Today I thought I’d give you a walk-through of our scripture journaling experience thus far. If you scripture journal with your children, I hope you’ll share some of your experiences in the comments. Feel free to leave a link, if you have one to share.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
This year I am working on Scripture Journaling with my children. My goal is to establish in them the habit of daily, JOYFUL, personal scripture study, not just a reading of a few verses but to include pondering, likening the scriptures, and recording the things learned. I want it to include marking of their scriptures and making them their own. Notice my goal does not include things like perfect spelling, handwriting and deep theological discussions on every page. It also does not include a certain amount of writing each day. ☺
Sometimes I get sidetracked in all the possibilities so I try to remind myself of this goal often. It helps keep me focused. I realize this is a process that will improve with time.
The most challenging part and yet most simple for me was choosing a focus. It was the most challenging because there are so many things we could focus on. We could work on Scripture Mastery verses, study characters from the scriptures, dissect favorite verses, do a comparison study, a timeline study, focus on a specific standard work, topic, etc. The lessons to be learned from the scriptures are unlimited and I want to learn them all. I want my children to learn them all. It can really be challenging sometimes to narrow down the focus. However, it ended up being so simple once I came across this talk by Neil L. Andersen from April 2010 General Conference titled “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus”.
Says Elder Andersen:
We hold in our arms the rising generation. They come to this earth with important responsibilities and great spiritual capacities. We cannot be casual in how we prepare them. Our challenge as parents and teachers is not to create a spiritual core in their souls but rather to fan the flame of their spiritual core already aglow with the fire of their premortal faith.
This afternoon I wish to emphasize the plea of a child from a Primary song:
Tell me the stories of Jesus I love to hear, Things I would ask him to tell me if he were here. 6
In our world today, each child, each young man and young woman needs his or her own conversion to the truth. Each needs his or her own light, his or her own “steadfast and immovable” 7 faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, independent of parents, youth leaders, and supportive friends.
The stories of Jesus can be like a rushing wind across the embers of faith in the hearts of our children. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” 8
The stories of Jesus shared over and over bring faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strength to the foundation of testimony. Can you think of a more valuable gift for our children?
Are the life and teachings of Jesus Christ embedded in the minds and souls of our children? Do they think about the Savior’s life when they wonder what to do in their own lives? This will be more and more important in the years ahead.
Do they know that Jesus often taught, “Ask, and ye shall receive”? 13 Do His prayers of thankfulness 14 and His pleadings to His Father 15 flow through our children’s minds as they kneel in prayer with their own concerns?
Do they take strength in the stories of Jesus fasting 18 —as we teach them the law of the fast?
In their own loneliness, do our children know the loneliness the Savior felt as His friends deserted Him and as He asked His Apostles, “Will ye also go away?” 19
Have our children felt the power of the Savior’s miracles? Jesus healed the leper, 20 gave sight to the blind. 21 He fed the 5,000, 22 calmed the sea, 23and raised Lazarus from the dead. 24 Do our children believe that “it is by faith that miracles are wrought,” 25 and do they pray for miracles in their own lives?
Have our children taken courage from the Savior’s words to the ruler of the synagogue: “Be not afraid, only believe”? 26
Do our children know about His perfect life, 27 His selfless ministry, His betrayal and cruel Crucifixion? 28 Have we testified to them of the certainty of His Resurrection, 29 of His visit to the Nephites in the Americas, 30 of His appearance to the Prophet Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove? 31
Do they anticipate His majestic return, when all will be made right and every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ? 32
Do our children say, “Tell me the stories of Jesus I love to hear”? 33
After rereading Elder Anderson’s words, I decided we would study the New Testament and become immersed in the life of Christ.
Because my children love the Scripture Stories and have read through them all except the New Testament reader, it seemed a logical choice to use that as our guide. As with other readers, I made them a bookmark that they could use to chart their progress.
In addition to the New Testament Stories, their materials include a set of scriptures, and a scripture journal.
Of course we needed some sprinkles, so we have journal prompt stickers* and a container full of pencils, pens, and brightly colored pencils.
I imagine that when my children are seminary age, they will use their seminary manual as their guide. Eventually they will do their own thing all together.
My daughter previously made a scripture journal binder. She is using the plain lined page (found in the SJ Pages) for her New Testament study. My youngest son is using a composition notebook for his journal. Their journals have been decorated and ownership has been established. ☺ It’s amazing what fun things like stickers, scrapbook paper, ribbon, markers, etc. can do for us. This picture to the right is of my daughter’s Scripture Journal.
Our 1st lesson was on the Plan of Salvation, We used these great graphics for that. This lesson was not in the book, but the Plan of Salvation makes it very clear how important Jesus Christ is and why we should study his life. We felt it was a good starting place. This would make a great FHE to have before you begin scripture journaling.
The first few days of scripture journaling I worked side-by-side with my children. Together we marked the verses listed under each picture of the New Testament Stories. We then wrote the title of that chapter in the margin of their scriptures for easy reference.
We read the scripture verses we had marked, and then followed up with the chapter in the New Testament Stories. They used their journal prompt stickers and I helped them by asking questions, and having them narrate things they read. Sometimes, I even did the writing part for them. Initially they chose to borrow phrases from the NTS to put down as their answers. We completed one chapter each day.
By the end of the first week, both of my children were working independently. It has become common place to hear “Hey Mom, listen to this!” I love to see their joy as they discover treasures in their scripture reading. This has been a fun process to watch. I can’t wait to see how this progresses over time.
If you are interested in the sprinkles we used, you can get them here:
Have you tried Scripture Journaling Lately? Find more information here:
- Scripture Journal Ideas
- Scripture Journal Page Collection
- Scripture Journal Page Collection - Wider Lines
- Scripture Journal Pages - YW Collection
Dana can be found enjoying her life surrounded by chickens and good ole’ country air. She is helping her family establish the habit of Scripture Journaling. I’m certain she is enjoying every moment of General Conference this weekend. How about you? You can follow their homeschool endeavors at Noggins & Nonsense.
♪ Let the Holy Spirit Guide ♫ (I love that song.)