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Bible Memorization Club, Part 1: How It Began

by Sylvia Evert

Have you ever become discouraged after starting to memorize a chapter or book of the Bible? Have you wished you had someone to inspire you and encourage you to keep pressing on? I have! That’s why I started a Bible memorization club.

It all began several years ago, in the early summer. I had decided to undertake a major memorization project—to memorize the gospel of John before Christmas. By my calculations, I’d need to memorize about a chapter a week.

Purchasing Young Disciple’s Bible memory bookmarks for the chapters, I started memorizing. The first few days, I took long walks with my Bible memory bookmarks, determined to reach the goal. But I never got past the first 15 verses.

Discouraged at my pitiful accomplishments, I pushed my memorization project to the back of my mind. I’ll work on it later, I thought. I guess I’m just too busy! Young Disciple Camp was coming up, and I needed to prepare for the class I would teach. Besides, I had a baby and a house to look after. It seemed there was always too much to do.

Camp came and went, and life settled back into a routine. Before I knew it, Christmas had arrived—but what about my Bible memorization? I hadn’t looked at a Bible memory bookmark in over four months!

Then one morning I read a quote by Ellen White that made me think seriously.

“The ‘time of trouble, such as never was,’ is soon to open upon us; and we shall need an experience which we do not now possess and which many are too indolent to obtain. It is often the case that trouble is greater in anticipation than in reality; but this is not true of the crisis before us. The most vivid presentation cannot reach the magnitude of the ordeal. In that time of trial, every soul must stand for himself before God.”1

Checking the dictionary, I found that indolent means “averse to activity, effort, or movement: habitually lazy.” 2

Oh dear! I thought. That sounds like me! Am I going to be lost because I can’t discipline myself? No! I couldn’t afford to let myself be indolent. I would have to change some things in several areas of my life. First up: my walk with the Lord.

As I considered my morning devotional routine, I realized something vital was missing: Bible memorization. I would have to get serious about it, or it simply wouldn’t happen.

I decided to start memorizing again. This time, I’d do an experiment before I set my goal: I would try to discover how many verses I could memorize in a day if I really put my mind to it. Then I’d set my goals at a reasonable number. At first, I would try for three verses a day. Then, if something happened and I truly wasn’t able to memorize for a day, it wouldn’t be hard to catch up.

Next, I found a calendar and marked down my daily quota: day one, John 1:1–3; day two, John 1:4–6; and so on. If there was a day when the verses were extra long, I gave myself just two; and if the verses were short I sneaked in an extra one.

Once again, my memorization bookmarks were in use, and it felt so good to be using them. In just a couple of weeks, I had memorized the first chapter—and it was a long one! I felt so happy. Maybe I could do this, after all. But what if I got sidetracked again? I needed help—someone to keep me accountable.

Next week: “Getting Ready”

1. The Great Controversy, page 622.
2. See

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