Monday, December 29, 2014

29 Ways of Writing to Learn About the Scriptures

I stumbled upon an article  by Dennis A. Wright from the Religious Educator (a magazine for seminary and institute instructors) called “Using Writing to EnhanceLearning in Religious Education: Practical Ideas for Classroom Use.”  (Religious Educator 3, no. 3 (2002): 115–121.)

In this article, Brother Wright describes a variety of different writing activities that can be used in seminary and institute classrooms to help students think about the scriptures.  He lists 29 in all. (excited noises in all the land)  Check it out!

I was delighted to find that many of these activities are ones that I have done as part of my scripture study and writing for this blog.  I was pleased to find more activities to try.

I love the perspective Brother Wright gives about the importance of writing about the gospel, since it informs my efforts to blog about the scriptures:

The Lord esteems the writings of His servants so highly that He has declared He will judge the whole world from their books (see 3 Nephi 27:25–26).
But all the books have not been written. As students and teachers of the gospel, we have our own opportunity to write the words that God speaks to us. This invitation is extended to all the Saints, not just the prophets. Paul taught, “He that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation and comfort” (1 Corinthians 14:3). As a church, we seek to edify others through our sacrament talks, via the lessons we teach, and in our missionary efforts. The process of thinking and writing enhances the service we offer. When we help our students learn how to ponder the gospel of Jesus Christ through classroom and personal writings, we teach students to act upon an important principle of edification. When we encourage students to communicate their faith through writing as well as through speaking, we provide an important opportunity for the Spirit to witness the truth.

Learning to ponder the gospel of Christ through writing is an important principle of edification (often neglected).  Often I’ve only understood a scripture passage more fully while in the middle of writing about it.  If I had only thought and not written, I would not have learned as much.

Communicating faith through writing gives additional opportunities for the Spirit to witness of the truth beyond the bounds of our personal presence or even our lifetime.  (This is a hope a cling to as I continue to blog.)   I think it was Hugh Nibley who speculated that writing was given by the Lord for that purpose.