I had the wonderful opportunity to talk about scripture journals with the young women of our ward the other night. I will openly admit that I'm no expert on the subject. However, I have had some amazing experiences in the scriptures and have been able to recall things, because I am writing them down.
The idea of a scripture journal is so simple and was easy to begin. I am a copious note taker. I've keep a journal since I was eight, off and on (more on than off). So the idea of keeping all these sacred thoughts in one place rather than on pieces of paper here and there was almost revolutionary for me. Lame I know, but I'm a little slow at putting things together. Of course add some color and lovely bits of fluff and the way I study has been transformed. As I was writing this I remembered a talk I once heard Elder David Bednar give in 2007,
"I recognized that I had much to learn from the scriptures about gathering. So I identified and made copies of every scripture in the standard works that included any form of the word gather. I next read each scripture, looking for connections, patterns, and themes. It is important to note that I did not start my reading with a preconceived set of things for which I was looking. I prayed for the assistance of the Holy Ghost and simply started reading.
"As I reviewed the scriptures about gathering, I marked verses with similar phrases or points of emphasis, using a colored pencil. By the time I had read all of the scriptures, some of the verses were marked in red, some were marked in green, and some were marked in other colors.
"Now, here comes the part that may make you laugh. I next used my scissors to cut out the scriptures I had copied and sorted them into piles by color. The process produced a large pile of scriptures marked with red, a large pile of scriptures marked with green, and so forth. I then sorted the scriptures within each large pile into smaller piles. As a first grader I must have really liked cutting with scissors and putting things into piles!...
"Through this process I gained an even deeper appreciation for the spirit of gathering as an integral part of the restoration of all things in the dispensation of the fullness of times. I will not take the time now to recount the other things I learned about gathering; my purpose here is to briefly illustrate one way of searching for scriptural themes." (Elder David A. Bednar, "A Reservoir of Living Water" CES Fireside, Feb. 4, 2007)
I loved the example that Elder Bednar gave. It was something I related to. I look forward to my time in the scriptures in a new way. Coloring, noodling (as Elder Bednar describes it in "Increase In Learning"), cutting, and pasting enrich my learning. I am learning at a new rate, perhaps it is maturity, more likely than not it is the amount of time I am devoting to my studies. It has also made me enthusiastic to share my new found knowledge or rather learning techniques.
A few people have asked some questions about my supplies and process. As you can see this post is quite lengthy so I will primarily talk about supplies and such in this post. I currently am working on 4 journals. X-large moleskin journals are my current favorite notebooks. I like the feel of the paper, the size. It's just a personal preference. My strong sense of order would like me to compile my thoughts in an ordered 3 ring binder, but the doesn't fit the portability of my needs right now. My suggestion is to choose something that works into your lifestyle.
Here is a run down of what I am currently working on.
1. basic journal: daily blessings, lists, schedules, favorite quotes, etc. It's a catch all; probably not considered a scripture journal except it does contain random daily impressions so I included it here in this list.
2. Main journal: I feel like I should come up with a clever name for these different books. I will have to give it some thought. This journal has not rhyme or reason. I have drawings, quotes, impressions, sticky notes, sticky tabs, lesson notes I am studying for; everything is in this beauty. It is quickly becoming my favorite journal. As it is becoming filled I am finding the answers I need and recalling the messages I'm being taught. Huge spiritual insight about who I am and what the Lord wants me to do is being expressed in the pages of this book.
3. Book of Mormon journal: I am slowly starting to go through the standard works again and writing as I go. It's been a very interesting study and place of self reflection. My little goal chart is pictured below. I try and occasionally read from cover to cover quickly, but that rarely works because I get side tracked quickly by a word or phrase. The Spirit works that way, teaching when we are ready to hear.
I will often use old rubons or letter stickers for the headers and titles. It's a great way to use the supplies I have on hand. Although I have a confession, I did go get some washi tape yesterday. It was the first time I had been a scrapbooking store in years. Paper supplies have a distinct smell and all those years within the industry came flooding back, but I digress. My English teachers would have me eliminate this paragraph all together, but this is my story so it stays.
