Where is the best place to start with scripture study? I’ve been a member all my life and have only recently really wanted to have that influence in my life but I am struggling with what scripture study is and how to do it.
There are probably about as many approaches to scripture study as their are students of the scriptures. Choosing a particular approach would depend on your specific interests. There is, however, something unique about the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith said about the book that “the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”
So you might start by reading the Book of Mormon. It has been said that the Book of Mormon is true because it is saturated with the Spirit of the Lord, and if you read it with that spirit, you will know that it is true. So, first you might try reading the Book of Mormon from cover to cover, but do so asking the Lord each time you pick it up to help you understand the messages that it contains. Reading it with the spirit of prayer is very important.
I wouldn’t try to read it like a novel, but I would suggest as you read a passage you might ponder a bit on what it could mean and how you might apply it in your own life. I also think it would be good idea to underline all the passages that impressed you as you read them.
After having done that, I’m sure that you will find many subjects or topics that will have been of particular interest to you. Then you might identify one of the subjects and study that subject in the Book of Mormon and in the other scriptures. The footnotes in the verses of interest and the Topical Guide in the back of the Bible would be great helps.
No other literature on earth can compare in importance with the word of the Lord, which is given to His children to assist in directing them back to His presence.