About five years ago, I decided to start reading the Book of Mormon in a different way each year. I had previously read it just beginning to end over and over again. I didn’t seem to be getting anything new out of it. I remember telling my mom that I had a desire to read the entire standard works. She chuckled and said maybe I should save that for when I don’t have small children to take care of. I nodded in agreement but then came across a reading chart showing me I could do it in less than a year. And I did! And it wasn’t even hard. Ever since, I have wanted to change up my scripture reading each time. Here are several ways that have worked for me, and some that I can’t wait to try!
Standard Works Reading Chart
As I mentioned, this took less than a year. I really enjoyed it and learned a ton! It only takes about 20 minutes (7 pages) a day, and takes you through the entire Standard Works chronologically. Here’s a free printable of the schedule I used.
Read With a Missionary
Shortly after I finished reading the Standard Works, my nephew who was serving a mission in Sweden invited me to read the Book of Mormon along with him. We read one chapter a day and e-mailed our thoughts, promptings, inspiration, or anything else we learned to each other every week. I learned so much from his perspective. It even strengthened our relationship. If you don’t know a missionary out in the field, ask one serving where you live. Or simply invite a friend to read it with you. The key is to share what you’ve learned with each other.
Principles of the Gospel – Color Coded
There are a dozen different ways to color code your scriptures. One way that really stood out to me was by the 4 principles of the gospel: Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Holy Ghost, and I even added Enduring to the End in there as well. For example, any time it talks about Faith I highlight it in pink. It’s been a great way to focus on the most important parts of the gospel.
There are many study guides to choose from out there. Where do you even begin? A couple years ago, I used the seminary teacher’s manual to study the Book of Mormon. It was full of great questions, quotes from apostles, and lots of cross-referencing.
Another study guide that I believe came out pretty recently is My Book of Mormon Study Guide by Shannon Foster. I haven’t used it yet, but am excited to once I finish my current method. It’s designed to really be able to personalize it to your way of studying while providing great prompts. I can’t wait to dive in.
Prepare a Talk
There are a couple ways to do this, but the idea has always intrigued me. One way is by picking any topic and write a talk, like you are going to speak on it. Try to only use the Book of Mormon as your source. Once you’ve written that talk, pick another topic and write a talk on that.
The other way is to read the Book of Mormon from start to finish, and as you finish a few chapters, write a talk on what you’ve read. It doesn’t have to be long because you won’t really be speaking…or maybe you will! But hey- you’ll be prepared!
Many many moons ago, when I was a senior in high school, I took an early institute class. As we went through the New Testament, our teacher provided us with a few words to write on the top of each page, mostly as a quick reference as to what was happening. I have loved having that information so easily found. As I’ve read the Book of Mormon, I have started to jot down page headings here and there. And I can’t wait until every page is full like it is in my New Testament.
I recently came across this idea and I love how unique it is. All you do is highlight 2 words in every verse. It forces you to really ponder the words and focus on the meanings. Why did you pick that certain word? What other meanings could be in that verse? I think this is a great way to let the Spirit speak to you.
Don’t quote me on this, but I heard somewhere that reading the Book of Mormon in a different language is one of the best ways to learn that language. And even if it’s not, I love the idea of reading with a real desire to feel the Spirit, whether you understand the words or not.
Maybe you won’t get as much out of the Book of Mormon as when you really study, but there is something amazing that happens when you speed read. I have felt a stronger spirit in my life and a greater protection from the world when I have done this. And you just might get more out of it than you expected.
Which ever way you decide to study the Book of Mormon isn’t as important as committing yourself to just do it. Fast, slow, beginning to end, out of order, whatever! But hopefully these ideas will give you a little variety and maybe some new perspective. Happy reading!