curriculum.
In 2020, Book of Mormon Central will be producing two verse-by-verse resources for Latter-day Saints. The first is the John W. Welch Notes project, which will compile verse-by-verse insights and treasures from the notes and studies of John W. Welch, co-founder of Book of Mormon Central.
The second project is called “Book of Mormon Minute,” which will feature a short commentary on selected verses in the Book of Mormon by renowned Book of Mormon scholar Brant Gardner. We hope this project will provide listeners with a deeper understanding of the historical and cultural context of the Book of Mormon, as they follow along with the Come Follow Me curriculum. Both these new commentary projects will be made available through the ScripturePlus app.
The Book of Mormon Central Archive is the world’s largest online repository of Book of Mormon scholarship, resources, and media. Search by scripture to find all online resources that are related to any Book of Mormon chapter, or search by subject if you prefer to study your scriptures topically.
2. Use Technology to Visualize the Book of Mormon
One of the surest ways to make the Book of Mormon come to life and feel relevant is to visualize the scriptures with maps, videos, 3D tours, and images. Book of Mormon Central’s new ScripturePlus app is the fastest way for Latter-day Saints to immerse themselves into the Book of Mormon world. ScripturePlus contains videos, never-before-seen images, and a new Book of Mormon formatting to help users reimagine their scripture study. In addition to being visually stunning, the ScripturePlus app brings in engaging reading resources such as KnoWhys and General Authority quotes to bring insight and context to Book of Mormon passages.
Book of Mormon Central’s two YouTube channels are full of inspiring and exciting videos to help learners connect more deeply with the principles taught in the Book of Mormon. This year, Book of Mormon Central will be producing even more videos to anchor learners in the Come Follow Me curriculum and help them get the most out of their scripture study time.
3. Ask Questions
The fastest way to engage more fully in the scriptures is to ask questions. The following questions can help you think deeply about any passage of scripture
Who is telling this story? When does this story take place? Does this story take place during a special time of year? What is happening in World History during this story? How might the story’s location affect the message? What kind of writing style is this? Poetry? Parable? Sermon? How does that affect the passage’s message?
4. Seek the Spirit
Nephi in the Book of Mormon teaches readers that “Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ.” (2 Nephi 32:3). If Latter-day Saints sincerely desire to feast upon the words of Christ and be as the angels, the most important thing they can do is invite the Holy Ghost into their study.
Start your scripture study with a prayer. Call upon the Lord to open your mind and heart to the sacred words of the scriptures. Music can also be a powerful tool in bringing the presence of the Holy Spirit. You may want to make hymns and other sacred music part of your scripture study as you ponder the Book of Mormon as another testament of Jesus Christ.
Two possible ways to invite the power of the Holy Ghost into your scripture study is to attend the temple and to worship on the Sabbath. Through covenants in the temple, God promises individuals access to spiritual knowledge, and the temple is an especially good place to seek inspiration and personal revelation. Sunday worship allows individuals to “feast” upon the sacrament, inviting us to ponder on the “Word made flesh” (John 1:14) and to renew our covenants so that we may always have His Spirit to be with us.
Feast Upon the Word
To rededicate ourselves to scripture study and "feast" upon the words of Christ means to eat more than a simple, single course meal with one dish. Feasting upon the words of Christ in our scripture study means that we are earnestly savoring and internalizing each part that we encounter. It takes more time and work to truly feast upon the word of God, but the blessings far outweigh the investment.
Increasing our dedication to and love for scripture study will bring the Spirit into our lives and help us to answer life's hardest questions. President Thomas S. Monson taught that “if you will study the scriptures diligently, your power to avoid temptation and to receive direction of the Holy Ghost in all you do will be increased."
To help jump start your scripture study this week, here is a Study Guide to go along with this week's Come Follow Me lesson, and a Book of Mormon Central KnoWhy that teaches about "feasting on the words of Christ."
Don’t stop at Book of Mormon Central for your scripture study. Use Book of Mormon commentaries, encyclopedias of the ancient world, podcasts, and online articles to fuel your knowledge and love for the scriptures. See our recommended lists of resources at the following links.