Monday, June 28, 2010


Yesterday our bishop spoke in church. He gave the same message he always gives. It is a good one. And I always need to hear it. He tells us to pray and study the scriptures. He challenged us to read 10 pages of scriptures a day. That is a tall order for me. But I decided to try to do it. It took me 30 minutes this morning and about that long last night. 

I guess I will see how many days in a row I can keep up with his challenge. I am currently in Alma chapter 5. I am hoping to at least stick to the challenge till I complete the Book of Mormon. I have never read it that quickly before and I think it will be a good experience for me and help me see the story in a new way by reading it fast for a change. 

Daily scripture study is a hard habit to establish. I had an incredible seminary teacher named Garth Tesch that helped me set that habit really firmly as a 14 year old. Now as I work with 14 year olds, I want so much to teach them to turn to their scriptures as they seek answers and direction for their life. It has helped me so much. But I find it is often a hard habit to get them to pick up.

So I have been trying with my own children to start it much earlier. I have felt a few times that I need to have my girls reading scriptures every night. I tried months ago to have them read their own scriptures for 5 minutes at night as part of their nightly reading. That didn't last because they forgot to take their scriptures back up to their room after church or couldn't find them. And it was hard for them to read for 5 minutes by themselves without me explaining everything. 

So we had just been reading as a family in the morning during breakfast. (We have had that habit for a couple of years now.) After our last stake conference (the same time I introduce a TV limit) I had a new idea for independent scripture study for the girls. The most important thing to me now is that they get in the habit of reading scriptures. I am not concerned with how much they understand or how long they read. So I thought I would have them read as many verses as they are old.

That has worked out so well. It is the perfect amount for each of their ages. Often they will excitedly tell me they read a few extra verses too. We have an inexpensive Book of Mormon in their room that never leaves and they each take a turn reading their verses at night. I read Lauren's to her for now. Hopefully she will be reading them herself next year.

What do you do to teach your kids to turn to the scriptures for answers and direction? How have you tried or successfully established a habit of daily scripture study in your home? 


Kristine said...

Stephanie, my kids are roughly the same age as yours and we have been doing something similar. I am also potty training a toddler. The first few days she would go to the bathroom and after we finished the whole ordeal, we set the timer and did it again in 5 or 10 minutes. In my mind I kept thinking that she just needs to go through the motions to learn and create a habit.
My 9 and 7 year old are each reading The Book of Mormon after family scripture study and just before bed. Right now they have enough light from their window to read but in the winter they got to use flashlights. They both share rooms with nonreader siblings. My 9 year old son is learning a lot but most of what my 7 year old daughter reads goes over her head. We might switch to the children's reader for her. I want it to be a positive, regular, and personal experience that they have each day. I think you are wise to want to create those habits at their age.
Not sure I have ever made a connection between potty training and reading the scriptures but, hey, that's what moms do!

Tristen said...

Stephanie, I know you don't know me but I have been following your blog for a couple of years now. I have 3 kids and the oldest is 5. We are currently reading the Book of Mormon as a family which is the best we can do with our kids right now. I wanted to tell you that I I grew up in Vegas but I also know Garth Tesch from the Church History Tour that I went on with him. He is such an amazing man and I am sure seminary was wonderful from such a great teacher! thanks for the Book of Mormom idea as my kids get bigger.

Rachel said...

First time commentor, and long reader. I have started a summer scripture reading program with 3 of my 4 boys, they are 11, 8, and 5. What I have found very helpful for the youngest one is that we go to the scripture page at You can listen to the scriptures as you read along. Before each chapter we talk about what it is about and then I let him listen/read along. This has been very helpful, because sometimes if a child is not a very fast reader it is hard to understand what is going on. They tend to lose their concentration and focus. He can complete a chapter and get the entire story. This way he has actually been able to "get it".

Lee said...

I was in a habit for a while (not sure why we stopped) of reading a very short Bible story as the last thing we did before we left in the morning. It set a nice tone for the day.