Thursday, August 11, 2011

4 Scripture Study Tips for Latter-day Saints and All Scripture Readers

One of the many things I love about life is that we can each learn something new and benefit from it, every day. This morning, I came across another arrow in the student's quiver of tools for understanding the scriptures and would like to share it, along with a few additional tips for studying the scriptures:

1. LDS Scripture Citation Index

How many times has 1 Nephi 1:20 been quoted, by whom, and what did he/she have to say about it?
The LDS Scripture Citation Index provides an index of LDS scriptures (the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price).  Ever wonder what a certain verse of scripture means?  Look it up in the index column, on the left, and see how various speakers have expounded it.  I like how professor(?) E. Larsen explains how this works (see 6.).  For example, I love how Elder David A. Bednar expounds the phrase "the tender mercies of the Lord," from 1 Nephi 1:20.  If you missed them, I strongly recommend you read, study, and ponder his remarks, noting especially that those who are "chosen" by Heavenly Father become chosen by choosing Him (through keeping His commandments, etc.), rather than winning some kind of celestial lottery.

2. The Book of Mormon and Other Student Manuals

I especially recommend reading the BoM Student Manual in Google Chrome, for fast loading.
Latter-day Saints accept an open cannon of scripture and may, therefore, benefit from the inspiration and insights of modern prophets and apostles.  I love how the Book of Mormon Student Manual compiles many insights and explanations about the different verses I'm studying.  You can access even more manuals, such as for the New Testament, at institute.lds.org/eng/.

3. My Study Notebook from lds.org

Keep track of your studies with My Study Notebook
I'll avoid going into great detail, here, and simply note what may seem obvious:  My Study Notebook helps readers with an LDS account keep track of their thoughts, highlights, bookmarks, and more.  Whenever you want to study and search the scriptures, I strongly suggest you first go to https://lds.org/study-tools?lang=eng&clang=eng because it will log you into your study notebook home page, enabling you to quickly return to your most recent reading via a bookmark, which I'll discuss next, and ensure you're keeping track of your notes and highlights while studying (otherwise, you'll have to login when you want to annotate, highlight, etc., anyway).

4. Scriptures.lds.org Bookmark Tool for Keeping My Place in My Online Study

My friendly red bookmark helps me get back to where I left off in my reading.
Now that I'm starting to read the Book of Mormon again, from the beginning, I've decided to jump in and try doing it online at scriptures.lds.org.  I'm still undecided how I feel about reading the scriptures online versus actually touching them, as they're one of the few things I generally read off my computer screen.  With that said, I've come to appreciate the bookmark feature associated with My Study Notebook.  Access it by clicking on the bookmark button in the middle-left section of the bottom toolbar.  For the moment, I believe I can set a bookmark only at the top of the page, even though I though can slide the bookmark up and down.  Maybe it's because I'm on the development channel for both Google Chrome and Chrome OS.

That's all for today!  Please share your own thoughts and suggestions in the comments section or on my plus post: https://plus.google.com/u/1/110524638589641892271/posts/gGDz8nCSwGP

Will you also please let me know what questions you have about anything you read in today's post?

Happy studying!!

6 comments:

Fletch said...

great stuff.

Cougar Abogado said...

Thanks for sharing, F-Word. I very much appreciate your comment. Stay tuned for a post I think you're going to die to read . . .

Casey Deans said...

This was a great post. I like reading the scriptures on lds.org but had no idea about the citation index and the manuals. Those manuals are going to help me a lot in my upcoming REL classes. I was shocked by my high level of enjoyment and equally high level of difficulty with the Pearl of Great Price class I just finished this summer semester. I must confess that a reason I like the scriptures on lds.org is the "listen" factor. By listening I avoid the times when I finish a chapter, feel good, but can't recollect what I just read. I also like using the Gospel Library app on my phone because I can A) type notes into my scriptures as opposed to writing in the margins which always felt awkward and B) I don't have to explain why my scriptures look like they were bought yesterday

I don't know if you have the answers but I had a question about the lds.org scriptures and Gospel Library App

Can you sync your notes between Gospel Library and lds.org?

Also, I am a huge JST fan and I wish that they would add a feature to highlight/replace JST because clicking on a footnote and scrolling through is cumbersome.

Cougar Abogado said...

Glad you enjoyed it, sir.

Yes, I often felt surprised with how challenged I felt in some religion courses.

I hear you on the listening factor.

I'm glad you enjoy the app. To be candid, I'm unsure about syncing between the app/lds.org.

Regarding the JST footnote notice, I've been wanting that myself. If you want, I suggest submitting feedback on the scriptures.lds.org page, on the bottom-right.

M Fletch Fotos said...

Excellent sharing!
I will try to use it.
Thanks for setting all these things up for me and any others.
What a blessing!

Cougar Abogado said...

Glad you enjoyed it!