09 10

09 June 2017

64 Scriptures for LDS Children to Memorize

These memory work suggestions for a scripture memory system come from the entire cannon embraced by Mormons, including the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

Our family has greatly benefited from the Scripture Memory System that Simply Charlotte Mason has explained so well on their site. The original system calls for working on this 7 days a week, but the reality is that we do better planning to do it only 5 at our house. We have slowly, verse by verse, hidden the word of the Lord in our hearts, starting with a single verse, and adding one more as the kids are ready. We've learned doctrine together, addressed behavior issues, and leaned on the Lord to solve problems that our children face. My kids love it when they hear "their" verses in church meetings and General Conference -- and however little attention it looks like they are paying, they seldom miss it when a speaker uses on of their special verses. We've started with the shortest, simplest verses spoken in baby lisps as soon as they can speak the words, and day by day worked our way to longer passages. We're now returning to some of those very short verses to learn them in Japanese. I don't remember how I found this Scripture Memory System, but I am eternally grateful that I did; it has blessed our whole family over the past 10 years.

In telling people about it, one of the most frequent questions has been, "How do you know what verses to put in the box?" I want to share how I decide what we work on learning, and then share a collection of verses that my kids have learned. Each of my kids has their own box, and while there is so overlap, each collection of verses is also unique.

As I am deciding what to put in the boxes, here are some of the things that I consider:

1. Plain and simple truths of the Gospel.
I look for verses that teach the principles of the gospel in straight-forward language that young children will be able to understand. It's ok if they don't understand every word at the beginning; the process of memorizing and reviewing it gives us plenty of opportunity to discuss it again and again. Because I started my children as soon as they could talk, some of the first verses were very short.

2. Verses that the Holy Ghost directs us to include.
Romans 1:16 has a permanent place in the daily section of all the kids' boxes, because the Holy Ghost directed that it should stay there. Though they have long since learned it, this verse they repeat every time we do the boxes. This is the most dramatic example of direction from the Holy Ghost regarding our boxes, but there are other verses that it has seemed important to include.

3. Verses that relate to life experiences.
Prior to baptism, I have added verses that relate to that ordinance. My boys are both beginning to learn about what makes a good priesthood holder, and as they get closer to ordination, we will include the duties of the offices they will hold. We have also included verses that help to calm fears, and you could include verses that deal with death, with learning in school, with conflict management, with learning to be a good leader... the list is practically limitless.

4. Passages the kids need to learn for Primary.
This has included the Articles of Faith, as well as verses that my kids chose to learn for talks they were giving in Primary.

5. Verses that address behavior problems.
This is my favorite way to deal with things like lies and contention, and other similar problems. It takes the teaching out and away from the moment of stress, which is never a teachable moment, and into a the context of a pleasant routine. It emphasizes that our family's behavior standards are not arbitrary rules that Mom and Dad made up, but they are standards set by the Lord. The kids know that the Daddy and I are also subject to the law of the gospel. Additionally, it is slow and persistent: they may recognize that a verse has been added because there's been a problem, but that sense of a problem gradually falls away, and there is only the memorization of the verse. Typically, the closest I will come to using our verses in discipline is to quietly move an already learned verse up toward the front of the box (I don't announce it; I just move it), so that it is reviewed more frequently. Because I do not want scripture to be associated with punishment, I seldom if ever ask the kids to repeat or copy a verse as part of the consequences for bad behavior.

6. Longer passages.
While we start with very short single verses, we don't stay there. As they mature, passages naturally become somewhat longer, and when they are ready for a little bit of a challenge, then we have tackled somewhat longer passages such as the 23rd Psalm and the 10 Commandments. Down the road, we may try doing whole chapters, such as the Word of Wisdom, at some point.

7. Verses and passages that my children choose.
It's important to me that my kids' boxes are their own, and so when they tell me that they want a certain passage in the box, I honor that request, though if they already have several verses that they are working on I will ask them if they want to start right away or to wait until one of the existing verses is ready to move back. In the end, though, I've almost always gone with what they wanted to do with it. 

It would be easy to get hung up on the number of verses in the box, or how quickly you can learn your passage, but this comment from Simply Charlotte Mason has always stood out to me:

It doesn’t matter how long the passage is. In fact, your family should memorize longer passages regularly. Simply once or twice each day read the entire passage through until everyone can recite it together. Don’t worry about how many days it takes for everyone to memorize the selected Scripture. Hiding God’s Word in your heart is not a race; it’s a lifelong habit. (emphasis added)

While I have a box for myself, I don't use it regularly right now. I find that, in the process of helping my kids with their verses, I am learning them too, and while I can't always get them word perfect, I can do a very close paraphrase, and sometimes I have them fully learned, just through the constant exposure. For now, this is enough. I'll get my own box out when my kids don't need me to manage theirs anymore. Looking toward that day when the kids will be managing their own scripture boxes and more fluent in the use of their own paper scriptures, I do ask them to remember the "numbers part" -- the verse citations. I'm hoping that will help them to be able to find their verses in their print scriptures when they are adults.

One other thing we do is we are just starting to memorize verses in our second language. We're starting over at the very shortest of verses, and these tend to be learned more slowly than any but the very longest of passages. We talk about what the words mean, but just like we learned the verses when the kids were tiny, before they truly understood them, we are learning them in Japanese now, while we're still "babies", and understanding grows both while we memorize them, and also over time as our fluency grows. 

Between the three kids, here are some of the verses and passages that we have in our boxes right now, plus a few that I would like to add in the near future. Please bear in mind that these were added one or two at a time, as each child was ready, and don't feel like you need to start with them all; this represents nearly 10 years' worth of scripture memory work in our family.

