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Adding Color to our Scriptures Why mark my scriptures and how often should I do it?
Why would I write in this sacred book?
Six Purposes for Marking: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. To establish ownership To keep track of wonderful passages To lead to more active learning To remember what I’ve learned To prepare my scriptures for future learning To qualify for spiritual blessings
Ownership When you buy a book, you establish a property right in it, just as you do in clothes or furniture. . . but the act of purchase is actually only the prelude to possession in the case of a book.
Full ownership of a book only comes when you have made it a part of yourself, and the best way to make yourself a part of it-which comes to the same thing--is by writing in it. (Mortimer J. Alder and Mark Van Doren, How to Read a Book, p. 49, italics added)
Keep track Elder Boyd K. Packer has taught: The important thing is to underline [the scriptures] and make marginal notes of some kind so you can find them again. (Teach Ye Diligently, p. 166).
Active learning Neil Flinders, a CES instructor, taught this: As Latter-day Saints we have in our possession the documents which contain the precepts essential to man's eternal welfare. These special records have been prepared and preserved by inspired men who were divinely assisted in their work.
In a very real sense these men were curriculum specialists. They carefully and selectively designed the housing in which these precepts have been preserved for our day. (Neil Flinders, Report on Religious Education, p. 26)
Remember If it's not marked in my scriptures, I know I haven't read it. But if I've read it and studied it and written concise notes about what I learned, then I can go even deeper next time I study it! I don't have to re-invent the wheel every time I open my scriptures.
Prepare for future learning If I know that D&C 42 is "The Law, " and I've marked a few verses, then when I study it in Gospel Doctrine, I will see my markings and look for other laws in that section.
The same is true of footnotes-when they are marked before I start studying for my Gospel Doctrine class, I am drawn down into them and ready to learn. Marking and writing provides a foundation on which I can build each time I study.
To qualify for blessings Elder Gene R. Cook explains: The practice of marking and crossreferencing also yields results in indirect ways. When you take the time, thought, and energy to understand the scriptures by marking and cross-referencing them, you’re showing
a deep desire to learn, as well as a respect for the word of the Lord. In return, he will bless you in wonderful ways, both directly (in terms of scriptural understanding) and indirectly (in terms of other spiritual gifts). (Searching the Scriptures, p. 92)
How often should I mark my scriptures?
Every day Jerry Wilson my institute , teacher in Logan, taught us that scripture study is like manna. You must "gather" your spiritual food daily--and you're welcome to eat as much as you'd like, but you can't collect today what you will need tomorrow--that must be done tomorrow.
He also taught us that our scriptures should be the "receptacle of all our learning. ” This means that when I open my scriptures I am prepared to teach from them.
While you’re thinking about it Elder Boyd K. Packer teaches us: Underline your books and make your notes while you're thinking about it. I don't know how many hours I've spent going back to try to locate something I could have found very quickly if I had regularly followed this procedure. (Teach Ye Diligently, p. 166)
The words of a prophet
President Howard W. Hunter We ought to have a Church full of women and men who know the scriptures thoroughly, who crossreference and mark them, who develop lessons and talks from the Topical Guide, and who have mastered the maps, the Bible Dictionary, and the other helps that are contained in this wonderful set of standard works…
Not in this dispensation, surely not in any dispensation, have the scriptures --the enduring, enlightening word of God--been so readily available and so helpfully structured for the use of every man, woman, and child who will search them.
The written word of God is in the most readable and accessible form ever provided to lay members in the history of the world. Surely we will be held accountable if we do not read them. (Satellite address to religious educators, 10 Feb. 1989. )
Guide to the Scriptures This alphabetical listing of gospel topics defines selected doctrines, principles, people, and places found in the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. It also provides key scriptural references for you to study for each topic and can help you in your individual and family study of the scriptures.
It can help you answer questions about the gospel, study topics in the scriptures, prepare talks and lessons, and increase your knowledge and testimony of the gospel. Each entry gives a short definition of the topic and provides the most significant scriptural references about that topic. . .
Examples: CANON See also Bible; Book of Mormon; Doctrine and Covenants; Pearl of Great Price; Scriptures A recognized, authoritative collection of sacred books.
SCRIPTURES See also Bible; Book of Mormon; Canon; Chronology; Doctrine and Covenants; Pearl of Great Price; Word of God Words, both written and spoken, by holy men of God when moved upon by the Holy Ghost. . . (Matt. 22: 29; John 5: 39; 2 Tim. 3: 15; 2 Pet. 1: 20 -21).
WORD OF GOD See also Commandments of God; Revelation; Scriptures Instructions, commandments, or a message from God’s children may receive his word directly by revelation through the Spirit or from his chosen servants (D&C 1: 38).