Ask the Readers: Scripture Study

I wasn’t raised in the church. My family celebrated Christmas, but that was more or less the extent of my religious upbringing. But my parents had received a Bible as a wedding gift, and it sat on a bookshelf. I was a voracious reader as a child, so from time to time, I picked it up off the shelf and would read it. I never made it past the first few chapters of Genesis because King James English is a bit advanced for a 5-year old, even a highly literate one.

I joined the church as a Beehive, and I decided to dive head-first into making up for lost time in my spiritual education. In Seminary, one of my teachers challenged us all to read the scriptures every day, even if it was only a verse. I decided to take up the challenge, and for the most part I was pretty good at sticking with it.

By the time I went on my mission, I had graduated from Institute and had read all of the Standard Works multiple times. On my mission I read them again multiple times. Sometime after my mission I fell out of the habit. I’m not sure when it happened. It was gradual – first I would miss a day or two, then eventually it would be weeks since I had picked the scriptures up outside of church. I was still actively attending church, and I was participating in the Bloggernacle and/or Mormon-themed Facebook groups daily. But going back to primary sources had gone by the wayside.

Every time general conference rolls around, there are several talks about scripture study and I remind myself that I should get back into the habit. Like clockwork last weekend, the Spirit reminded me once again that I need to spend more time in the scriptures.

I’ve tried setting up a calendar that emails me my reading assignment for the day each morning, but I get so much email that it gets lost in the shuffle. I’ve tried listening to audio scriptures as I commute, but I work from home now so I commute less. I’ve tried reading first thing in the morning, but I’m too rushed. And I’ve tried reading before bed but I’m tired and fall asleep.

What I’m doing isn’t working, so I’m open to ideas. How have you worked scripture study into your busy lives? How have you started the habit after years of falling out of it?


  1. I change up what I’m reading. I read books that expound on the scriptures. I read articles – things that will help me expound on my understanding to understand the text beyond.

  2. Your question reminds me of a story that Cheiko Okazaki used to share. As a mother of young boys, and a school principal, they had a very busy household. Often, family scripture study went by the wayside. She hit upon an idea that worked for her family. She would write a scripture on a 3 x 5 card and put it on the bathroom mirror. I believe she’d leave it there for a week? Everyone in the family could read it several times a day. Hint: save the card and it can be used another time. This solution is meant as a partial solution. Listening to the Faithful Feminist podcast is also a wonderful to hear a truly meaningful discussion of scriptures from the Come Follow Me manual, but through an eco-feminist lens. Also, listening to the Mystical Jesus podcast (there are only about 40 episodes), allows a very deep dive into the New Testament Jesus, which is the whole point of scripture study.

  3. Good for you for trying again! Sometimes phone reminders and reading digitally is a nice option. I keep my scriptures by my computer and read them before I check email in the mornings. I also really appreciate other more modern translations for the Bible. And sometimes I try to find a verse each day that goes with what’s going on in my life.

  4. Could you read while eating breakfast? Even if it’s a rushed part of your day, you could get a few minutes with the scriptures that way. I need to try something new, too.

  5. My dad hates reading, but knew he was supposed to read his scriptures, so he listened them on tape while driving to/from work. Maybe something like that could become a routine? Listen while folding laundry or going to work?

  6. I have a sheet of paper with 365 boxes on it – name of the month for the 1st day and the rest of the days just numbered boxes following each month box (basically a year-at-a-glance on one 81/2 x 11). It’s my goal tracker (in this case, for scripture study). I make a mark every day I read. Yes, I thrive and find happiness in lots of marked boxes filling up a single sheet of paper over the course of a year. 😀 Good luck finding what works for you!

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