Confession and Resolution: Scriptures

(For the record, my family scripture study has never looked like this picture … too much smiling, too few injuries … but it’s a cute picture anyway.  A happy piece of fiction to strive for.)

My readers are geniuses.  Obviously.  So I love it when I vent, and you come back with two really really important things:  empathy and ideas.  I’ve noticed that Annie and I are alike in one thing in particular.  When we’re not happy with the way something is going, we both come up with big plans/programs/routines/systems/control-freak-type-mind-control-over-our-children-or-marriage-or-weight (or whatever the issue at hand is) efforts.  So her comment on my boo-hoo post about post-holiday detox knocked me back into my real self again:

“Thankfully, they do make Christmas rehab. It’s called New Year’s Resolutions.”

Of course.  That’s what I do.  I’ve got to break down our “issues” one by one and make plans to remedy them.  First up to bat:  Scriptures.  Over the holiday season, our scripture study fell through the cracks.  I realize this is ridiculously ironic since Christmas time is, you know, all scripturey and stuff.  We did lots of random nativity-related verses and studying, but we lost the routine, the habit…  and frankly, as it’s obvious now, we lost the blessings.

So, tonight for family home evening, we’re going to revisit the importance of scripture study and decide as a family how to best tackle this needed element of our family routine.  I have to come to a discussion like this with a few ideas already in place or we’ll end up discussing ad nauseum things like, “can we have refreshments every time we read scriptures?” and “When are we having another family movie night?” or “Did I tell you that I scored all the points at basketball practice last week?.”  Since a family changes as children grow, I’m thinking that our scripture study needs to be constantly adapting to meet reading levels, individual children’s needs, etc.  My proposal will be this:  We’re going to do scripture study as a family divided.  That may sound counter-intuitive, but I think it will work.  At bedtime, Either Matt or I will go with Grant (who just turned 8 and will be baptised very soon) and let him read one page out of the Book of Mormon.  We’ll discuss for clarity.  The other will go with Clark and Natalie, and Clark can read to Natalie out of the illustrated Scripture Stories.  (Really, if you have preschoolers or early readers and don’t have these, you NEED them.)  Then we can articulate the main message/lesson from the story we read and bear testimony of those principles.  And we are going to do it EVERY. NIGHT. (Within reason.  Sometimes they fall asleep in the car or one of us has an evening commitment, but I want these exceptions to be RARE.)

Anyway.  Here are the quotes I found to talk about tonight:

One of the best ways to draw near unto Him and to both learn about and become more like the Lord Jesus Christ is to consistently study the holy scriptures—to daily “feast upon the words of Christ” (2 Ne. 32:3).     –Elder David A. Bednar

We encourage everyone to make careful study of the scriptures … and to prayerfully seek personal revelation to know their meaning for themselves.  – Elder Dallin H. Oaks

I promise you … that if you will study the scriptures diligently, your power to avoid temptation and to receive direction of the Holy Ghost in all you do will be increased.  — President Thomas S. Monson

There are powerful moments of communication through regular family prayer and through family scripture study. The scriptures will help define family values and goals, and talking together about them will assist family members to learn to become individually secure, spiritually strong, and self-reliant.  – Elder M. Russell Ballard

I printed them out and cut them out and we’ll read them, and hang them up on the wall next to this picture as a reminder of our commitment to our new goals.

And also?  Ahem. I’ve decided that I, personally, am going to take up Jocelyn on her challenge and read 5 pages of the Book of Mormon a day.  Starting today.  According to her calculations, this means I will finish it by Easter.  I need to do it.  Anyone want to join us?

I’m sure many of you have your own ideas of what/how/when to do scripture study.  Feel free to share them in the comments below because it’s always helpful to get new ideas.