Knowing Christ

1st Article of Faith
We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

Isaiah 9:6
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Mosiah 4:9
Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Luke 2:6-7
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8th Article of Faith
We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

9th Article of Faith
We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

Psalm 19:1
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Plain and Precious Truths

Matthew 22:36-40
Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all they heart, and with all thy soul, and with all they mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

2 Nephi 32:8-9
...the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray. But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always...

7th Article of Faith
We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues and so forth.

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

1 Nephi 3:7-8
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them. And it came to pass that when my father had heard these words he was exceedingly glad, for he knew that I had been blessed of the Lord.

10th Article of Faith
We believe in the literal gathering of Israel, and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes. That Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth, and that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisaical glory.

John 14:15
If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Romans 8:16
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.

6th Article of Faith
We believe in the same organization that existed in the primitive church namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

Finding Comfort

Matthew 11:28-30
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies, thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.

Ether 6:7
And it came to pass that when they were buried in the deep there was no water that could hurt them, their vessels being tight like unto the ark of Noah; therefore when they were encompassed about by many waters they did cry unto the Lord, and he did bring them forth again upon the top of the waves.

Isaiah 41:10
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Alma 60:13
For the Lord suffereth the righteous to be slain that his justice and judgement may come upon the wicked; therefore ye need not suppose that the righteous are lost because they are slain; but behold, they do enter into the rest of the Lord your God.

1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear...

2 Timothy 1:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Mormon 5:23
Know ye not that ye are in the hands of God?

1 Nephi 1:20
But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance.

How to Treat People

Ephesians 4:32
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Doctrine and Covenants 42:88-92
And if thy brother or sister offend thee, thou shalt take him or her between him or her and thee alone; and if he or she confess thou shalt be reconciled. And if he or she confess not thou shalt deliver him or her up unto the church, not to the members, but to the elders. And it shall be done in a meeting and not before the world. And if thy brother or sister offend many, he or she shall be chastened before many. And if any one offend openly, he or she shall be rebuked openly, that he or she may be ashamed. And if he or she confess not, he or she shall be delivered up unto the law of God. If any shall offend in secret, he or she shall be rebuked in secret, that he or she may have opportunity to confess in secret to him or her whom he or she has offended, and to God, that the church may not speak reproachfully of him or her.

Matthew 25:40
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Alma 43:36
Inasmuch as ye are not guilty of the first offense, neither the second, ye shall not suffer yourselves to be slain by the hands of your enemies.

Proverbs 14:5
A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.

Matthew 18:21-22
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven.

11th Article of Faith
We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men, the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

Proverbs 16:32
He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

Numbers 30:2
If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear and oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.

Missionary Scriptures

Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.


Alma 13:3
And this is the manner after which they were ordained -- being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore, they having chosen good, and exercising exceeding great faith, are called with a holy calling, yea with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to a preparatory redemption for such.

Doctrine and Covenants 42:12
And again, the elders, priests, and teachers of this church shall teach the principles of my gospel, which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, in the which is the fullness of the gospel.

5th Article of Faith
We believe that man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

Faith, Repentance, and Grace

3rd Article of Faith
We believe that through the Atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

Ether 12:6
... faith is things hoped for and not seen; wherefore dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.

Alma 60:11
Behold, could ye suppose that ye could sit upon your thrones, and because of the exceeding goodness of God ye could do nothing and he would deliver you? Behold, if ye have supposed this ye have supposed in vain.

Doctrine and Covenants 95:1
Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you whom I love, and whom I love I also chasten that their sins may be forgiven...

Moroni 7:41
And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.

Ether 12:27
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

Baptism and the Holy Ghost

Doctrine and Covenants 33:11
Yea, repent and be baptized, every one of you, for a remission of your sins; yea, be baptized even by water, and then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost.

Alma 7:15
Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth besest you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism.

4th Article of Faith
We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Virtuous Character

13th Article of Faith
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul -- We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

Exodus 20:1-17
And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: "For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal.  Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's.

Ephesians 6:1
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

Doctrine and Covenants 42:42
Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer.

Proverbs 12:22
Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight.

Leviticus 19:11
Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.

1 Timothy 2:2
...that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

Malachi 3:10
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Doctrine and Covenants 109:7
...seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom, seek learning even by study and also by faith.

12th Article of Faith
We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

Alma 46:12-13
And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it -- In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children -- and he fastened it upon the end of a pole. And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he too a pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto hi God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land --

In Praise

Psalm 119:103
How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.

Luke 2:14
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Obviously, this is not a complete list of verses and passages that would be great for learning with our children -- no list like this ever is! Family favorites, verses from favorite talks, and verses that the kids themselves want to remember are all great candidates for inclusion. Don't feel bound to any list -- and don't feel like you have to add them all, or all at once. Trust the Holy Ghost; our Heavenly Father will guide you to find the verses that your particularly important for you and your family to know. No time spent learning scripture is ever wasted time!


Faith 'n Family said...

Thank you for this post! We have been “ponderizing” scriptures for a few years and I love your idea of the box of their own scriptures. Here’s an idea: we write the scripture we are memorizing as a family on the window by the table. Every meal we all say the verse together. Rainy Day brand gel crayons work fantastic for this.

Ritsumei said...

I'm so glad that this is useful to you! Writing your verse on the windows is a fun idea. I bet that's a big hit.

Holly Ferris said...

Thanks so much for this list and idea! My family is going to start doing it! I appreciate your time sharing it :)

Stephanie said...

Thanks for your thoughts and the list of scriptures. I'm excited to try this with my family!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin