June 13, 2021

Scripture Memory, the Flossing of the Spiritual Life?

Every time I go to the dentist the hygienist yells at me for not flossing.  I can’t say anything because she usually has three hands in my mouth along with an assortment of utensils.  All I can do is stare up at her and try to indicate with my eyes that I’m truly sorry and I truly want to do better and I truly have every intention of flossing daily.  Of course I can’t communicate all that with my eyes and so, feeling unheard, she continues to harangue.Scripture memory is like the flossing of the spiritual life in many people’s eyes.  It is obviously good for you but it feels, well, almost too good.  Flossers and scripture memorizors, they have no rebellion left in them.  They have totally succumbed to goodness in an irritating, Mormon-teenager-on-mission sort of way.  We don’t want to floss and memorize scripture out of fear that we might lose the last idiosyncratic shreds of our individuality.Last night, I did something I haven’t done in months.  I flossed.  I don’t even know why I did it.  Probably just a glitch in the time/space continuum and I’ll be back to normal soon.  Scripture memory, on the other hand, has been needling its way into my life on and off over the past two years and, in the interest of promoting healthy spirituality (if not healthy teeth), here’s my journey with it.It started with a group of friends who decided to memorize 100 passages together.  I could never have done it without them.  I needed the fear of being the only one who hadn’t memorized the verse at out monthly meeting to motivate me to get with it.  I think we all needed it.  Soon, however, something started to happen in all of us.  We began to notice that the scriptures, once memorized, were doing something to our souls, something really good.  God would lead us into an area of growth through a particular verse, he would encourage us in a dark time with another, he’d crystallize vision and spawn deeper enthusiasm with yet another.  Suddenly, when our group wasn’t meeting, I began to be aware that something was missing in my life, like a the kind of hunger one feels after a missed meal.  On certain days, a pertinent verse would come to mind and I’d go back and make sure I could still remember it.  It would become the mantra for that day, feeding my soul in the cracks between activities.  Eventually, I figured out a way to get the verses on my blackberry so that they would be always handy.  Now, when I think about memorizing scripture, I don’t feel like some irritating do-gooder, I feel like a guy whose often parched soul has discovered an endless well of heavenly drink.  It is not about memorizing scripture anymore.  It is about communing with my maker.So, I don’t really care if you floss.  “Go ahead and rot your mouth with gum disease,” says the hygeinist.   But, I can say that memorizing scripture has changed my life.Some ResourcesList of 100 verses to memorizeRevised list in excel spreadsheetPrintable flashcards (side 1) (side 2)Link to free gflash software for iphone and blackberry flashcards (you’ll need excel spreadsheet too)Link to free Genius flashcard software for mac and download of 100 verses file (just post a comment and I’ll send it to you)

5 thoughts on “Scripture Memory, the Flossing of the Spiritual Life?

  1. Awesome post there. My name is Christopher Pearson and I have a small web-based ministry named Dwelling Rich. It is dedicated to what you have been saying through this article. I never thought about memorizing being spiritual flossing, but I do love the idea.

    Could I showcase this post on my ministry’s site? E-mail me at chris@dwelling-rich.org

    1. I got over this hurdle when I was in sixth or sevtneh grade. I was at church when I suddenly realized that I may have been raised in a brainwashing community. I thought that from the tender age of NEWBORN, I was being turned into someone who had these crazy beliefs people rising from the dead, miraculous healing, old men building arcs and gathering animals whaaaat? I couldn’t see or truly know any of these things. Luckily, the following summer youth retreat made everything clear to me because I felt the Holy Spirit. It was also the first time I felt so insignificant, fearful, and unconditionally loved all at once. I thought about little ol’ me, in the grand scheme of time (past, present, future) and space (the clear sky with the stars in the night the huge trees surrounding me) and realized I am not the center of the universe. Then I felt the fear of God for the first time because I realized that the CREATOR had handcrafted all of these amazing things in nature, and how powerful and mighty He is. Then I felt love because even though he is the GOD of EVERYTHING, He cared to listen to me (at thirteen) complain about my homework and boys and how my life is so hard. I EXPERIENCED the Holy Spirit because my heart was searching. No one can disprove that to me (hormones?? haha, jk). And every experience I have with God is fortifying and strengthening my own faith in Him. Now our purpose it to share this with those around us. My response to His resurrection should be as life-changing and mind-blowing as the experience I (attempted to) described.

  2. Hi, I read your post here about Scripture Memorization. Your explanation is so good and so true based on my experience. I tried to click Chris’ link http://dwelling-rich.org, but it directed me to a websearch list. It seems that it doesn’t exist anymore. Do you know if his website have closed down or if there’s another website that I can link to for further Scripture memory.

    Bless you,


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