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Here we are, four weeks into 2022 already!
Many of you have now settled into your new “Come, Follow Me” study habits for the Old Testament study year… and many others may feel that you’re already hopelessly behind–stuck in the proverbial sand watching the rest of the Church trekking forward together.
If you find yourself in the second group, or are still looking for a few more ideas to help get your study going, this article is for you.
Here are 3 ways you can begin or improve your “Come, Follow Me” study for 2022:
Start from where you are.
Last year, my wife and I were almost always a week behind the rest of the Church. Sometimes we’d fall several weeks behind and binge-read the scriptures late at night after our young children had finally fallen asleep, barely able to keep our eyes open.
We had decided early in 2021 to read the entire sections that were ‘due’ each week, and so we kept this same lagging schedule the whole year, only catching up to fall behind again.
This was unfulfilling and unproductive, but I know many of you are setting the stage for a similar experience this year.
So, if like us last year, you’re already racking up the reading you ‘owe,’ then this is an invitation to, instead, realistically review where you are in your schedule, availability, and study habits and decide how and where you can fit your study in.
After you’ve done this review, you might consider giving yourself a ‘get out of jail free card,’ leaving the past in the past, and focusing on applying your new, hopefully more successful, pattern going forward.
After all, that is the “good news” of the Gospel–that Christ provides the power of his Atonement to cleanse our errors and empower us in our eternal advancement through life and the eternities (even when we’ve missed the mark, however large or small).
Remember that Good is good even if Best is best.
Time is precious and painfully limited at times. And yet, how often do we berate ourselves for only putting in some time studying the scriptures, or for not doing our best study?
Too often, I think.
Reading almost every word of the Doctrine & Covenants last year was a good thing for us, even if we struggled to make our efforts more effective.
It’s okay to make small study goals! My wife and I are doing that this year–to hopefully make the smaller amounts of time we take to be more enriching.
Here are some small goals you might consider to get the wheels turning:
The Lord works wonders with willing hearts, and these little actions are Good. Period.
Is there more you can do? Of course, but like I said earlier, you have to start from where you are. Best-level studying does not appear from a void, but by small and simple things–line upon line–you will be receiving blessings from above.
Now, if those little goals are easy for you, but you still struggle to fit deeper study in, then your focus should likely be more on finding ways to weave study into your day-to-day.
This might look like carrying your phone, physical scriptures, or your Old Testament Made Easier with you in your bag to read at lunch, or when you’re waiting for an appointment to start, or to pick up your kids from school.
Alternatively, it might be listening to your favorite Come, Follow Me podcast. This is what I’ve been doing on the way to work and has already given me more light and understanding in a few weeks than I gleaned most months last year.
And if you haven’t started one yet, our podcast is a great option ;).
Regardless of how you make time to study, every little action you take to reach up to Heaven will open the way for greater blessings and a larger portion of the Spirit in your life.
Go about doing good.
Finally, the reason we are called to “Come, Follow [Him]” is to become like Him and to bless the lives of our Brothers and Sisters.
Focus on loving Heavenly Father and His Children in all that you do. Then even the smallest studying you are able to accomplish will assist you in filling your heart with revelation, your mouth with Words of Truth, and your mind with inspiration.
I always wondered at the statement in Alma 37 that describes living the gospel as “easy.” Sometimes it feels pretty hard!
But like the footnote in verse 46 says, Christ’s yoke is easy and his burden is light–not because of what the work is, but because He is yoked with us.
So ask Christ for help and see Him do it.
Best of luck and keep on trekking!