Thursday, August 22, 2013

The importance of group scripture study

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about scripture study. About how important it is in our lives. The scriptures can be a spiritual lifeline to our glorious Creator, keeping us close to His will for us, and helping us feel His love for us on a daily basis. The scriptures can bring answers to life's toughest questions, give us peace and comfort in our hearts, and bring the spirit of the Lord into our homes and families. 

In the LDS church there is a lot of emphasis placed on individual and family scripture study, but nothing is said about group scripture study. They do encourage youth and young adults to attend seminary and institute classes, but there aren't any instructions or guidelines for the rest of us who want to pursue group scripture study. Most other Christian churches and many of their members hold bible study groups, and there are even websites dedicated to group bible study. I know some members of my ward who have joined bible study groups hosted by non-LDS neighbors or coworkers, and they truly enjoy the discussions and insights.

I feel that studying the scriptures with others can be so helpful - we can share our own insights and testimonies and experiences, bolstering each other in our faith and devotion to Jesus Christ. Sunday School can help fill this need, but so many times the teacher has to breeze through material and pass up class members' comments just so they can get through the entire lesson in their manual. Most of the class members haven't read the material in advance, so the few people who have prepared for class are the only ones sharing insightful comments. And if you've attended Sunday School for several years, you find yourself discussing the same lessons over and over.

I find myself wanting to talk about the scriptures with others who share a belief in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon. I want to encourage my fellow sisters in Christ to study daily and share what they have read and felt with others. I feel there can be so much gained from group study like this.

Has anyone else out there felt this desire too? What have you done to pursue these desires?