Sunday, June 28, 2015

Scripture Feasting Tool #4 - Themes

Sheri Dew taught me this colorful tool. 

Sheri had a big question for Heavenly Father, and the answers weren't coming. Then someone suggested she start asking God how He communicates to her. She started right away. Because after all, she is the amazing Sheri Dew. 

Sheri got her answer. She also started watching for a powerful theme in her scriptures. 

Sheri marked with a little x in the margin each time a passage described God communicating to His children, in whatever way that happened. Pretty soon her scriptures were peppered with little x's. I decided to take the same challenge. I have been shading red every time God communicates with His children. Have you ever asked yourself that - How does God speak to me?  

Here is a list of some ways God speaks to His children. Which ones seem to fit you? A thought or idea. Words in your mind or audible words. A feeling. A leaning toward a certain direction or idea. Peaceful, calm feeling. Visions, dreams or angels. Physical sensation. Instruments like a liahona or Urim and Thummim. A change of heart. Being filled with the Spirit. Light, feeling enlightened. Direction, instruction or warning. Prophets and scriptures. Spiritual gifts. While writing about your scripture study you start to get answers and new ideas. Click here for more about receiving personal revelation from God. 

Here are some other themes I have marked in specific colors over the years. 
  • Atonement - I shade those passages in brown because brown reminds me of the soil and olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane
  • Learning - I shade those in green. 
  • Seminary scripture mastery passages I draw a green box with diagonal stripes. 
  • As mentioned before, I mark my favorite verse or two in each chapter in orange. 
  • The American Covenant - I shade in yellow. 
  • Points of Christ's original New Testament Church - in pink with a box at the top identifying which point I'm referring to from this book. 
  • Currently I am using purple to shade passages about events surrounding the Second Coming and ways I need to prepare for them. This is the first time in 16 years that I'm marking a brand new inexpensive copy of the Book of Mormon, and it's been great! 

In Alma 7 I marked ways God communicates with His children in red, and passages about Christ's Atonement in brown. 

This is my new, inexpensive blue copy of the Book of Mormon. Red verses are ways God communicates with His children. Orange means a favorite verse in the chapter. Purple means verses about preparing for the Second Coming. This is 1 Nephi 1-2. 

Here are other people's ideas for themes you may consider marking in specific colors. You could look for multiple themes or just one each time through. 
  • Do = green, Don't = red.  Mark commandments and promised blessings green. Mark warnings red. 
  • A preparing missionary could code the Preach My Gospel lessons, one in each color. 
  • One ward or stake invited their members to use a fresh copy of the Book of Mormon (a great tool in itself) and mark the names of Christ with circles, Christ's promises in yellow, and Christ speaking in blue. This exercise has made a deep impression on those members. 
  • Author annotations - “And thus we see,” author testimonies, or authors' last words.  

I invite you to choose one theme that is meaningful to you, choose a color to represent it, and start watching for that theme today. 


Megan said...

I haven't been searching for a single particular theme, but I've found several themes that I've started marking in certain colors. Red=faith, names of Christ, most other things that stand out. :) Orange=bad choices, murmuring, hard hearts, great & abominable church, great & spacious building, etc. Blue=good choices, counsel we should follow. Yellow=mercy, joy, fruit of the tree, ministry, charity. Purple=justice, wrath of God. Green=power, glory, & hand of God. Yellow-green=When Holy Ghost constrains or gives authority. Black=rebellion, anger, Satan & his kingdom. I've been writing topics into the margins. Some that have appeared often so far are the importance of Family, Teaching, Gathering, Unity, Testify, Follow the Prophet, Apostasy. Plus lots of cross-references -- scriptures that tie into other verses I've recently read.

Becky Edwards said...

Megan, Wow, you have some great themes and colors going on in your scriptures! And I love your idea of writing repeated topics in the margins. Looking for themes and cross referencing are great ways to get more from your scripture study!