Lists or patterns are fun to mark in the scriptures. Watching for and marking these helps you internalize the principles more.
I usually use a light blue colored pencil along with pen circles to mark items in a list. Let me show you several lists I have marked in my Book of Mormon, and how the lists help me apply the scriptures to my life.
In Helaman chapter 5 I marked the list of 15 times we're reminded how important it is to remember.
I can apply this list to me by doing whatever it takes to REMEMBER what God has done for me, my ancestors, scripture people, and others, and remember Christ in my daily life.
I marked the list of the pride cycle in Alma 4:6-12.
Am I watching out for the pride cycle in my own life, and remembering that without God I am nothing? Am I keeping my heart set on eternal things rather than worldly things?
I found three lists that are meaningful to me in Alma chapter 48.
- Characteristics of Captain Moroni. Am I striving to have the heroic characteristics of Captain Moroni?
- Layers of protection Captain Moroni used against his enemy the Lamanites. Am I investing time and effort to build layers of protection for my family against the enemy?
- Characteristics and tactics of the enemy - the Lamanites and their leader. How does the Lamanite leader compare with Satan's tactics today?
In Alma 48 I have marked three lists. Blue marks characteristics of Captain Moroni. Purple marks some of the ways Captain Moroni built layers of protection for his people against their enemy. Red marks characteristics of their enemy - the Lamanites and their leader Amalickiah. Marking these lists is a great way to apply this story to ourselves.
Joseph Smith's story of his First Vision has a list of 16 tools of testimony.
My seminary teacher friend Ryan Robb taught us this list in church one day. It was perhaps the first list I marked in my scriptures. I circled and colored each tool that Joseph Smith used to gain his own answers and testimony. Then I numbered them in the margin, along with a word or phrase that summarized that tool. And I made a larger oval at the top of the page to pull it all together, that says, "15 Tools of Testimony." In smaller print under that I added, "Bishop Robb, 10/06. I adapted a bit." Every time I open that page, that lesson comes back to me. I remember sitting in the chapel, thinking, "Wow, I never thought of that before. I love the theme he's pulling from this story." Or some other inspiring thought. I can apply this list to me by using these tools to receive my own answers.
I marked a list of characteristics of Helaman's stripling warriors, and the blessings they got from being so obedient, courageous and faithful in Alma 56:45-57:27.
I invite you to look for a list or pattern in your scriptures this week and have fun marking it, looking for ways that list can apply to you.