As a college student, I get to rub shoulders with all kinds of amazing people. In 2014, I met a fellow mom/student, Jessica, in an online class. She always had powerful insights and I looked forward to interacting with her in our discussion group each week.
One day, Jessica casually mentioned that she had not missed a day of scripture study in eighteen years. Yes, really…18 YEARS! I was amazed. How had a busy wife and mother made personal study a priority everyday for that long?
This is something I have aspired to do. It’s on my “dreamer list” right along with several other great things that are so difficult to actually do.
I contacted Jessica after our discussion and asked her to share her best advice of how I could implement consistent scripture study. This is what she readily shared:
- Start small. Set a goal to read every day for a few days or weeks. Begin by reading just five or ten minutes a day.
- Figure out what works for you. Find a time and place that you can read each day that works for your schedule and routine. Keep it simple and realistic.
- Determine how you will study. Will you use a set of actual scriptures? Would it work better for you to use your phone, tablet, or other device? Would listening to them help you be more consistent? Find one method that is readily available and stick with it.
- Create a reminder. Place a photo, sticky note, prayer rock, or any reminder in a place that you are guaranteed to see every day. Create a daily alarm in your phone. You know yourself best, do what works.
- Establish the habit first. Once you have established a routine of daily study you can worry about everything else (scripture marking, journaling, understanding doctrine, etc.). For now, just focus on making scripture study a habit.
- It’s ok to mess up. Scripture reading is meant to inspire and uplift, not to create feelings of failure if we miss a day. Remember that “the Lord looketh on the heart” (Samuel 16:7). Be kind to yourself!
In the October 2010 General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Elder David McConkie said, “The Lord has commanded us to search the scriptures, to feast upon them, and to treasure them up. As we earnestly search and ponder the word of the Lord, we will have His Spirit with us. We will become acquainted with His voice.”
I’ve since lost contact with Jessica (I would love to give her proper credit for this advice) but I often look at her list. I need the power and peace that consistent scripture study brings and I certainly need to “become [better] acquainted with His voice”.