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How can I improve my scripture study?

The scriptural command to “feast upon the words of Christ” (2 Nephi 32:3) implies much more than just casually reading the scriptures. We should search them diligently, pondering what they teach and likening these teachings to ourselves. We should pray for understanding and follow any promptings we receive from the Holy Ghost. Meaningful study of the scriptures can build our faith, fortify us against temptation, and help us draw nearer to Heavenly Father.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What do you find that will help the youth improve their scripture study?

Isaiah 34:16; 1 Nephi 10:19; D&C 88:63, 118 (If we seek, we shall find)

1 Nephi 19:23 (We should liken the scriptures to ourselves)

Psalms 119:105; 2 Nephi 4:15–16; D&C 138:1–11; Joseph Smith—History 1:11–13 (Pondering the scriptures brings revelation)

2 Nephi 32:3 (We should feast upon the words of Christ)

D&C 11:22 (Seek to obtain God’s word)

Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:37 (Those who treasure up the word of God will not be deceived)

Teaching, No Greater Call (1999), 56–59, 137–38

Henry B. Eyring, “A Discussion on Scripture Study,Ensign, July 2005, 22–26

David A. Bednar, “A Reservoir of Living Water,” CES fireside for young adults, Feb. 4, 2007

Make connections

During the first few minutes of every class, help the youth make connections between things they are learning in various settings (such as personal study, seminary, other Church classes, or experiences with their friends). How can you help them see the relevance of the gospel in daily living? The ideas below might help you:

  • Ask the youth to share something they studied in the scriptures in their personal study this week. What is their plan for scripture study? How do they feel they could improve their scripture study?
  • Write on the board, “Immersion in the scriptures is essential for spiritual nourishment” (Quentin L. Cook, “Can Ye Feel So Now?Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 7). Ask the youth what they think it means to immerse ourselves in the scriptures. How is it different from simply reading them? Encourage them to think about this statement as they learn about scripture study during this lesson.

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help the youth improve their scripture study. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • Write on the board the words search, ponder, and pray. Invite each youth to read one of the scriptures suggested in this outline and share with the class what he or she learns from the scripture. Ask the youth to write their scripture references next to the word on the board that describes the principles they teach. What other principles of effective scripture study can the youth think of? Do they know any scriptures that illustrate those principles?
  • Write on the board some of the questions from President Henry B. Eyring’s article “A Discussion on Scripture Study” that would be most relevant to the youth you teach. Invite the youth to share their answers to these questions, and then give them time to read President Eyring’s answers. What do they learn from President Eyring’s answers that can help them improve their scripture study?
  • Introduce the youth to the study aids available in the LDS edition of the scriptures (such as the footnotes, chapter headings, Topical Guide, and Bible Dictionary). Help them see how these study aids can help them enhance their study of the scriptures. (See Teaching, No Greater Call, 56–59.) With the permission of the bishop, invite ward members to come to class to be interviewed by the youth about how they make their scripture study meaningful.
  • Ask the youth to choose a chapter in the scriptures and to spend a few minutes reading it, applying the principles of scripture study they learned today. Invite them to share any insights they found as they studied.

Ask the youth to share what they learned today. Do they understand how to improve their scripture study? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this topic?

Invite to act

Invite the youth to think about their personal scripture study plan. What have they learned today that can help them improve their plan?