The Importance of Memorizing Scripture with your Children
Do you find memorizing scripture hard to do? Memorizing scriptures with kids doesn’t have to be difficult! Here are some ideas and tips to get you started on memorizing your favorites today!
Why Memorize Scriptures with Kids?
As I send my kids off to school, I like them leaving confident, knowing who they are. When faced with tough decisions on their own, I hope they will choose the right and remember what they have been taught at home. There will be many choices that my children will face that I may never even know about. If I have armed them with good morals and values, and a perfect example to follow, the chances of them choosing the right are far greater.
Our children face all sorts of situations on a daily basis that may leave them feeling sad, lonely, confused, or hurt. Having scriptures forever running through their minds can foster resilience and bring them a greater sense of hope and purpose. Memorizing scripture is something that has influenced morning attitudes, and helped define the choices our children make.
The Living Christ
While serving a mission in Canada, my trainer recited “The Living Christ” for me. I made a goal then and there that I wanted to memorize it for myself. It is a document packed with testimony and written in the most beautiful phrases to describe who our Savior is.
Fast forward about 10 years later to a talk in the October 2014 General Conference called “Sharing Your Light” by Neill F. Marriott where she talked about a challenge issued to the youth in Alaska to memorize “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles”. That was just the push I needed to get started. But how to teach so many words to kids so young?
After hearing this talk, we started memorizing The Living Christ and the kids’ eyes would light up every time they heard a phrase mentioned during church or General Conference. They would finish the sentence with the phrase from The Living Christ and carry on as far as they could remember.
Memorizing scripture can be challenging, especially a document this long! I am bound and determined that we are going to memorize this. It may take us a really long time, but I have a few tricks up my sleeve!
How to Memorize Scriptures with Your Children
The first couple of days with a new scripture, we TALK ABOUT what the scripture means. What does it mean within the scriptural context? What does it mean to you and your family today?
We DEFINE difficult words. We usually have the youngest say those words a couple of times because it’s just so cute! Show how to use the dictionary, Bible Dictionary, or Index in the scriptures to show other times this word was used.
Next, we REPEAT the scripture a couple of times as a family. The kids usually will repeat the scripture throughout the day on their own, trying to be the first one to say it without looking. We recite the things we are memorizing each morning at breakfast, and throughout the day as we remember.
Lds.org has an amazing library of Inspiring Media. Besides having great videos and music, there are also TONS of free pictures to use. You can make cue cards, picture books, or other visuals to help your family memorize the scriptures.
Find the scripture set to music, or make up a tune of your own! Lds.org has the Hymn Book and Children’s Songbook available to listen to along with other popular songs.
We started learning The Living Christ with the song a bit last year and it made a world of difference. There were a couple of different songs, but this is the one that we liked best. http://morninglightmusic.org/programs/living-christ-music
How to Choose Scriptures to Memorize
Are there questions your children have been asking about the gospel? Are there specific trials your family is facing? Have you come across a favorite scripture in your family study? Does your family have a monthly theme or goal?
By using these simple tricks to help you memorize scriptures with your kids, you will find that memorization comes much easier. Keeping scripture memorization as part of your family schedule will more naturally provide opportunities to discuss gospel topics. Using the scriptures and the character of Christ as an example will help your children as they face the many temptations of life.
I love memorizing scripture together as a family. It makes me smile to hear my kids humming the tune or reciting phrases from the scriptures throughout the day. That is a great indicator for me to know that it is sinking in, even if they don’t realize it yet. My hope is that it helps them remember the Savior throughout the day, and try to act as He would.
How do you choose what scriptures to memorize as a family?