“Great power can come from memorizing scriptures. To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship. It is like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change.”
~ Richard G. Scott
How I loved this talk when I heard it in October 2011! And as excited as I was – since we had just really started to work on scripture memorization – I have since had the opportunity to witness first hand the reality of that quote.
JitterBug loves memorizing things. It comes naturally to her. She can hear something a couple of times and recite it perfectly. And, one day, I realized that she is doing that with the scriptures. During church, she’ll lean over and say “we learned that one”. Or I’ll go downstairs and see her wall in her room. She puts the scriptures on the wall to see them and remember them. She also has many pictures of the Savior taped up. It’s pretty cool, actually! One day though, I went down and she had hand-written out this scripture:
“… choose you this day whom ye will serve; … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Joshua 24: 15
But what made me pause was her signature underneath it.
By memorizing that scripture in our school studies – she internalized it, realized its significance in her life and made her own choice.
That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
The amazing thing is that what we do is SO simple. 5-7 minutes a day is all that we spend on scripture memorization. And it pays of over the course of a lifetime. Here’s how we do it:
First, we made a scripture memory box (I got the whole idea from Simply Charlotte Mason):
- Get an index card box and 42 tab dividers. (It took two packages of dividers to make mine – I go the plastic alphabet ones from Walmart and turned them over).
- Mark each tab (one apiece) as follows:
Daily, Odd, Even, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and then number the rest 1-31, and add one titled “To Learn”.
- Place them in the box in the order written above (starting with Daily).
- Select your scriptures to be memorized and write or print them on an index card. I cut and pasted mine from the LDS online scriptures here (just click on the scripture tab).
- Put your scripture cards behind the tab in the back labeled “to learn”.
- Put the first one you want to memorize behind the “daily” tab.
Your set up and organization is done. But now you need to actually use it, right? 😉
- Every day at some point, during family scripture study, breakfast, your school, whatever works best for you, you recite the scripture aloud with your family until everyone can say it (depending on the ages of your children and their abilities, of course).
- As you finish one scripture, you move it to the tab behind it. So you do one daily, review the one in the odd day or the even day of the calendar. Then you review the one in the slot for the day of the week, and then you review the one in the day of the month.
For example: if it is Thursday the 15th, our family would do the following scriptures in the tabs marked:
- Daily, Odd, Thursday, and 15.
- As we add scriptures, we will have more than one behind each day of the month. Pretty cool way to stay on top of them all!
Some ideas for scriptures to memorize: The Articles of Faith, the Seminary Scripture Mastery (they are about doctrine), topics like love, Atonement, etc. The list is endless.
And just to get you really started, here is a link to the free verses that SCM just put out: Scripture Memory Card Packets. These are only for the Bible and they are wonderful selections. (Be sure to click on the King James Version). Simply print on cardstock, cut apart, and file in your box.
This system would also work for memorizing poetry, the Family Proclamation, the Living Christ, and quotes from the Conference talks and prophets. I even made a box for reviewing our Sign Language signs.
Here is the link to the SCM Scripture Memory System. You can see a video of it or download a free template for the tab dividers for you to print, cut out, and use if you don’t want to buy tab dividers. Here is a Window 8 app to make it automatic and online.
For additional family gospel study ideas, see these posts: