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Monday, April 5, 2010

ReadtheScriptures.com - Resource Review

This past weekend was a wonderful spiritual recharge for me. I love General Conference anyway, but there's something special about the experience when General Conference falls on Easter weekend. There are always several Conference talks focusing on becoming closer to our Savior during every General Conference, and when those talks are given on Easter Sunday, it seems as if the words mean just a bit more and penetrate just a little further into my heart.

This year, though, those words spoken by our beloved Prophet and Apostles carried inspired and much needed messages of comfort and peace for me and some people very close to me. On Friday, someone very special to me learned that she and her husband had lost their baby at 13 weeks, mere days after announcing their pregnancy. Having seen her baby alive and active through ultrasound just two weeks before, the news was unexpected and heartbreaking.

The words spoken and Scripture verses shared during Conference offered so much hope, peace and comfort to this special someone and her husband, as well as myself. The reassurances and knowledge offered in the Scriptures are immeasurable and priceless. Thus, I've decided to skip my normal book review today in order to tell you about a resource that has been useful to me in my efforts to make reading my scriptures a daily habit.

I first learned about ReadtheScriptures.com a few years ago through my neighbor who was serving as Relief Society President for our ward at the time. She spoke of how much it helped her to accomplish her goal of reading the Book of Mormon in response to President Gordon B. Hinckley's challenge.

I've been a subscriber of ReadtheScriptures.com for over a year now. The features offered on this website are too numerous to mention here, but I will highlight a few that I have explored.

First, there are several reading schedules offered that can be tailored to fit either time goals or daily chapter goals. The reading selection include the individual books of Scripture or Complete Standard Works; some Church magazines; Seminary materials; Sunday School, Relief Society and Priesthood materials; Preach My Gospel and a variety of Scripture Stories.

Once reading material has been selected and a schedule set, a reminder containing the day or week's reading selection will be sent to the reader's inbox. The reader can then select whether to read the material within the email or click on a link that will allow them to read online. Once the reader has finished reading, a click of the "Completed" button either within the email or at the end of the online chapter lets ReadtheScriptures.com know to send the next chapter. If the reader misses the day's reading, a reminder is sent at three days, seven days and two weeks past. This keeps reminders from filling up the reader's inbox.

For example, I have selected to receive a chapter from The Book of Mormon on a daily basis. I choose to read the chapter online because I can then select the icon next to the number of the verse I'm reading and enter any thoughts or questions I have about that verse for future reference. By selecting the "Notes" option on the menu at the top I can then review the notes I have written in general by book of Scripture or specifically by book and chapter. This is my favorite feature and it has proven very useful.

Second, there is also a journal feature that can be set to send daily or weekly reminders. For those who struggle to remember to journal and would benefit from seeing a reminder in their inbox, this is a good option. Photos can be added, and entries can also be exported to Word.

For those who find the support of groups helpful in their reading goals, ReadtheScriptures.com also offers a "Team" option. This could be a good way for families to help each other with reading goals. There is an email feature to make it easier to keep in touch, as well.

Some things I have missed are the chapter headings and footnotes within chapters of The Book of Mormon. However, if I find I have questions or want to see what footnotes are offered, I open a new browser tab with lds.org and search for the chapter I need.

Overall, I've found ReadtheScriptures.com to be useful and beneficial. I still prefer to hold my Scriptures in my hand and turn the pages, but as a busy mom of four, ReadtheScriptures.com has definitely helped me get closer to my Scripture reading goals.

FTC FYI: I am not affiliated with ReadtheScriptures.com in any way, nor have I received any benefit from them for doing this review.


  1. Great review--I will have to look into this site.

  2. You'll be proud of me Shanda, I finally signed up for it :)