“I might do it all wrong.” That was my typical reason for not acting on an old desire of mine to color code my scriptures. When I’ve asked others’ how they chose to color their passages the response has been vague and totally not enlightening.

A few weeks ago, I discovered a simple booklet by Sandra B. Black called “Color Coding your Scriptures”. I’m quite tickled to implement her ideas. She’s created such an easy method, that in retrospect I wonder why this idea overwhelmed me.

Sandra does say that you can color your scriptures according to your understanding at this moment. And after studying and learning more, you may see things differently and decide to change the colors here and there. Just erase it, says she! You can always change the color.

Coloring only the verse number, not the entire verse takes very little time.

“I think that people who study the scriptures get a dimension to their life that nobody else gets and that can’t be gained in any way except by studying the scriptures. There’s an increase in faith and a desire to do what’s right and a feeling of inspiration and understanding that comes to  people who study the gospel-and who ponder the principles that can’t come in any other way” Bruce R. McConkie

My first colored chapter looked quite anemic. I love vibrant colors and so braving it, I replaced my special scripture crayons with a fineliner set of markers. LOVE IT! But I will not be able to erase if need be. I’ll see how that develops.

I can hardly wait to see how much the orange markings will pop out. That is my most exciting aspect of this new study approach. My belief is that the pages contain many more references to spiritual gifts than we may realize, in the beginning of our scripture study.

Regarding using orange color Sandra explains, “Spiritual gifts are an important subject to highlight. These are certainly bright episodes in people’s lives, so they are colored orange. Spiritual gifts include dreams, visions, prophecy, the gifts of tongues, healing the sick, or raising the dead—anything that is done with, or by, the Spirit. Matthew 4:11 and 4:23 provide excellent examples:

11   Then the devil leaveth him, and behold, angels came and ministered unto Him.

23   And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.”

Would You Like To Color Your Scriptures?

Try Sandra Black’s Color Key.

RED:  The words of any member of the Godhead-makes the words stand out so they can be found very easily.

Note: If the verse seems to require more than one color, use the predominate ‘red’ because the words of the Godhead are more important than anything else we can learn. An example would be-in Genesis 12:7 God appears, He speaks, and Abram builds an altar.

BLUE:  The story line, chronology, action, movement; in other words, “What is happening?” Is someone speaking, asking a question, waiting for someone, fighting a war, singing or eating?

PURPLE:  The genealogy, the “begats,” births, marriages, deaths, burials-anything that would appear on a family group sheet or pedigree chart.

ORANGE:  Any spiritual gift (dreams, visions, prophecy, tongues, healing, the power to accomplish tasks, miracles, heavenly help etc.)

Note: A less obvious place for orange is when we read that the Lord spoke, although His words aren’t given until the next verse. Having the Lord speak to you is certainly a spiritual gift. For example, in Joshua 4:15-16 use orange to mark verse 15 to indicate the spiritual gift of communication with God. In verse 16, use red to show that the Lord is speaking.

GREEN:  Teachings of the prophets, any speech or explanation that you want to remember

YELLOW:  Parables, allegories, similes, comparisons

BROWN:  Travel or geographical information-keep track of where the people are and what the country around them looks like

PINK:  Words of praise to God

BLACK:  The words and deeds of Satan

How does coloring your scriptures help you? What is your favorite method?