4. Names of Christ: A serious study of Christ and His names. I recently heard a man speaking about Christ and I was really bothered by one of his descriptions of Christ. It lead me to pen a letter that became my first entry in this journal. It was such a beautiful experience that I decided to create something focused entirely on Christ. This book was inspired by Shannon over at redheaded hostess. I am drawing the titles as I go along.
My learning is not a work that will or can be rushed, so there is no foreseeable completion date on this journal or any for that matter. It is something I am savoring as I draw closer to my Savior and my relationship deepens.
Now to the fluff.
These journals are not scrapbooks or art journals, however it has been fun to incorporate elements into the pages. I have a cheap little tower of drawers that I picked up one day while grocery shopping. It's about 11 inches high and 8.5 inches deep and about 7 wide (inaccurate measurements using a piece of paper). It fits nicely in the cupboard and I can pull it out when I study.
My little fluff tower overwhelms John who does everything on the computer, but that's okay. It's a little treasure chest for me. That is the beauty of how people learn, study and process. Coloring, cutting, and pasting helps my process. It is not for everyone. The key is to find what works for you. Find what you feel most comfortable with; embrace it, own it, and in turn you will find added peace and joy.
My fluff tower contains:
1. My colored pencils and pen drawers. I use both when I am studying as I get different hues, strengths, widths, and marking techniques that help me remember. I realize that I'm dealing with a wide range of color shades, but each color is unique and offers a different feeling or mood.
My memory is such that I can partially remember a quote or experience on a good day, but if I create a little doodle or add some color to distinguish the thought I can always find it again when I need to use it. If it is just words on a page, not so much. Unlike John who has an amazing memory and can recite quotes and scriptures easily, I will almost always need to rely on a physical reminder. It used to bother me, but I have come to realize that my personal gifts lie in other places. I am not flawed because I don't have John's gift. We compliment one another and it's a beautiful thing.
I believe the individuality of each of us, as sons or daughters of a loving Heavenly Father, is such a gift. Together we strengthen one another. Together we compliment and create a masterpiece. I know, it's a lot so say over colored pencils and pens, but that's me "the woman who waxes emotional over inanimate objects".
3. More fluff: TAPES. Love paper tapes. I dug out some old paper tapes from long ago, I think they are from Heidi Swapp and love that little bit of zing in such a functional use. The scissors and glue can be found in this drawer as well, unless one of the children has taken it and not returned it. The glue pen is perfect for adding things into the seams of the pages. Love that!
4. Stamps and stamping ink. I will admit that I rarely go to this drawer. It's nice for titles, but I have found that I usually just draw something so I might have to rethink the usefullness of this drawer. I will probably just add letter stickers and rubons as I seem to use them on a more consistent basis.
So there it is. What I use to study with. I will try and answer the process questions in the near future. If you have any questions please feel free to ask. Now to the giveaway.
This is not a sponsored giveaway. I don't know Shannon of redheadedhostess.com. I'm not affiliated with her site in anyway. I have however ended up with a few extra scripture journals that I would love to share. They are a wonderful resource and she has put a great deal of thought and experience into her products. Loaf decided to draw in a couple of the striped chapter and topics journals. Thankfully it was in pencil and it's all erased, but you can still see her indentations. Sorry. If you have an aversion to Loaf graffiti sorry. I find it endearing, but I'm her mother and it's part of my job description.
There can be 5 winners. I have 1 topics journal, 2 chapter journals, and 2 Stand ye in Holy Places journals (based on the new YM/YW curriculum for 2013). If you would like to win one of these journals please leave a comment telling me a study technique you have found to be helpful or some random scripture journal thing you find interseting.
I will draw a winner and post a winner on Saturday morning (MST). Good luck and happy journaling.
THANK YOU FOR ENTERING. THE WINNERS CAN BE FOUND HERE.