FORTIFY THE FAMILY: A Weekly Plan For Daily Family Scripture Study

If you are familiar at all with this blog, you will know of my emphasis on the importance of daily personal and daily family scripture study.

Over the past few months we have had some major life changes in our family. Our 2nd grandchild, Lily Mae, was born in April. Number 4 child out of 5 and only son graduated from HS and left the nest in June. I began a consistent personal daily study of the Book of Mormon. I have always enjoyed studying the scriptures and am regular in my study but have felt very impressed by President Nelson’s Testimony of the daily study of the Book of Mormon. 

Recently I have been reading in 2 Nephi, where Lehi gives what I term as his “last lecture” to his sons. I think this has impacted me greatly with our own son leaving home. Lehi’s constant reminder to each of his sons, from the Lord through his prophet, their father that “Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper in the land” has been a very real part of my own feelings and thoughts for our children in these perilous times. As I study Lehi’s warnings to his children and the clear counsel he gives through the Spirit, I am reminded of President Nelsons talk in the last General Conference on revelation in our lives.

President Nelson has clearly stated “In coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.” 

He also said: “I urge you to stretch beyond your current spiritual ability to receive personal revelation, for the Lord has promised that “if thou shalt [seek], thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal.”12

Oh, there is so much more that your Father in Heaven wants you to know. As Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught, “To those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, it is clear that the Father and the Son are giving away the secrets of the universe!”13

Nothing opens the heavens quite like the combination of increased purity, exact obedience, earnest seeking, daily feasting on the words of Christ in the Book of Mormon,14 and regular time committed to temple and family history work.” (Ensign November 2018)

In the Family Proclamation To The World it states:

“HUSBAND AND WIFE have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.”

Over thirty years ago, President Kimball said this about families. As we look at the state of the family today and the attacks coming on every side, it is clear that this was a warning from a servant of God for our day.

Fortify the family

We, as parents, have a solemn responsibility particularly while they are still in the home, but it is never to late and we will always be parents to our children and be responsible to prepare them for what is to come. I have felt a strong prompting to share with you some ideas for daily family scripture study that will hopefully make it easier for you, as parents, who desire to fortify your families each day, to do so in an organized, easy yet powerful way.

Our prophet, President Russell M. Nelson has given the youth of this church a charge and challenge- which I believe we all can put in place in out lives. During his June 2018 address to the youth of the church, President Nelson challenged the youth with five things that will change them and help the youth change the world.

1. Seven-day social media fast.

President Nelson challenged the youth to fast from social media for seven consecutive days.

“I acknowledge that there are positives about social media,” President Nelson said. “But if you are paying more attention to feeds from social media than you are to the whisperings of the Spirit, then you are putting yourself at spiritual risk — as well as the risk of experiencing intense loneliness and depression.”

He told the youth to choose seven days to disengage and break their reliance on social media, a world, President Nelson said, that doesn’t always represent reality.

“Give yourself a 7-day break from fake,” President Nelson said.

2. Weekly sacrifice of time to the Lord.

Specifically, President Nelson challenged youth to pick something they love to do and, for three weeks in a row, to give up that activity. During that time, he invited them to work to gather Israel and become better disciples of Jesus Christ.

3. Keep on the covenant path.

“Do a thorough life assessment with the Lord,” President Nelson told the youth.

The prophet urged the youth to repent, and if they didn’t know how to repent, talk to their parents or their bishop to learn how.

“Please do not stay off the covenant path one more minute,” President Nelson pleaded. “Please come back through true repentance now. We need you with us in this Youth Battalion of the Lord, it just won’t be the same without you.”

4. Pray daily for all to receive blessings of the gospel.

President Nelson reminded youth of the power of prayer.

“You can be part of the power behind that gathering,” he said when discussing prayer.

5. Stand out. Be different. Be a light.

“My beloved young brothers and sisters, you are among the best the Lord has ever sent to this world,” President Nelson told the youth. “You have the capacity to be smarter and wiser and have more impact on the world than any previous generation!”

President Nelson invited the youth to study the “For the Strength of Youth,” a book of standards. “Prayerfully read it as you never have before. Mark it up, talk about it, discussion these standards with your friends.”

