Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Topical Family Scripture Study

Well, I've decided to try something different for family scripture study. Originally we started out going through the Book of Mormon from the beginning and selecting small (2-4 verses) passages to read each day. It was nice that it was not a lengthy read (especially because we are trying to engage our toddler) but I felt like by the time we finished a story it had kind of fallen apart. The story wasn't cohesive and we lost the whole point and the application that could've been grasped. So now we are into our second week of topical family scripture study. We'll see how long this lasts. We are trying to find something that works for all of us and so far (although we haven't gone far yet) I am liking this new way and I think my husband and little boy are as well.

The first topic we did was PRAYER. I just used the Topical Guide and found scriptures that I thought would fit and this is what our scripture study looked like (some of links don't display the printable properly. I am still trying to figure out how to post things that I create myself. Any tips would be much appreciated.):

PRAY ALWAYS - 2 Nephi 32:8-9
We colored, cut, and taped our prayer puppet together. We talked about what he was doing: folding his arms, closing his eyes, and bowing his head.

GIVE THANKS - Alma 45:1
I printed off a thought bubble and we brainstormed things that we can thank our Heavenly Father for and then we taped it on the wall as if the prayer puppet was praying about these things.

I printed off a question mark to represent us asking our Heavenly Father for things along with many things that we might ask for, e.g. peace, an answer, the Spirit, guidance, etc. and we taped them on the wall (I am sure you are noticing a trend with taping things on the wall but my little boy loves doing this).

PRAY FOR OTHERS - Alma 34:27
We got on the computer and looked at pictures of people we might pray for. We looked at anyone from grandparents, to President Monson, to President Obama.

Here we didn't really have a fun activity but my husband and I had more of a discussion. This is something that I struggle with. I may post a more in depth post some other time in hopes to get some ideas and helps from all of you.

NO VAIN REPITITIONS - 3 Nephi 13:7-8
We gave our little boy a pat on the back this night. We talked about how he does a good job saying thank you for so many different things and different people. I think a lot of children are so much better at this and we adults could take a lesson or two from them.

FAMILY PRAYER - 3 Nephi 18:21
After we read this we had our family prayer.

PERSONAL PRAYERS - 3 Nephi 13:5-6
We used a picture from the Gospel Art Kit and talked about how we say our own personal prayers in private. Then we put together puzzles of all different types of prayers and talked about them.

We read the one verse and then summarized the story while looking at a picture of Enos from the Gospel Art Kit.

There you have it...our first attempt at Topical Family Scripture Study. It was not flawless. It was not perfect. We are still figuring everything out. Some nights our toddler couldn't care less but I think that he grasps more about prayer now and so do I. I think that he actually gets what we were talking about at scripture time instead of us rambling off verses that had no connection to him yet. Prayer is something that he can relate to because it is concrete. It is something we do every day. So there is our start.

Here is our scripture poster and what it looked like throughout our prayer scripture block. To read my earlier posts on family scripture study click on this link - Family Scripture Study:

Do any of you have ideas for reading the scriptures topically or any scripture study ideas period? I'm sure we all can use some help in making our family scripture time more effective and enjoyable. Thanks!


Stephanie said...

wow, you've done a lot of work! We've used the readers in the past, but now I'm using Rebecca Irvine's book "Adventures with the Word of God" because she breaks it down into a monthly theme with one or two verses to study together each day. All the visuals and materials are in there to use, so I like it. And the kids do well with that brief, focused approach.

pam said...

Nice idea. When my kids were all little I read to them from the scriptures storys(book), you know like the church has out and we also had Stepping stones; my first scripture stories and they broke down each story into a little book. The kids like the pictures and it was short enough to keep them into it. Now what has been working really good for us is I have a manuel I bought at the book store "Scripture study" for LDS; they have the book of mormon, old testiment, etc.... we are almost done with the book of mormon one and so next I thought we would use the "Preach my Gospel" booklet. My son is getting close to a mission so we thought this might be helpful for him, I don't know how I will go about it yet, but we will be giving it a try.

Pokemon said...

Thanks for the wonderful insights and ideas. We also use the readers sometimes but I will have to check out "Adventures with the Word of God" and "Stepping Stones".

Rebecca Irvine said...

Love your chart on the back of the door! Visual reminders are very helpful. On my blog I have a bunch of tips for family scripture study--just click on the "scripture tips" link in the sidebar (scroll down a ways). I think I have over 50 there now. Good luck!

Christa said...

Okay the poster at the bottom is the most awesome thing I've ever seen! I am copying it immediately!

We have the picture books from the church that have the stories in them. Since my husband has only been a member for 2 years (3 days ago was his anniversary!) he doesn't know alot of the stories so we will read the story in the books and then in the scriptures then well read the story in the book again just to make sure we understood everything. My 21 month old twins love it!

Destiny said...

This is a great idea. I've also felt that my small children miss out when we have to break several times in a chapter. I never thought of doing our family scripture study topically. I will definately have to try this.

Anonymous said...

Twelve to fifteen years ago (I don't remember exactly when), I realized that some of our children were nearly grown, and I had not had the influence on them regarding the scripture I wanted to have.

So, we began a weekly family scripture study program. Eventually I found that having each family member read one verse worked best. We have a larger family (nine children). And changing readers more frequently kept everyone more alert (than they would be otherwise).

Still, sometimes they did and do fall asleep a bit. But, for the most part, it works out best.

We have read the scriptures "in course". First, we read the Book of Mormon. Then we read the Bible. The Bible took us a whopping 4-1/2 years! However, my children know the Bible better than anyone in our ward (even better than adults), because we went through it not just to get through it, but to understand it best we could.

I am a mostly self-taught "scriptorian", though that appellation generally has a mostly negative tint to it in LDS culture. It is 'understood' more as Pharisee.

However, though I realized that Satan knows the scriptures. I discovered that Jesus knew them even better (and correctly)! The Savior is my model to follow.

Our scripture study lessons go half-an-hour to 45 minutes, and, occasionally, a little longer. We read as long as we can given all aspects of the situation (how alert and/or tired everyone or most are), etc.

Our two youngest children learned to read and/or read better reading the scriptures with our family. Our youngest, a daughter, completely learned to read in the New Testament. She went from being a non-reader entering First Grade (our first child not to read at all upon entering school), to being several school grades in reading ahead of others by the end of her first grade school year!

I am a stickler for exactness in reading. I often correct everyone (including my wife). So my children work at reading correctly the first time.

We always begin our scripture study with prayer. Also, we always read going in a clockwise direction so everyone knows when it is their turn.

Laura Willis said...

Thank you so much. Our older children are in Seminary but we needed some fresh ideas for the younger one. This was great.