Scripture Memory

Recently the men’s group that I’m a part of has decided to add a scripture memory component to our sessions, which I hate. I’m actually pretty good with the memorizing; what I don’t like is incrementalism – that is, doing a little bit, every day, for the rest of your life. I abhor the idea of filling up my day with five minute tasks, and I’d rather take anything I have to do and “have it all at once and get it over with.” Give me five hours on Monday, rather than 5 minutes a day for the next 2 months.

Unfortunately, that’s not how memorization works. You could commit the entire gospel of John to memory on that Monday and recite it perfectly. On Tuesday, it would be “In the beginning was the Word and the word was God and the word was with God, without which nothing was made that was made… uh, John not the Christ… Cana… something.” Memorization has to be incremental. Which means the biggest part of memorization is remembering to memorize.

Fortunately, a friend had a handy little form that I’m going to try to use. On the front page, you have your list of verses and a set of checkboxes by each one, arranged in sets of seven. The goal is to recite your passage (correctly) every day for seven weeks. On the back side, you have your list of verses, with checkboxes arranged in sets of 5. After you’ve hit seven weeks, you recite the passage once a week for seven months. And I’ve been told that, after you complete this nine-month regimen, you have a baby. That is, you can move on to other passages, because you will never forget again. And since, I will likely be castigated by my friends for failing to do my memory work, I’m going to give it a try.

However, I can’t stand a hand-made paper form. So I’ve made a better one (I think). I’ve attached it to the bottom of this post in two formats. One is a spreadsheet, in OpenOffice format, which has the advantage that it can be edited on computer, keeping ugly handwriting away from my pretty form. The disadvantage is that OpenOffice wouldn’t allow me to do it in a single file, so you have two. The second format is an Acrobat file, which is neatly in a single file, but you have to fill it out by hand, because I don’t have the technology to make proper forms in Acrobat.

You’re welcome to these forms if you like them:

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