Youth were also invited to take an extra copy of the book following the fireside and gift it to a friend.

“With the Holy Ghost as your companion, you can see right through the celebrity culture that has smitten our society. You can be smarter than previous generations have been. And if you are sometimes called ‘weird,’ wear that distinction as a badge of honor and be happy that your light is shining brightly in this ever-darkening world!”

Along with this, I would add his challenge to us in October 2017 to study the Book of Mormon every day personally and in daily family scripture study.

“My dear brothers and sisters, I promise that as you prayerfully study the Book of Mormon every day, you will make better decisions—every day. I promise that as you ponder what you study, the windows of heaven will open, and you will receive answers to your own questions and direction for your own life. I promise that as you daily immerse yourself in the Book of Mormon, you can be immunized against the evils of the day, even the gripping plague of pornography and other mind-numbing addictions.

Whenever I hear anyone, including myself, say, “I know the Book of Mormon is true,” I want to exclaim, “That’s nice, but it is not enough!” We need to feel, deep in “the inmost part” of our hearts,12 that the Book of Mormon is unequivocally the word of God. We must feel it so deeply that we would never want to live even one day without it. I might paraphrase President Brigham Young in saying, “I wish I had the voice of seven thunders to wake up the people”13 to the truth and power of the Book of Mormon.” (Russell M. Nelson- The Book of Mormon. What Would Your Life Be without It? ) November 2017 Ensign)

I firmly believe that as we study the Book of Mormon daily, and the other scriptures, personally and in daily family scripture study, that we will be able to take President Nelson’s 5 challenges as a family and better apply them in our daily lives.

I love in the Book of Alma when Moroni is preparing his people for war. Some of us wonder when we read these “war chapters” why they are even in the Book of Mormon but it has become so clear to me that this is a pattern we must follow, as parents of a generation enlisting in the Army of God, we must do all we can to help them fight this daily battle. (See my blog post on spiritual protection for the family.)

Daily family scripture study is an extremely important part of that. As we study daily in our families in daily family scripture study (particularly The Book of Mormon) we will receive these blessings:

  1. A more united family.
  2. Stay in tune with the Spirit.
  3. Model a plan for person scripture study.
  4. Send our children off to battle daily dressed in the Armor of God and armed with the power of the Holy Ghost to guide them.

President Nelson has clearly stated “In coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.” 

He also said: “I urge you to stretch beyond your current spiritual ability to receive personal revelation, for the Lord has promised that “if thou shalt [seek], thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal.”12

Oh, there is so much more that your Father in Heaven wants you to know. As Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught, “To those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, it is clear that the Father and the Son are giving away the secrets of the universe!”13

Nothing opens the heavens quite like the combination of increased purity, exact obedience, earnest seeking, daily feasting on the words of Christ in the Book of Mormon,14 and regular time committed to temple and family history work.” (Ensign November 2018)

Daily family scripture study is vital to our ability to hear and act upon person revelation.

In my quest to follow President Nelson’s challenges, I have created a weekly plan to help my family be better armed with the power of God in daily family scripture study. This is available to print and I will have a new study topic for each week. Topics will include but not be limited to: Prophets and Continuing Revelation, Repentance, Covenants and Preparing For The Temple, Obedience, Enlisting in God’s Army -The Gathering of Israel, Sacrifice, Eternal Families, Health and The Word of Wisdom. My first official weekly Family Scripture Study post will be Sunday, July 15, 2018. You can begin that day or start at the beginning of the school or calendar year. I will post a new topic by the Sunday beginning each week for a year so that you, as a parent can use that day to prepare yourself for the thoughts and inspiration the Spirit will have for your family circumstances and daily family scripture study.

Each week will include:

1) a topic of study, scriptures to memorize (choose one for your family-possibly put it to music for easier memorization)

2) talks and words from Latter-day prophets to study

3) scriptures and examples specifically from The Book of Mormon

4) a place to write inspiration on the specific topic for your family.

Fortify your family-Daily Family Scripture Study

I hope that as parents of a generation called to enlist in God’s Army, that we will take our responsibility of teaching as a serious and solemn responsibility. I challenge each of us to put in the time and effort needed to arm our children each day as they face the battle of their lives.

 

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