How many times have you heard the phrase: “Feast upon the words of Christ”, and just wanted to hang your head in shame? I know I did. I read my scriptures, and I found insight here and there, but I hardly “feasted”. Feasting implies a certain degree of hunger and excitement that just wasn’t there in my daily study. It implies ending the study feeling full and complete. Feasting probably doesn’t mean nodding off in a comfy chair and waking up aggravated at having fallen asleep.
Not that I’d do that…
Why don’t I know how to feast?
I have wondered, once or twice, if it is only converts like myself that are clueless on how to do scripture study. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a great many classes, and they take education very seriously. People who grow up in the church have access to a wide variety of educational opportunities in their college years that I have NO idea about. Maybe that’s when they teach you how to study the scriptures instead of just reading them? All I know is, I’ve been a member 7 years, and it wasn’t until they called me as a seminary teacher that someone taught me how to STUDY the scriptures.
So how does one go about studying the scriptures? It turns out there are unlimited different ways, but I really want to talk about two different methods. One of them, “reading sequentially” is kind of a duh, and was how I have approached scripture study until very recently. The other is an amazing 5 step process that will take me several posts to write about.
Sequential Scripture Study
I don’t want anyone to mistake me when I talk about how no one teaches converts how to study the scriptures. Elder David A. Bednar, in a fireside, February 2007, called reading the scriptures sequentially the “first and most fundamental way of obtaining living water” which certainly makes me feel a lot better about having only done that for so many years. However, if you’re anything like me, there’s a drawback to reading the scriptures ONLY this way… Boredom.
It has been so frustrating and, to be honest, it’s hard to admit, but I haven’t enjoyed reading the scriptures in a while. I have had to force myself to do it. This, despite having found some tidbits that have helped me, as promised. But the general reading was repetitive, the stories remembered, and insight few and far between. If this sounds like your sequential study, then boy are you in for a treat!
So how do I feast upon the words of Christ?
Scripture study, at it’s purest, is about identifying doctrinal principles and learning how to apply them to our lives. Learning how to do that, in order to teach the youth of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is what has me excited to scripture study again! It’s easy to tell someone to apply the doctrine to their lives. It is a lot harder to figure out HOW to do that. During the course of this series of posts, I will detail what I’ve been taught as best I can. Hopefully, you can gain the same excitement for scripture study that I’ve got right now.
While I’m writing about how to study the scriptures this way, however, I’d love to know: How do YOU study the scriptures?
Navigation through “Learning to Feast”
- Learning to Feast Upon the Words of Christ – Introduction (You are here)
- Understand Content and Context
- Identify Doctrine and Principles
- Understand them.
- Feel the importance of them.
- Apply them to your life.