4 easy ways to make the scriptures feel relevant every time you read

senior woman with Bible
The moments in my life where the scriptures have come alive the most are in casual conversations with roommates or family. That’s when the application happens.
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Busy week? Me too. LDS Living is here to catch you up and get you ready for discussions on Sunday and every day of the week. Here’s a nugget of wisdom from this week’s Come, Follow Me study of 1 Nephi 16–22.

Every time we open up the scriptures, we can relate the stories, doctrine, or morals to our own lives. It’s what we try to do on the Sunday on Monday podcast and this article each week. I don’t always think of it in those terms, but I did this week when, in Nephi’s own words, he invites us to “liken them unto yourselves” (1 Nephi 19:23-24).

So as I was thinking about Nephi using the words of Isaiah in his own life and my efforts to apply both Isaiah’s and Nephi’s words to mine, I came up with a few different ways I’ve managed to apply my scripture study. Hopefully one or two can help you too!

How to liken the scriptures to YOU

1. Read it and talk about it

Start with the basics. Open the book. We’re only a month into the new year, so you don’t have to abandon that resolution to read every day yet, even if you’ve missed 1 or 2 or 30 days. I’m also sure most of us have worn out the pages of the first few chapters of 1 Nephi anyway, so this week is a great time to catch up.

Then once you’ve read it, talk about it. The moments in my life where the scriptures have come alive the most are in casual conversations with roommates or family. That’s when the application happens.

2. Open to a random page

I used the same paperback Book of Mormon when writing this article as I do when reading every night. And it’s one I brought home from my mission where I first tried this exercise.

Reading scriptures from start to finish gives important context and connects the stories, but just opening to a random page and reading can help focus what you read on your own life experience. Just like listening to general conference with a question in mind, if you say a prayer before opening the book, you’ll be able to better relate what you see to your needs.

I tried it every day for about a month on my mission and now my scriptures are littered with highlighted verses that stood out. One of those highlighted sections was in this chapter, and I was reminded of what a great, easy, and fulfilling exercise that can be.

3. Write it down (and maybe commit it to memory)

My high school civics class was taught by a man who had been working from the same book and the same notes for decades. Every day before first period, he would write the day’s lesson across the three or four chalkboards that surrounded his room, and every day the first 15 or so minutes of class was devoted to us copying those notes.

At the time, it was my least favorite class, but with time I’ve learned to appreciate that exercise for two reasons. The first is that he was writing them out too. He didn’t just expect us to write out what he had saved on a computer somewhere. But the second is that age-old process that writing something out helps you remember it.

My wife keeps a scripture journal where she will write out her favorite verses and the writing of it helps internalize it. And if writing leads to remembering, remembering will lead to memorizing.

Richard G. Scott once said:

“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.”

So write it down, and gain a friend in the scriptures.

4. Write an article featured on ldsliving.com!

Okay, so this last piece of advice might be more for me than you, but I have always found that I get more out of the scriptures when I am reading for a purpose. That could be preparing to teach a Gospel Doctrine class or to lead a Come, Follow Me study with your family. Whatever your reason, you don’t need a calling to study the scriptures. Even if sometimes it feels like it goes better when you do.

There are a lot of different ways to liken scriptures to yourself. There’s a lot of the Book of Mormon left to study this year and I hope I can see myself and my struggles in the pages in a way I haven’t before.

So that was my takeaway this week. To hear more takeaways from other Latter-day Saints on this scripture block, join our study group on Facebook and Instagram.

The Book of Mormon Timeline

Who came first, Nephi or Mulek? Ammon or Ether? The Book of Mormon Timeline is a visual history of the Book of Mormon that illustrates all the major stories of the Book of Mormon chronologically, beginning in Ether and ending in Moroni. With colorful illustrations and easy-to-understand timelines, this fun book will help bring the Book of Mormon to life by drawing parallels and connections that are easier to see than read. Experience the strength and power of the scriptures with this friendly, vibrant guide to the Book of Mormon!

Sunday on Monday is a Come, Follow Me podcast hosted by Tammy Uzelac Hall that is released every Monday to guide you through the scripture readings for the week. This week covers 1 Nephi 16–22, and our podcast guests were Jalyn Peterson and Naelly Lavanda. You can listen to full episodes on Deseret Bookshelf Plus and find out more at ldsliving.com/sundayonmonday.

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