I’ve been keeping a scripture journal since I was a teenager. For a while, my journal consisted of lists and lists of encouraging scriptures to send to the 18 LDS Missionaries I was actively writing (ahem). But now my journals are much more personal. I love this method of digging deeply in the Word of God for many reasons. I’ll share just a few today.
I’m a visual learner. I learn best when I can take notes and draw/write out connections. I am amazed at how much more I retain from a passage I’ve studied deeply and journaled as compared to those I just read.
The act of journaling keeps my mind engaged in the scriptures longer.
As I create these pages, I think about the verses or Conference talks
I’m studying. My mind is better able to concentrate on the message when my hands are busy lettering and drawing.
I also think about what I’ve read more often during day when I study this way. I find myself thinking about the pages I journaled during quiet moments, and it’s very infrequent that I would do the same thing if I hadn’t taken the time to write down my thoughts.
This one is huge for me. Above is an example of the Allegory of the Tame and Wild Olive Tree from Jacob 5
(in the Book of Mormon). This chapter was always confusing to me until I actually took the time to draw it out. The arrows represent where branches were grafted in and are numbered in order to clarify the story. Below the trees, I studied characteristics of the Lord of the Vineyard and the Servant.
This study took me 2-3 days, but I finished it feeling like I’d gained a much deeper understanding of the allegory. I never could have gotten that by reading alone.
2 Nephi 4
,often called Nephi’s Soliloquy, was another chapter I wanted to understand better. In it, Nephi describes himself and the “wretched man” that he is. He describes the Lord, and he also asks the Lord to help him become better in beautifully poetic words. I broke the chapter down on the journal page above to help me better understand the character of Nephi and his desire to shun sin as well as the characteristics of the Lord.
The pages on Missionary Work (above) and Charity (below) are examples of ways I’ve tried to further my understanding of scriptures. I studied Doctrine and Covenants 4 and used the bible dictionary, cross referencing other scriptures and a plain old dictionary to define the characteristics of a missionary.
My journals are a great resource for me as I am planning lessons and talks. I have so many thoughts, stories, quotes and scriptures recorded on countless subjects (all indexed in the front couple of pages of the journal) that I can reference as needed. This alone has been a huge blessing.
This practice of studying and learning scripture has been tremendously successful for me. Of course, I’m not perfect and I go through spells when I don’t study as deeply. But when I am in the habit of studying this way I look forward to getting up early to spend time in The Word.
I look forward to being able to pass these journals on to my children someday, in the hopes that my love for the Gospel and for my Heavenly Father will come through in the pages I’ve created.
Favorite Resources for my Scripture Journals
I love and adore Gelly Roll pens for adding color.
I currently use a lined leather journal (similar) but it’s almost full and I’ll be needing a new one very soon.
Prismacolor colored pencils are my all-time favorite. I dream of one day owning this set .
“Write down in a secure place the important things you learn from the Spirit. You will find that as you write down precious impressions, often more will come. Also, the knowledge you gain will be available throughout your life”
(Richard G. Scott, Ensign, June 2002, 32.
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