Most of us have good intentions to study our scriptures. But why is it so hard to form a good study plan and make it a habit?
It has everything to do with what you think about it. If I asked you, “What do you think about studying your scriptures, what would you say? Some answers I’ve heard from my clients who have struggled with this are:
It’s hard for me to remember to do it.
Its boring!.. so I put it off.
I don’t understand some of what I’m reading.
I’ve read them before and it’s the same stories.
I know I should, but I usually don’t feel like doing it.
I do it with my family, isn’t that enough?
I really don’t get much out of it most of the time.
If you have any of these same thoughts, no wonder it is difficult. What do you do when you have these types of thoughts? Your action always follows what you think and feel about it.
Some people use it as a check list item to get done, and only half-heartedly go through the motions of studying. This may be effective as long as you are making yourself stick to your check list. But it can feel like it’s an empty victory because the enjoyment may not be there.
So what works to really enjoy studying?
Here’s 3 tips to help you get on track and stay there.
1. Find a thought that feels exciting about what you believe scripture study can do for you. What can you think to thoroughly enjoy and feel motivated to study? Here’s a few thoughts that may help you find one that works for you.
I’m excited to reap ALL the benefits of good study habits.
I want to draw close to God!
My very own personal revelation will come!
I’m increasing my faith exponentially!
2. Repeat the thought you chose many times a day. Even if the original thoughts return, think of the new thought and bring up the feeling of excitement that can come. Post it on your mirror, in your car, on your phone. Remind yourself of this thought as often as you can.
3. Set a time every day to study. As soon as you can make it a habit, then half of the battle is won. Here are some helpful thought to consider as you find the perfect time for you.
I have found that if you struggle to do it around your waking time or going to bed time, schedule it in conjunction with something else that you do every day. (eating, after work, after school, etc).
When I had young children, the best time for me was during the first nap of the youngest child. Any other time of day I found myself too tired to get much out of it.
For a college student, schedule it in as you would a class and notice that some thoughts to procrastinate may come up, but try to keep your word to yourself even if its only 1 verse.
Expect that it won’t come without some struggle, but keep at it. You will be able to do it if you just keep doing your best to practice these three steps.
President Russell M. Nelson has said: “My dear brothers and sisters, I promise that as you prayerfully study the Book of Mormon every day, you will make better decisions—every day. I promise that as you ponder what you study, the windows of heaven will open, and you will receive answers to your own questions and direction for your own life. I promise that as you daily immerse yourself in the Book of Mormon, you can be immunized against the evils of the day, even the gripping plague of pornography and other mind-numbing addictions”
You Got This! 🙂