I was asked to speak at Young Women's Camp that was held for our stake a few weeks ago on the topic of the importance of reading your scriptures. As a seminary teacher, I was thrilled to be given a topic that I know a lot about. While pondering about what I might say, I remembered being a young woman their age. Do you remember being that age? I recall having lots of questions that always came to my mind. The who, what, where, when, and why type of questions. I thought, hum, that might make for a fun lesson and it clicked! Make a board to help answer their questions about the importance of scripture study.
While researching, I found many wonderful articles on lds.org that cover this topic. I fell in love with a talk given by Sister Tanner at a BYU Devotional about the importance of scripture study. Some of the thoughts on the board I created came from her talk. I also pulled from other General Authorities which you will see below with the quotes that I have taken from their talks.
Let's walk through the different questions and how I shared this with the YW. First, we were outside so the board came in handy to help keep all of my thoughts in one place. I enlarged the clip art below by using a projector and added a few embellishments to make it look cute. I started by sharing my scriptures that were given to me by my parents when I was old enough to begin seminary. They are used and have a few markings inside. Then, I compared them to the scriptures I use today which are more like a seminary teacher workbook. Completely read from cover to cover with lots and lots of notes and highlights. I pointed out to them that I had to make the personal decision as to how important my scriptures were going to be to me personally. No one else could make the decision for me and no one can make that decision from them. They would have to do that. I shared the scripture from Psalm 19:10 which talks about scriptures being more desired than gold and honey. The scripture is below and goes on the board above the YW. This lead into me offering the YW a Teddy Gram for a snack. I asked them to place a little bit of honey on it and to eat it while I played the song "If I Were a Rich Man" from Fiddler on the Roof. This is a song that Sister Tanner mentions in her talk. I love musicals too so this was a perfect fit. As it played the girls ate their bears and I asked them to listen carefully to the lyrics of the song. I never realized that the song mentioned learning from Holy Books and studying for hours upon hours a day. To study Holy Books is regarded by Orthodox Jews as a sweet blessing and a great privilege. In fact, in some Jewish traditions, when child was to start his/her education in the Torah, a taste of honey was given to the student so that he/she would associate the study of the holy book with sweetness. This was intended to reinforce what it says in Psalms: "How sweet are the words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" (Psalms 119:103). I asked the YW are the scriptures delicious to you? Do you want to feast upon them? This lead into sharing the WHO - Who should read their scriptures? Well, that's easy - All of us! I didn't want this to be a Primary answer so I went searching and found in the handbook of instructions for the Church that it talks about the WHO under the section based on Education. We should be reading our scriptures to gain knowledge just as we read from books we learn from at school. Then, came the question WHAT - What do we get from reading our scriptures? You can see the list that was shared below. Next, I asked them WHERE can you read your scriptures. I used this section to have them interact with one another. Each young lady was asked to write down one or two places that they enjoy reading their scriptures personally. When they were finished, they were to share their answers with the young woman sitting next to them. Together, they were to share with the rest of the group their favorite answer. We went around to each group and wrote their answers with Dry Erase Marker on a blank laminated card up on the board. There were some fantastic answers given. Everything from their bedroom to school to at the park to in the car. Moving on, we went to the next question WHEN. When you read your scriptures, what happens? I found a really cute poem from the Friend magazine that was shared with the group. I love it! Hope you will too! WHY - Why is it important to read your scriptures? As we discussed the WHY we placed each of the cards on the board. I left a few blank cards too so that others could share their thoughts about this question. I love the next and final question HOW - How do should you read your scriptures? I think they know the answer to HOW, but it was a great reminder to remember to ponder, pray, search, read and apply. At the end of sharing this lesson, I hope that all of you would remember to share your personal testimony of the importance of reading your scriptures with the group you share this message with. I know personally the love I have for my Savior and the blessing that the scriptures have been to me.