Scripture Study Tools

To enhance your understanding of the scriptures, the following study helps are included in the Latter-day Saint set of standard works.

Bible Dictionary. Located in the appendix to the Bible, the dictionary follows the Topical Guide. In it you’ll find explanations of names and places mentioned in the Bible. It also offers short explanations of cultural items and key doctrines, as well as a chronology of important dates.

Topical Guide and Index. Located at the back of the Bible and triple combination (the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price), respectively, these study aids are organized by key words to help you find commonly used scriptures for a given topic.

Chapter or Section Headings. Providing an overview of the chapter or section, headings may include information about doctrine, historical context, or people.

Footnotes and Cross-References. The most common type of footnote is a cross-reference to related passages of scripture. In addition, the footnotes often include acronyms:

  • (GR): Greek translations

  • (HEB): Hebrew translations

  • (TG): Topical Guide references

  • (IE): Explanations of idioms and difficult constructions

  • (JST): Excerpts from Joseph Smith’s translation of the Bible. Short JST entries appear in the footnotes; longer entries can be found in a section immediately after the Bible Dictionary.

Maps and Photographs. In the appendix of new sets of the standard works, scriptural sites and areas important to Church history are shown through a variety of maps and photographs. Chronological information is again included to help you better understand Church history.

As you use these study aids, you may find it helpful to mark your scriptures, although this is not necessary. If you do wish to mark them, consider highlighting verses or words that are meaningful to you and use whatever method works best for you. As you prayerfully study the scriptures, their meaning will become even more personal to you.

Note: Additional ideas for studying and marking your scriptures can be found in Teaching, No Greater Call (item no. 36123; U.S. $2.00), pages 56–59.

“Now That I’m a Member, How Do I … ?”

1. How should I dress for Church services and activities?

At Sunday meetings, men generally wear suits or sport coats and ties. Women wear modest skirts or dresses (with sleeves), and children typically wear their Sunday best. Sunday dress is also worn when attending the temple. For most Church activities not held on Sunday, casual, modest attire is appropriate. To find additional information on dressing modestly, refer to the booklet For the Strength of Youth (item no. ; no charge).

2. What can I do to more easily find scripture references in Church classes?

Since classroom discussions at church are often centered on scriptural passages, you will want to bring your scriptures to church. If you’d like to memorize the order of the books in the Bible or the Book of Mormon, you may want to learn the Primary songs “The Books in the Old Testament,” “The Books in the New Testament,” and “The Books in the Book of Mormon,” on pages 114, 116, and 119, respectively, of the Children’s Songbook. Sections of the Doctrine and Covenants are simply identified by their section number, and the Pearl of Great Price has but a few chapters. Scriptures are available with tabs for easy reference. Until you are familiar with the books of scripture, you may want to ask your instructor to include page numbers when referencing scriptures.

3. How do I pay tithing and fast offerings?

Donation slips and envelopes are generally located just outside the bishop’s or branch president’s office at church. Simply fill out the form as indicated, slip it along with your contribution into the envelope provided, and mail or give it to a member of the bishopric or branch presidency. If you have questions regarding donation amounts or how to fill out the forms, you can ask for assistance. Your home teachers, visiting teachers, or a member of the bishopric, for instance, would be happy to help.

4. Who can help me with questions about my calling?

Ask a leader in the Church organization to which you have been called. For instance, a Primary teacher might ask the Primary president or one of her counselors for help.

When you have questions about gospel teachings or about Church practices or procedures, you can ask your member friends. Some answers might be just a click away on or As a new member, you have access to many helpful resources, including caring Church members who want to see you progress in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Family Home Evening Helps:

Ready for Sunday

“Saturday is a special day,” we sing. “It’s the day we get ready for Sunday” (“Saturday,” Children’s Songbook, 196). This Primary song favorite has helped our family to better prepare for Sabbath-day worship. Whether you are a lifelong member of the Church or have just become a member, you can enjoy a more peaceful Sunday by preparing a little in advance. Consider using the words of the song as we did to help children understand what needs to be done ahead of time. Or simply discuss in family home evening how to accomplish personal and household chores before Sunday. We plan ahead for simple meals, and when the work is done we reward ourselves with a fun Saturday activity. Preparing for Sunday helps our family to avoid last-minute chaos and helps us invite the Spirit more fully in our Sabbath-day worship. Diana Eckersell Janson, Idaho