Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Scripture Study

Many friends in Provo saw my scripture study method and this past weekend my sister came to visit and asked about it as well.  So, here's the basics.  I certainly am not a pro, I was just looking for a system that would help me remember things and be able to find notes more easily after I had taken them.  Before, I would write in the margins of the Ensign, but then I'd have stacks of magazines to look through before I found the article I was looking for.  Now, I have everything together in one source.
First off, gather the following supplies:
  • Whatever you are studying: Ensign, Sunday School lesson, Church book, etc.
  • Have your scriptures nearby
  • a blank notebook.  I like Mickey, so that's who is on the front of mine :)
  • Post-it notes
  • a six pack of highlighters (I like to color code things, and six is what I've found works for me)
So, as I read, I take notes of what is important, what stands out, and what I am thinking/feeling on the subject.  First, I write the date and the source, then I make note of anything I liked about the article, chapter, whatever.  Direct quotes, scripture sources, personal thoughts, and summaries are all common.  When I've finished with the article, I write the general topic or theme in the margin, making it easy to find talks about specific topics later.
Then, when I've finished, I go back with my highlighters.  Above is the first page in this notebook so I included a color key, but if you can't read it I use the following:
  • Yellow: Author, speaker, source
  • Blue: direct quotes from the article
  • Green: my personal thoughts
  • Orange: scripture notations
  • Purple: anything that has to do with parenting (since that is my focus in life right now)
  • Pink: major announcements 

So, what if I find a quote that I like so much and think it pertains to a specific scripture?  I write the quote on a post-it and stick it right to the page in the scriptures.  Post-its don't ruin the thin paper in the scriptures and can be moved and replaced multiple times.  Also, you'll note a purple bracket around a talk in the notebook above.  That's because the whole talk related to parenthood, but I also wanted to use other colors to denote scriptures and sources.

That's pretty much it.  It sounds complicated but it actually only takes about 30 extra seconds at the end of my study to highlight items.  It has helped so much with giving talks in Sacrament meeting as well as Family Home Evening lessons and impromptu supplements to our couples scripture study.