Do you set reading goals for your scripture study time? What would appropriate goals look like? Would they be to complete a book of scripture in a given period of time? Or to spend a certain amount of time in the scriptures?
In the October 1979 General Conference, Elder Howard W. Hunter made this statement.
“We should not be haphazard in our reading but rather develop a systematic plan for study. There are some who read to a schedule of a number of pages or a set number of chapters each day or week. This may be perfectly justifiable and may be enjoyable if one is reading for pleasure, but it does not constitute meaningful study. It is better to have a set amount of time to give scriptural study each day than to have a set amount of chapters to read. Sometimes we find that the study of a single verse will occupy the whole time.”
Sometimes as a church we’ve been asked to read the Book of Mormon during a certain span of time. This doesn’t contradict what Elder Hunter said here. There is just a different purpose in our readings. Reading the scriptures straight through is a great way to get a feel for the scriptures. You learn the stories and the order in which things happen.
However, when you know the stories and flow of the scriptures, it’s time to enter into a serious study of the contents of the scriptures. This can be done in any number of ways. If you’ve gone through the tutorials for Scripture Notes, and the resource emails, you’ve got a lot of tools at your disposal. I recommend you try this technique out if you haven’t. Set aside 30 minutes and choose a scripture. Almost any verse will do.
Analyze every word. Make sure you know the meanings by looking them up in Webster’s 1828 dictionary or Strong’s concordance for Bible verses. Search the words in the scriptures, particularly the less common words and look for how they are used. Ask all the questions you can about the verse. Then look for answers to your questions in the scriptures. Pray as you ponder that God will reveal more about that verse to you than you have previously understood.
As you engage in this type of exercise you will go deeper into the scriptures than ever before.