Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Make Time for Scripture Study

Making time for personal scripture study can be difficult when you have a busy schedule. Take advantage of the few moments you have each day to squeeze in a short scripture study.
  1. Study the scriptures for one minute right after you wake up or before you go to bed.
  2. Read a few scripture verses any few minutes you get: while eating, brushing your teeth, waiting for something to boil or heat up in the microwave, watching TV during commercials, etc.
  3. Buy the scriptures on CD or download them to your iPod to listen to in the car, at home, or while exercising.
  4. Keep scriptures in your car or purse to read when you have down time or are waiting for something. Also, you can download the scriptures onto smartphones.
  5. Sign up to get a daily scripture verse email.
  6. If even these tips don’t work for you, then stop wasting time! If you have time to watch your favorite TV show, go on Facebook, or read a book, then you have time for a few minutes of personal scripture study. Put God and your spirituality first! If you lack motivation, give yourself incentives for having personal scripture study. For example, buy yourself a new pair of shoes if you have personal scripture study for five minutes everyday for a month.
Sharing Time: How do you make time for personal scripture study?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Personal Scripture Study Tips

Personal scripture study nurtures your spirit, deepens your gospel knowledge and understanding, and brings you closer to God. Put effort into your personal scripture study to maximize its blessings. Here are some tips to help you.

  1. Choose a time and place that will let you get the most out of your personal scripture study. Find a time when you are alert and unhurried and a place where you have peace and quiet. If you have no quiet, private place, then sit in the bathroom with the fan on to block out noise.
  2. Decide how you will study the scriptures. You can read from beginning to end or study by topic. Either way, determine in advance to stay on task, be organized, and reach your goal. Make a reading chart to track your progress.
  3. Study for a certain amount of time or distance; for example, one chapter a day or for ten minutes.
  4. Begin and end with a prayer. Ask for the Spirit to be with you as you read so that you can be enlightened and find answers to questions and problems you have.
  5. Use other religious books, such as study guides and reference books, to help you understand the scriptures better.
  6. Have a study journal to write down insights, feelings, answers, and questions. Keep it for future reference to remind yourself of things you learned, answers you received, and feelings you had.
Challenge: Read your scriptures every day.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Motes and Beams

I consider myself a pretty compassionate, understanding person, especially with strangers and acquaintances. I always give them the benefit of the doubt and don't take anything personally, so it takes a lot for me to get irritated with others. But once I am, my Christlike attitude quickly departs.

Recently I was very irked with a couple in my ward for not fulfilling their calling as Nursery teachers. We have six Nurseries in the ward, each with ten children. It is very chaotic on Sundays, especially when we need to find substitutes. All we ask of the teachers is to call subs or call us to give us warning of their absence. This couple had only done so once on the night before church. The rest of the time they had been gone.

I was very frustrated. I thought they were being immature. I heard they did not like their calling and that was why they were not showing up. I was mad that they accepted a calling they were not willing to do instead of just saying no and only the bishopric knowing about it. I wanted to call them and tell them to grow up, take responsibility, and ask to be released so we could call new teachers who would be there for the kids.

I was then informed that they were asked to be released. New teachers were called and put in their class. Then today I got a text from the sister apologizing and asking to talk (she texted first in case the baby was sleeping--how considerate!). I called her, and the following conversation put me to shame. She told me she felt terrible for missing so many Sundays. It was an accumulation of many stressful things: their car in the shop, being out of town, and most importantly, a complicated pregnancy that may result in a miscarriage. She was very emotional and sounded sincere.

I told her not to feel guilty and that I was glad she called. I apologized for not calling sooner to see what was up (though I'm glad I didn't, because I would have made myself into a jerk!). She said they had not asked to be released, so I said I would take care of it.

I am so glad I didn't follow through on my strong urge to give them a piece of my mind. I had jumped to conclusions and listened to incorrect information instead of going straight to the source. This experience has reminded me of Matthew 7:1-5. It also has reminded me to always be Christlike--patient, kind, and forgiving--especially since I am not omniscient like God.

Sharing Time: Have you ever had a humbling experience like mine?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Expressions of Love

Sharing Time: How do you express love?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

How to Memorize the Apostles in Order

Here are little facts and mnemonic devices to help you memorize the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in order.

1. Monson: His name rhymes with one.

2. Eyring: The first part of his last name sounds like eye, and we have two eyes.

3. Uchtdorf: He was called to the Presidency on February 3, 2008.

4. Packer: The Green Bay Packers have won four Super Bowls.

5. Perry: He was born August 5, 1922.

6. Nelson: He has six degrees (BA, MA, PhD, and 3 honorary degrees).

7. Oaks: The Creation took seven days, and one creation is oak trees.

8. Ballard: Think of the eight ball in billiards, which is similar to his name.

9. Scott: Two parents + seven children = family of nine.

10. Hales: He had ten other major Church callings before called as an apostle.

11. Holland: The two l's in his name look like the number eleven.

12. Bednar: The name David A. Bednar is twelve letters long.

13. Cook: Thirteen is a baker's dozen, and a baker is related to a cook.

14. Christofferson: His last name is fourteen letters long.

15. Andersen: He was sustained an apostle on 4/2/09. 4+2+9=15.

Challenge: Obviously, memorize the apostles in order.

Note: Disregarding the First Presidency, the true order of seniority would be Monson, Packer, Perry, Nelson, Oaks, Ballard, Scott, Hales, Holland, Eyring, Uchtdorf, Bednar, Cook, Christofferson, Andersen.