"Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love." ~Mildred B. Vermont~

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Scripture Study Outside the Box

How do we make family scripture study work in our daily lives? Reading at the dinner table or first thing in the morning have always been the standby suggestions, but new ideas can only help.

Sweet is the Word

The English family uses "Scripture Sweets" to encourage their children's enthusiasm for family study. Each night they have a treat as they read scriptures and pray. The children, ages 11 years to 10 months, gather happily.

The Mother of the family, Monica English, says, "They won't let us forget because they don't want to miss that treat." And the candies keep little fingers and mouths busy so the ears can listen. The best part, says Monica, is the spirit of enjoyment that now accompanies scripture study, even for the littlest toddlers.

MP-Triple Combination

And what about those of us always on the go? The Church offers the scripture free in MP3 format, downloadable to an iPod or other device, at lds.org (go to the "Gospel Library" link and then the "Audio" link). They also have audio files of Church magazines, conference talks, and gospel classics like Jesus the Christ. You can listen to them on the train, on the treadmill, or on the way to school or work.

Scriptures in My Inbox

According to the Pew Internet and American Life project, over half of Internet users check their e-mail at least once a day. Wouldn't it be nice if your scripture were in there, too? They can be. Readthescriptures.com is a free service that will help you set up a reading plan (such as, read a chapter a day, or finish by a certain date) and e-mail you the text of the scriptures you choose.

It even keeps track of your progress, and has room for online notes and journaling, if you like. Extended families can set up reading teams to read together and have e-mail discussions.

Scripture Skits

Allowing children to act out favorite scripture stories gets them into it. Preschoolers, teenagers, and even adults can enjoy playing their favorite heroes and heroines, and the dramatic focus puts their energy on likening the scriptures to themselves. How did Nephi feel when his father asked him to go to Jerusalem again? What would it be like to be Isaac or Abraham? Just a few simple props or costumes can get the ball rolling.

It can even be fun to videotape your scripture skits as part of your home movies. Although it's difficult to do a skit every night, it can be a family night activity that you plan as you read.

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