Everybody has their own way of studying the scriptures. There are great benefits, as President Hinckley taught with last year’s Book of Mormon challenge, to reading a book of scripture straight through without stopping to ponder, underline or check sources and footnotes. Some of those benefits were lessons and principles popping out that had been missed before. There were clearer understandings of scriptural people and deeper empathy for what they went through. Greater influence of the Spirit in our homes was another promise as well as many others.
I’d like to share with you how I study the scriptures. I have a list of topics which intrigue me. For instance: Signs of the Times. Calling and Election. Abrahamic Covenant. Gifts of the Spirit. Plan of Salvation. My list goes on and on. So the first I do is go to the Bible Dictionary and Topical Guide and find every scriptural reference there. Then I go to the church’s website at www.lds.org, click on scriptures and then type in my topic there. You get even more scriptural references that way. Then I start at the first scripture, read it, ponder it, underline it and check all the footnotes. I then proceed through the rest of the related scriptures until I have a firmer understanding of the topic. Then I go to the church’s page with all the Ensign articles and conference talks. I type in the topic there and then cruise through, underlining things that strike me, all the talks related to that topic. I do the same thing with Gospelink. Once I’ve completed that, then I go to the store and find any books written on that topic by trusted theologians. Last, but in no way least, I then discuss all that I am learning with trusted friends and family. By the time I am done studying that topic I feel so enlightened with a much firmer grasp of that topic.
I find such great rewards in studying this way. I feel a closer connection with the Holy Ghost, and through him, with my Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. I can’t begin to express my gratitude for all the sacrifices everyone has made to bring this knowledge to the tips of my fingertips. We are very blessed generation.