"Personal Scripture Study" Discussion Ideas and Helps

Only three more 4th Sunday lessons, can you believe it? These next three subjects are a great way to finish up this section though. Personal scripture study goes right along with the first lesson in the 2019 Come, Follow Me lesson manuals which discusses how we are responsible for our own learning. Personal scripture study is our first step towards accepting that responsibility and acting upon it.

 
 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints suggests the following for this discussion:

“To help inspire members to study the scriptures regularly, consider inviting each member to select one of the following passages to read: Joshua 1:8; 2 Timothy 3:15–17; 1 Nephi 15:23–25; 2 Nephi 32:3; Doctrine and Covenants 11:22–23; 33:16–18. After they have had time to read and ponder, they could share with someone else in the room what their passage teaches them about scripture study.

“You could also invite members to share their testimonies of the blessings they receive as they study the scriptures. Members may also benefit from hearing each other share what they do to make personal scripture study meaningful (see some examples in ‘Ideas to Improve Your Personal Scripture Study’ in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families). You could also share with members what Elder Quentin L. Cook taught about ‘the purposes and blessings associated with [the adjustment in the Sunday schedule] and other recent changes’ (see ‘Deep and Lasting Conversion to Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,’ Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2018). Members could discuss how our efforts to improve our scripture study can help accomplish these purposes. The following videos on LDS.org may also inspire members: ‘Words with Friends,’ ‘The Blessings of Scripture,’ ‘Daily Bread: Pattern,’ and ‘What Scriptures Mean to Me.’”


Teacher Study

These talks are for you to study so you can easily guide a discussion in whatever way it ends up going. They are not meant to be the lesson in any way.

”Living by Scripture Guidance” by President Russell M. Nelson

“The Blessing of Scripture” by Elder D. Todd Christofferson

“The Power of Scripture” by Elder Richard G. Scott

“My Soul Delighteth in the Scriptures” by Sister Julie B. Beck

“Holy Scriptures: The Power of God unto Our Salvation” by Elder Robert D. Hales

Deseret Bookshelf PLUS Recommendations

Remember, as a Deseret Bookshelf PLUS member, you can access these eBooks or audio books anytime. Find out more about Deseret Bookshelf PLUS.


Suggested Videos

There are three videos recommended for this discussion. You can also find all of these videos on the 4th Sunday resource page.

Words with Friends (about 3 minutes) With words from Elder Richard G. Scott

The Blessings of Scripture (about 3 minutes) With words from Elder D. Todd Christofferson

Daily Bread: Pattern (about 3 minutes) With words from Elder D. Todd Christofferson

What Scriptures Mean to Me (about 5 minutes) With words from Elder Richard G. Scott

If you need additional video resources, there are several about the scriptures.



Questions to Ponder

  • Why do you think the Lord gave us scriptures?

  • How does studying the scriptures help you meet the challenges in your life?

  • What advice would you give to someone who struggles with daily scripture study?

  • What blessings have you received as a result of immersing yourself in the scriptures regularly?

  • How do you study the scriptures? What methods work well for you? What is your reading style?

  • Why do you personally read the scriptures?

  • Why do you think the Lord asks us to read the scriptures every single day? Why not just on Sundays?

  • What are some answers you have discovered because of your personal scripture study?

  • What experiences have you had with hearing the voice of the Lord through scripture study?

  • How does regular personal scripture study influence your conversion to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ?

  • What are some of your earliest memories of studying the scriptures? Why do these experiences stick out in your mind?

  • How do you make scripture study a consistent part of your life?

  • What helps you not only read the scriptures but truly understand them and apply them into your life?

  • What scripture verse means a lot to you? Why?


Teaching Ideas

These are my ideas. My hope is by reading my thoughts, it will springboard you to finding the right plans for your class.

  • Review Lehi’s vision of the Tree of Life. You can have different people draw the parts of his vision and explain its significance. End the recap focusing on the rod of iron (i.e. the word of God) and the six groups of people that Lehi saw. Which group are we like? How can we help the other groups of people hold to the rod? (For the six groups of people see 1 Nephi 8:21-23, 24-25, 30, 31, and two groups in 32).

  • Discuss the parable of the 10 virgins waiting for the bridegroom. How do we become the wise ones? How does scripture study factor into this story?

  • Hand out these candy wrappers to discuss feasting on the words of Christ! Each wrapper has one of the recommend scriptures attached to it. Hand them out to get people to read aloud, easily divide people into groups, or to say thanks to those who help out.

  • Put on the board the question, “How do you personally study the scriptures?” in big letters. Then give people a marker or sticky note to write down their answer and put it on the board as they come into the room. It’s a great way to get a lot of different answers without having to go around the room one by one. You can prepare some sticky notes with the ideas from “Ideas to Improve Your Personal Scripture Study” (article recommended by the Church) and stick them on the board yourself as well. When you are ready to discuss different ways that we can study the scriptures, go through the variety of answers. Isn’t it great how God allows us to find our own way to study His words? No one way is right. It only matters that you get into the scriptures.

  • Before jumping into how we can study the scriptures personally, ask what talents your class has. You can have them shout it out or hand out white board markers and get them to write their answer on the board (then they hand the marker to someone else to do the same). Next ask, “If this is my talent (pointing to one of the answers), how might I use it to study the scriptures?” We can use our talents to study the scriptures as well as use scripture study to further develop a talent. For example, if you are awesome at word searches then read the scriptures looking for specific words or phrases. If you want to further develop your talent of illustration, then read and draw as you go. If you love trivia, you might want to start in the Bible Dictionary or Topical Guide.

  • Ask a couple people ahead of time to come prepared to share one of their favorite scripture verses and how it impacted their lives. Have them share how they discovered that scripture, their experience with it, and their testimony of it. Then open it up for others to share their experiences as well.

 
 
  • Continue with the chocolate nugget theme and use these cute scripture handouts. They are especially great to give to those that can’t attend due to illness, personal struggles, or other reasons. You can have a basket available for people to bring to their ministering people as well.

  • Have someone record the ideas and ways others study their scriptures and come to understand their meaning. Then send out an email with the list later so all can read it and try something new in their scripture study that week.

  • You may want to discuss that our daily scripture reading my differ every single day and that’s okay. One day we may read for 1/2 hour and get a lot out of it. The next day we may struggle to get through a couple of verses. However, it is the daily habit that matters and we can always try again tomorrow.

  • Ask a few people to come prepared to demonstrate how they study the scriptures. It’s a great lesson to get some hands-on studying in!

  • Be sure you check out our 4th Sunday Facebook group as there are some great additional ideas there!