Sunday, May 13, 2012

Scripture Study Styles

I recently went to a stake Relief Society conference and one of the speaker talked about scripture study. She said there are three kinds.... none are wrong, they are just different.
First, we have the water skier.
The person skiing skims over the water quickly but still gets a little wet. So, in scriptural terms, this person reads it quickly and learns a little -- just what's on the surface.

Second, we have the snorkeler.

This one gets in the water and is very wet. This person also seems glimpses of the fish and treasures under the water. So, scripturally, this person goes a little slower as he/she reads the scriptures. This person also catches glimpses of some of the deeper doctrines available in the scriptures to learn.

Finally, we have the scuba diver.
This one goes all the way under the water and finds the bigger treasures, the fish who don't stay on the surface but stay hidden so one must go a bit deeper to observe them and learn from them. I should also include a story Sister Lowry told as she was teaching this. She said she was practicing in the pool, lying on the bottom and stared up at the sun. She said it was nice and relaxing. Then, they went to the ocean and as she got deeper in the ocean, it got darker and she began to panic. She quickly turned around and started to swim for the surface quickly. But, the instructor grabbed her by the hand and slowly and gently lead her back to the bottom. He kept her calm and showed her all the beautiful coral, fish and other treasures that could only be seen at the bottom.
She didn't clarify why she told this story but as I listened, this is what I learned from it. The scuba diving is when we let the spirit lead our scripture study. There are things in the scriptures we won't learn on our own so we have to let the Spirit take us by the hand and show us all the things we need to learn, the treasures in the scriptures. I just loved this...

So, all three styles are good, they are just different and you will learn different things. The example she used was the most read scripture of the Book of Mormon... 1 Nephi 1:1. "I, Nephi, having been aborn of bgoodly cparents, therefore I was dtaught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many eafflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a frecord of my proceedings in my days."
Most people read this scripture really fast b/c they already know it and practically have it memorized. I mean, they read it all the time. But, if we slow down and look at it then we learn lots. For example, he had good parents who taught him in the gospel. Maybe they had FHE every week and family prayer every night. He listened well to those teachings too and knew that God loved him. He also kept a journal. See, slow down and learn more. Of course, if we ski across our scriptures, we are still learning something but we slow down then we learn so much more.
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