Have you ever heard counsel or a suggestion in church and thought, “Yah, that’s never going to happen.”
That’s kind of how I feel when I hear someone say that couples should study their scriptures together. I just can’t see that happening in the near future. It is hard enough to fit in family and personal scripture study, let alone trying to find a time when my husband and I can do it.
Besides scheduling, I don’t really want to study the scriptures with someone else anyway. I want to do it at my own pace, with my own questions, and in my own way. And if I’m being completely honest, I want some variety. The Book of Mormon with my kids, myself and my husband is too much.
However, I do see the value in being connected spiritually as a couple, so Chad and I have always read the General Conference talks together as our version of “couple scripture study.” Historically, we are cramming the month before Conference to finish them all off before the new talks hit.
This last Conference though, we decided to pull it together and come up with a better plan – no more procrastinating and skidding in at the last minute. Here is our new and improved couple gospel study plan:
First, we set a time. We aim to go to bed at 10:00 pm together. This isn’t like a bell goes off and we are magically in bed at the same time eager to read. Sometimes Elle’s homework takes too long. Sometimes I’m long gone. Sometimes Chad is working late, but with a shared goal we can often make it happen. 10ish is more like it.
Next, we came up with a curriculum. Monday thru Thursday, we read the current General Conference talks. There are roughly 40 talks given in Conference with six months to read them so there is plenty of time. This cushion allows for breaks when Chad travels or when I am having a bad day. We don’t have to have a perfect record and can still meet our goal. We can always throw in current Ensign articles to read if we finish the Conference talks with time to spare.
Friday we take the night off and watch television shows or a movie. Saturday we try to read the next day’s Sunday School lesson. Sunday we read the next week’s Priesthood and Relief Society lesson. We opted to do this one because Chad teaches Priesthood and this gives him a whole week to ponder his lesson. It’s nice to actually go to church on Sunday a little prepared.
Lastly, we have very low standards and expectations. Often someone is ready for bed before the other one so they start reading while the other one is still brushing their teeth or washing their face. We usually trade off reading aloud, but sometimes if one of us is really tired the other one just reads the whole thing while the other one nods in and out. (I think we started this option after Chad fell asleep mid-sentence once. I thought he was illiterate because he was mispronouncing words and slurring them. Turns out he was talking in his sleep. Ha.)
We miss days if we are too tired or have to get up really early or are just too overwhelmed. I have no guilt if we don’t stick to our plan perfectly. What we are doing is better than doing nothing.
So while you won’t find Chad and I studying the Book of Mormon together anytime soon, you will find us reading about the gospel together here and there and that’s good enough for me right now.