Sunday, February 6, 2011

Spiritual Preparedness: Making the Most of Your Scriptures

I love my scriptures a lot. A lot, a lot.

There are several things I do to 'personalize' my scriptures. For me personally, I know I will use and turn to my scriptures more often if they're indeed mine. They need my stamp on them. I need to feel some connection to and ownership over my scriptures in order to grow really close to them. I mark them, I write notes in them, I highlight, I tape, I glue, I do all sorts of things to them (all respectively, of course) and as I add "personal touches" to them, I grow more attached to them.

Others feel differently about their scriptures. *This is completely okay* Take my D, for instance. My husband does not mark in his scriptures. He does not highlight. He never has, he probably never will, and it has holds no bearing on how close he feels to them. He holds them in just as high a regard as I do mine. We're just different in that respect... probably one of the few things we can say that about!

If you are like me, however, here are several suggestions on what to do to make your scriptures truly yours!

1. Add your name. 

Have your name printed on the front of them, or on the front of your scripture case. An employee of Deseret Books would be more than willing to do this for you! Many other church bookstores (family-owned) have the tools to do this. You never know unless you ask! But this is one of my favorites. There's just something glorious about seeing your name - YOUR NAME!! - in gold or silver on a book as beautiful as scripture... Parents, I believe this is especially important for children. Some get their first set of scriptures at their baptism. I kind of like that... the age of accountability, and you celebrate it with your own scriptures. 

Yeah... I like that. : ) 

2. Add your Patriarchal Blessing

This is, by far, my favorite. I cannot count the number of times I have sat during the Sacrament and read the words of my Patriarchal Blessing, only to see something or feel something completely different, and equally important, than the last time I read it. When I received my blessing, I decided I would read it often, and then only way for me to remember to do that is to make it available. 

I now read it during the Sacrament every Sunday, and because of that, my Patriarchal Blessing means more and more to me every year. 

3. Add 'trigger memories'.
This yellow "CHARACTER MATTERS" sticker was given to me by one of my Sunday School teachers. Brother Bradford taught us so many things, but this lesson stands out in my memory as one of the most important. At his work, he began placing these stickers in common places. It spread like wildfire. In an environment outside of church, he was making a profound statement. Character does matter. And it hit me like a ton of bricks. I will never forget the way it made me feel, as I sat on the stage in the 66th street building as a youth, the moment I truly understood that what we do Monday-Friday is just as important as what we do on Sundays. So add something that triggers an important memory or learning experience like this one. 

4. Add sticky notes/reference quotes

There is a company that sells these lovely little sticky notes to put in your scriptures. Though I love them, as just a warning note, they tend to rub off after years of use, and there are some I can hardly read anymore. 

Which brings me to my next suggestion...  

5. Add quotes!

Nearly every once-blank inch on the front and back pages of my scriptures are filled with my favorite gospel quotes. I have, on more than one occasion, used these to add to a lesson I was sitting in on or a discussion I was a part of. Prophets and Apostles and Church Leaders have said all the things I wish I had the poetic sense to say. Sometimes, their words are just what I need to share a spiritual point with others, and it's so much better to be able to reference quickly and accurately than the alternative of, 

"Oh one time I heard someone say... oh who was it... it was really important. Anyways, they said, oh I want to get the words right but uhh... dur dur dur dur durrrr..." 
You get my point.


This is one has helped me smile when I have felt the nagging feeling to do otherwise...
"Mortals make mistakes!"

Amen Sheri Dew! AMEN!! 


6. Highlight!


Here's what I love about highlighting: On this page, with a moments glance, I can tell that there are three verses on affliction, two verses on repentance, one verse on joy&peace, two verses on obedience, and two verses having to do with Christ. I can flip pages quickly on a bad day and find numerous scriptures on how to handle trials. Or notice more than usual all the verses having to do with the need to repent... again. 

Love it. 

And it's pretty.

7. Add personal impressions/thoughts
It is really, really interesting to read my thoughts and notes in the margin of my scriptures. Every time I get a new set, I transfer all the thoughts over. I have impressions, promptings, and insight from ten years ago still in my scriptures. Every once in awhile, I'll run across something and think, "Wow! That's a really good point, Laura!" Not to toot my own horn or anything. But this is a great way to remember promptings from the Holy Ghost, sent specifically for your life. Yours. From Heavenly Father. Because He knows you. Personally. And he puts those thoughts into our hearts through the Spirit because that's the best way to communicate with us, especially when we're receptive!

 8. Add flowers! 


Just because they're a nice touch. : ) 

9. Add poems/stories

This is a really funny poem about all the different ways/places we can pray. I got it during a lesson as a handout while I was in the Single's Ward, and I've used it several times since! 

10. Add a key!

I mentioned highlighting. Equally important is the need for a key, because believe me, just when you think you'll never forget what red stands for, you forget. It happens. 

11. Add Important Information 

I know, I know, I said there would only be ten. And there's no picture to go with it. So sue me. 

One really important thing I like to do is to record my full name, baptismal date, marriage/sealing date, and membership record on one of the blank pages in the back. This has come in handy more times than I care to mention! 

"The central purpose of all scripture is to fill our souls with faith in God the Father and in His Son, Jesus Christ." - D. Todd Christofferson

My prayer is that, as you make your scriptures your own, you will feel begin to draw nearer to our Savior. He is the reason we search, ponder, and pray. He is the reason we have to rejoice. And His Atoning Sacrifice makes all that we love possible.


  1. Dur, dur, dur, durrrrr.....Love it! I can completely tell if the scriptures I'm holding are mine or not, even if they look completely the same and I can't see the name on them. First of all, mine are better than anyone else's. Just kidding, but mostly because it has a certain feel to it. I know what pages are more worn down than other scriptures and I personalize mine. Such a good idea, you are too awesome for everyone's good.

  2. Tim and I are much like you and D on this subject...only roles are reversed. I don't mark in mine, whatsoever, and Tim writes and highlights all over, in, on and throughout his. And you are so right that it doesn't make either one less cherished by their owner than the other! Thanks for sharing, luv! Tim could never put into words to me why he (what I used to think of as) desecrates the scriptures...but you make some very interesting points.