Scripture Memorization

Written by Beth Hrusch
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Scripture memorization is widely regarded as an indispensable tool in the teaching of the Gospel. It is often used by religious leaders such as priests, ministers and elders of many different faiths. While the methods may vary, the goal is the same: to disseminate the word of God to others while making it easy to remember and understand the meaning of the text. The theory behind it is that the true meaning of any text will be better understood when thoroughly memorized and practiced.

The Applications of Scripture Memorization

Memorizing Scripture is an exercise practiced by religious teachers, seminarians and elders. The fact of the matter is, however, that anyone who wants to teach themselves or others lines of Scripture can use it. For example, an elder of the Mormon faith will want to be able to quickly locate a quote from the Book of Mormon from memory when explaining a point to his or her seminary class. Applying Scripture to the everyday situations encountered by missionaries is an important part of Mormon training.

The goals and methods of Scripture memorization often apply to the memorization of almost anything, and therefore, the exercises done in the memorization of Scripture are helpful for everyday life. There are several tips offered by memorization courses and software that can assist students in their classes and improve retention and memory. Tools such as linking ideas together and associating words with visuals or even music can make it easier for anyone to remember specific passages. Thus, memorization techniques benefit anyone who wants to remain sharp and well focused.

Why Is Memorization Important?

Many people, having come out of years of schooling that emphasized rote memorization as a way of learning material, are understandably leery of this method of learning. After all, the ability to memorize something does not necessarily mean that you understand it. However, those who are taught how to do it in the correct way recognize the value of memorization. If the process of memorization is fun and relaxed, and done at one's own pace, it can be an excellent way to come to better understanding.

Unless a passage is studied and committed to memory, it is difficult to retain the meaning of it. Any priest or elder can tell you that the ability to have Scripture ready at their mental fingertips is invaluable to the teaching of basic concepts. When applying the word of God to situations that occur out in the world, a religious instructor must know the context of the passage and its origin. This knowledge gives relevancy to the instruction, making it resonate with the student.

Scripture Memorization Can Enrich Lives

This is the inherent value of Scripture memorization. It is a tool that brings the word of God to people and helps them understand its meaning in their lives. When passages are memorized, they are available to the individual at all times, ready to be brought out when the situation calls for it. This can be either in a teaching situation in class or at home, or when the person wants to apply Scripture in a personal way. All experiences, both good and bad, can be brought into perspective when Scripture is applied to them.

Another benefit of Scripture memorization is that it helps bring the meaning of the text into focus. After all, memorization has little value if the concept behind the material is not grasped. The words become meaningless and more easily forgotten. This is the problem that many people have had with memorization in the past. New methods of Scripture memorization can help one retain not only the words but also the meaning. They can be exercises that bring the family together and promote intelligent debate.

Ultimately, the real benefit of Scripture memorization is that it allows religious educators (and this includes parents) to disseminate the word of God more effectively. Its value is seen in the ease with which many instructors can pull Scripture passages from memory in order to answer their students' questions and introduce new ideas to them. Each new generation of missionaries and followers of faith is better able to study and grasp the important concepts found in the Bible and other religious texts.

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