Scripture Mastery

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Resource Manual, (2001), 292–93


Introduction

Scripture mastery means being able to find scripture verses, understand what they mean, and apply them in our lives. The scripture mastery program includes 100 scriptures (25 for each seminary scripture course) that students should “master.” As the teacher you should help students learn these verses by reviewing them in class and encouraging students to learn them on their own.

Your success will depend largely on your attitude. For example, your students are more likely to learn these verses if you have learned them, and if they sense that you expect them to do so. Spend enough class time to help your students feast on these words of Christ, search them, and apply them to their lives.

Scripture mastery should supplement your daily sequential scripture study, not take its place. Do not devote so much time to scripture mastery that it overshadows the regular curriculum. Home-study teachers should be especially careful that the weekly class does not turn into a weekly scripture chase. You could:

  • Introduce scripture mastery verses as they come up in the regular lessons.

  • Take part of one day each week, or a little time each day, to work on scripture mastery.

  • Memorize a scripture mastery verse in class at least once a term.

  • Work on scripture mastery when a lesson is shorter than planned.

  • Have students organize devotionals around scripture mastery verses.

  • Put up bulletin boards based on scripture mastery verses.

President Howard W. Hunter, who was then President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said, “We would hope none of your students would leave your classroom fearful or embarrassed or ashamed that they cannot find the help they need because they do not know the scriptures well enough to locate the proper passages” (Eternal Investments [address to religious educators, Feb. 10, 1989], 2).

Ideas for Helping Students Find Scripture Mastery Verses

  • Show students the contents page in the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Pearl of Great Price to help them find scripture mastery verses.

  • Have students memorize the references and key words or phrases from scripture mastery verses.

  • Give students clues and have them find scripture mastery verses. You could give them words or phrases or show them an object or picture.

  • Review the verses your students learned in previous years so that they graduate knowing all 100 scripture mastery scriptures.

Ideas for Helping Students Understand Scripture Mastery Verses

  • Read the verses with students and help them understand difficult words or phrases (see the “Understanding the Scriptures” sections in the student study guide).

  • Use the teaching suggestions in this manual and the activities in the student study guide to explain scriptures.

  • Teach students how to find other verses of scripture that help explain the principles in the scripture mastery scriptures (see “Scripture Study Helps,” pp. 11–12). They could write cross-references in the margins of their scriptures.

  • Show students ways to mark their scriptures (see “Mark” under “Methods for Teaching the Scriptures,” pp. 287–88).

  • Ask questions about the verses. For example, ask students who was speaking and to whom, what the main idea is, and what the person spoken to might have been feeling.

  • Discuss the historical setting (the people, place, and time) of scripture mastery verses.

  • Have students look at the surrounding chapters and verses to see scripture mastery verses in context.

  • Have students tell how they could use the verses to teach others about the gospel.

  • Have students rewrite the verses in their own words, write questions about the verses, or draw pictures about something in the verses.

  • Encourage students to memorize scripture mastery verses and to write or say them from memory.

Ideas for Helping Students Apply Scripture Mastery Verses

  • Have students write what they think the scripture mastery verses mean. Discuss how the verses can help students find answers to their questions and problems (see “After Reading” on pages 5–6 of the student study guide).

  • Help students look for any cause-and-effect relationships.

  • Have students give short talks in class using scripture mastery verses. Encourage them to use the verses when they give talks in Church.

  • Ask students how they could use a scripture mastery verse to teach someone about the gospel.

  • Have students tell how the verses were used in talks they have heard at church or in general conference.

  • Suggest to students that they teach scripture mastery verses to their families in family home evening.

  • Have students make posters about the verses for their home or the classroom.

  • Divide the class into two groups. Have each group write down problems or questions that can be answered by the scripture mastery verses. Have the groups exchange papers and find scripture mastery verses that answer the other group’s problems or questions.

Conclusion

Elder A. Theodore Tuttle, who was a member of the Seventy, said:

“Few things sponsor spiritual growth more than studying from the scriptures. The Savior said, ‘He that hath the scriptures, let him search them, and see …’ (3 Nephi 10:14). The Lord has promised that if you will search, you shall see marvelous spiritual truths that will persuade you to turn to Christ as your great exemplar. You will be strengthened in your desire to make covenants with the Lord, to receive the ordinances, and to serve” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1984, 32; or Ensign, May 1984, 24).