Because Heavenly Father and Jesus love you, they gave you the scriptures so that you can learn about the gospel and how to live it. The word scripture means a “holy writing.” When we read the scriptures, we learn what Heavenly Father expects of us, what He will do if we obey Him, and what will happen if we disobey Him.
The four books that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accept as scripture are the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. The inspired words of our living prophets are also accepted as scripture (see A of F 1:9).
The word Bible means “sacred book.” The Bible is divided into two sections, the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament foretells the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and records the Lord’s dealings with men before His birth. The New Testament tells about the life of Jesus when He was on the earth and about the Apostles He chose to lead His early church.
The Book of Mormon is about some of the people who were led anciently to the Americas and about the Savior’s visit to them soon after He was resurrected. The purpose of this book is to convince all people that Jesus is the Savior and Redeemer of the world.
The Doctrine and Covenants contains revelations received by the Prophet Joseph Smith and others for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today. All of these scriptures teach us about principles and ordinances of the gospel such as baptism (D&C 20:72–74), the sacrament (D&C 20:75–79), and the law of tithing (D&C 119:3–4).
The Pearl of Great Price tells about our premortal life, the Creation, the purpose of life, and the last days. Joseph Smith’s story and the Articles of Faith are also found in the Pearl of Great Price.
Our scriptures contain some of the most exciting stories ever written, and the best part of all is that these stories are true! Once you really get into reading the scriptures, you will want to study them every day.
To help you read the scriptures every day, create a scripture bouquet. As you read and find a favorite verse, think of a word that will remind you of it, and copy the word and the reference on a flower on page 37. (For example—Sacrament, D&C 20:75–79.) Then color the flower. When you have written on and colored all the flowers, cut them out, make stems out of rolled paper or straws, and glue one end of each stem to the back of a flower. Decorate an empty bottle or cup with colored paper and put the bouquet in it. Design your own flowers and add another one to the bouquet each time you read the scriptures and find a favorite verse. If you don’t want to make a bouquet, draw several train cars, write your favorite scriptures on them, and make a train filled with truths.
Give each child four pieces of paper. Have the children write the name of a book of scripture on each of the four pages (Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price) to make four title pages. Thread a piece of yarn through the papers to make a book. As children read scripture stories, they may draw pictures or write about the stories and add the pages behind the appropriate title page.
Give each child a paper with thirty-nine lines, one for each book of the Old Testament. On some of the lines write the names of the appropriate Old Testament books. Have the children look in their scriptures, or sing “The Books of the Old Testament” (Children’s Songbook, p. 114), and fill in the books that have not been listed. When the children complete the books of the Old Testament, they could repeat the assignment with the books of the New Testament and the Book of Mormon.
Say the name of a book from the standard works, and have the children identify whether it comes from the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, or the Pearl of Great Price. (The classes may work with their teachers for the correct answers.)
Sing “Seek the Lord Early” (Children’s Songbook, p. 108). Discuss the statement “I’ll search the scriptures and find Him there.” Have each class search the scriptures and locate a verse that talks about a characteristic of Heavenly Father. (See Sharing Time, Friend, Feb. 1994, p. 36.) Have each class share their scripture. List the characteristics that are talked about and the scripture references on the chalkboard or a large piece of paper. (The children could also look up the characteristics of the Savior.)
Display many books, including the scriptures (recipe book, schoolbook, library book, other Church books, etc.). Have the children discuss why each book is important and what each one teaches us. Discuss what makes the scriptures similar to and different from other books.
Make a large poster of the eighth and ninth articles of faith. Discuss the words and phrases with the children to make sure that they understand the meanings (“translated correctly,” “all that God has revealed,” etc.). Cover one word or phrase at a time as the children memorize the complete texts. Have a class or two recite the eighth and ninth articles of faith.
“My Articles of Faith Word Book” (see Friend, Jan. 1995, p. 36): Scriptures—a holy writing; Bible—a book that contains the New Testament and the Old Testament; Book of Mormon—a book of scriptures that tells of the Savior’s visit to the people in America after He was resurrected; Doctrine and Covenants—a book that contains revelations about gospel principles and ordinances; Pearl of Great Price—a book that teaches about premortal life and what the last days will be like, and that contains the Joseph Smith story and the Articles of Faith.