Prophets through all of the ages have taught the importance of studying the scriptures, both individually and as a family. But what the prophets haven’t said is specifically how that should be done. From all of my research no prophet has ever commanded “Thou shalt read 42 verses a day in your family”. And nobody has ever said “Thou shalt read 5 verses per family member every morning and night”.
The nice thing about family scripture study is that it can be tailored to meet the needs of each family. So today I am sharing something that is working well for our family, in case it might help you. But feel free to tailor my system to find something that meets the needs of your family!
A year ago I was pondering about ways that I could improve both the quality of our family scripture study and our Family Home Evenings. I decided that I could start by making sure to focus on the scriptures each week during Family Home Evening. Here is how it works for us:
1) Plan a family home evening lesson.
2) Chose a scripture that corresponds with the lesson.
3) Read and discuss the scripture as a family at FHE.
4) Make a poster to display the scripture. This is really simple. I just type it up large to fill a 8.5 by 11 sheet of paper and then I tape it up on the wall near our kitchen table.
5) Refer to the scripture and talk about it throughout the week.
It’s a pretty simple thing, but it has made a difference in our family. We usually end up discussing it during mealtimes, and it allows me to review the key concepts from the lesson. We don’t spent a lot of time on it (and we aren’t required to memorize it), it just gives us a reminder or a starter for a gospel discussion with the children each day.
Focusing on one verse a week is a nice, manageable amount for my young children (ages 5 and 2). A number of times the Ant Bug has surprised me by memorizing the scripture, and in all cases she ends up reading the scripture on her own at some point–a bonus for encouraging literacy skills in early readers!
I have previously been posting our scripture of the week on Nurture Mama’s Reading List, along with notes about our Family Home Evening lesson. The good news is now it will all be here! So now you can check in each Tuesday to see what we did for Family Home Evening, as well as our scripture of the week.
“Everything in the scriptures is applicable to our lives. The scriptures answer our questions, they provide role models and heroes, and they help us understand how to handle challenges and trials. Many times the scriptures you read will be the answer to your prayers.”
Elaine S. Dalton, “Believe!,” Ensign, May 2004, 110