I come from a long line of scripture readers. My paternal grandmother read from her scriptures every day. She had a red pencil tucked within the confines of her sacred book. I enjoyed watching the bookmark move through her Bible as she read. My own mother has this same love for scripture study. Daily, she reads from her scriptures. She marks them. She knows them. She loves them. The testimonies of these great women have inspired my love to read my scriptures and mark them.
My system began on my mission in Brazil when I was challenged to highlight everything related to Christ -characteristics, abilities, etc. When I struggled as a single mother, I decided to focus on the positives and blessings of righteous living -marking blessings in blue. Positivism grew into circling items of joy and synonyms by circling them in lavender.
Here are my markings:
- blue -blessings
- yellow -characteristics of Christ
- orange -commandments
- red -items of great importance or something I wish to recall later
- green -faith and knowledge
- lavender -joy, happiness and synonyms
I have also put a heart over the top of heart, charity, love, etc.
I have found that it is difficult to be able to write everything in the margins. (I really wish there was a Journaling Bible with larger margins for the Book of Mormon -see this example. I love her Bible!) In my scriptures, there are even some pages with drawings. I also have used Post-it notes.
In my Bible, I have copied all of the JST from the back of the book and taped them into the margins of scriptures so that I don’t forget to use it as a resource. Also, whenever I write a quote, I try to remember to jot down the source so I can find it again if I need to.
What about a gospel journal? I do have one. I use it to take notes in meetings or to record specific impressions, but most of my impressions and my notes are in my book. Why? Because I want to have it at my fingertips when I am sitting in a class or when I don’t have access to my journal at that moment.
I think the most important thing in scripture study is to make it personal. Make it work for you. I know that for me I need to write on my pages. I need to jot down notes and make it colorful. When I do this, I can see the page later in my mind. I can recall information with ease.
How do you mark your scriptures? How do you make it personal for you?
By Tracy Harrington-Atkinson
Tracy Harrington-Atkinson, mother of six, lives in the Midwest with her husband. She is a teacher, having taught elementary school to higher education, holding degrees in elementary education, a master’s in higher education and continued on to a PhD in curriculum design. She has published several titles, including Calais: The Annals of the Hidden, Rachel’s 8 and Securing Your Tent. She is currently working on a non-fiction text exploring the attributes of self-directed learners: The Five Characteristics of Self-directed Learners.