How Can I Study the Bible By Myself?

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We get a lot of group scripture study discussion time during church activities. Sacrament Meeting, Gospel Doctrine, seminary, Relief Society, and Elder’s Quorum. It’s something we’re really accustomed to since we almost always have gospel discussions during church meetings. So, when you’re told that you need to do personal study for your spiritual growth, you might not be sure where to begin. We talk much about personal revelation through prayer and personal study, but it can be hard to actually figure out how to study the scriptures on your own. So, here are a few ways to help you learn to study the Bible by yourself.

1. Make Time Every Day

A wise patriarch once told me that when you want to get spiritual insights, it’s a process. He suggested getting cleaned up, putting on fresh clothes, and maybe even taking a walk in nature. Take time to truly ponder and get into the right mindset before you study. If you’re not in the right place to receive revelation, you just won’t get as much out of your personal Bible study.

It can also really help to pick a time every day that you can sit and do your study. The consistency will help you not to miss it. Being consistent and reading each day is what really helps you to glean more from your Bible reading.

2. Keep a Journal

We know you might already be keeping a personal journal about your day-to-day, but have you considered a scripture study journal? A scripture journal is an amazing gift to yourself and your family. It’s great for you because you can write down sacred insights while you’re studying. If you don’t write them down, you may forget. You can also use your journal as you study the scriptures multiple times throughout your lifetime. You don’t want to forget about all of the work you’re doing during your study. If you don’t record your insights, it’s like not building on the foundation you already have. 

Another lovely thing about a scripture journal is it will be around long after you’re gone. So, your family can use your spiritual insights in their future scripture study, almost like a study guide.

3. Listen to Podcasts

Podcasts are relatively new when it comes to technology. They didn’t exist 20 years ago. However, the idea of sharing thoughts through audio only, isn’t a new concept at all. In fact, before TV, radio shows were the norm. General Conference and other church broadcasts have been sent out via radio for many, many years. Podcasts, while a little different, come from the same idea. They’re basically radio shows that you can listen to on your phone.

Podcasts might be great for you if you like group study. Group study provides ideas you can get from others, but if you’re doing personal study, you probably aren’t having as many group discussions about it. If you find a podcast on the Bible section you’re studying, you can get insights during your personal study at your own pace. The Best LDS podcast might be perfect to supplement your personal Bible study. 

4. Find People to Study with

If you really can’t do without a group discussion, do your personal study and then discuss what you’ve learned. Talk to your friends, family, or people who might want to have discussions about scripture study. Two heads are better than one, and just because you’re studying alone does not mean you can’t involve others in the questions and topics you’re researching.

5. Annotate your Scriptures

If you go into any church bookstore, you’ll find special highlighters and fine tip pens that won’t bleed through the pages of your Bible. You have to be careful to not rip the pages, and keep a blank sheet of paper between pages as you highlight and make notes. As you study, make highlights and notes for you to look back on. It’s like keeping a very limited version of a scripture journal.

You can also highlight virtual scriptures on the Library app. You can change the highlighter colors, and type out notes. This is a great way to carry around all of your study notes so you can refer to them whenever you choose. 

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