Mormon Channel Blog

Self Reliance: Making Family Scripture Study a Priority - Stephanie Nielson

February 21, 2015

My family recently finished reading the Book of Mormon. It was such a satisfying accomplishment. I am not sure how long it took us exactly to read the whole book, but it took us a long time. Our children—ages 13, 12, 10, 8, and 2—are somewhat younger, which I think contributed to this long process.

In 2014, I sat in a session of general conference and listened to Sister Linda S. Reeves boldly proclaim:

"I must testify of the blessings of daily scripture study and prayer and weekly family home evening. These are the very practices that help take away stress, give direction to our lives, and add protection to our homes" (“Protection from Pornography—a Christ-Focused Home,” April 2014 general conference).

It was like I had been struck by lightning. I need more direction. I need less stress in my life, and everybody needs and wants added protection! I counseled with my husband, Christian, and together we studied this message. We prayerfully decided to make family scripture study one of our top priorities. We promised the Lord our family would be better committed to it, and we pleaded for His blessings upon us as we embarked on this important family goal.

The next day we sat the children down in a family council, and I tearfully expressed our desire to be more diligent and sincere about family scripture study. I told them I knew if we raised our scripture habits a few notches we would be blessed to "learn with joy and not with sorrow" (Jacob 4:3), as I want them to discover for themselves. I also told them we could have a family movie and ice cream night when we finished, which I am sure helped with our proposition.

Each morning before school, five tired bodies—still in pjs—sat at our kitchen table with their own copy of the Book of Mormon. Each read in turn three verses until the chapter was over. As an added incentive, I told the children if they got up before we began reading they could make themselves hot chocolate. I think that only happened once or twice, as sleep seemed to be more important to them.

I think my favorite element of family scripture study is watching my children learn that they are adored sons and daughters of God. I want them to know who they are, why they are here on this earth, and what direction they should be moving toward. Because of our promise to read each day, I noticed added obedience and genuine love for one another.

We intend to continue reading the Book of Mormon every day until each of our children are out of our home. Hopefully our decisions and habits will carry over to their families, and Christian and I will read it together every day until we die. We will always need the blessings that come with faithful reading, no matter how old we are.

Learn more from Stephanie in her post on personal scripture study.