by Michelle Wilson
Until I opened them and saw a sea of black and white
As much as I love the scriptures, these new ones felt like strangers. I shared this with a friend who said she loves new scriptures, that they give her a chance to 'start fresh' each time.
I thought about that for a while and wondered if that's what I should do, just start fresh.
But I couldn't.
So, I embarked on the process of marking my new scriptures. Yes, I sit them side by side and mark the new ones to match the old. My husband thinks I'm crazy. Last night, for just a moment, I wondered if I was.
Then I wondered if my color-coding and writing was a crutch. Why couldn't I just start fresh? Why did I need to have everything colored and spelled out for me? I know many people who don't highlight or write in their scriptures, and I'm sure they know their scriptures well and love them, too. So, why do I have this need to color up my new scriptures? Is it my spiritual ADD? Or is it that I my forgetter is becoming stronger than my rememberer?
I know the new scriptures have the same words, the same stories. But I then realized that it's the words which fill the margins and the colors that light up the page that make he scriptures mine.
Nephi 'likened all scriptures' unto themselves for their profit and learning. That's what all those colors mean to me. They represent the impressions and inspiration I've received over the years. They are the personal answers and guidance God has given to me when I needed it. The verses are the same, it's the colors and written words where the scriptures become my scriptures.
I can't tell you how many times I have asked God about my kids, my family, my career, my life, and found the answers in my scriptures. I have received confirmations of His love and approval; I've learned that the Atonement is for me. Many times I will find the answers to prayers not in the verses, but in the impressions I've recorded in the margins. My scriptures aren't just stories and doctrine, but they are the way I have, and can continue, to hear Him.
Yes, I can start fresh. And I don't judge the people who do. Perhaps they are more spiritual and don't need the constant reminders that I do. Perhaps they can remember where all their favorite verses are (I am a very visual person and most times remember that the verse is 'the red and yellow on somewhere in Alma on the right hand side left column.') Perhaps they don't like to color. If it works for them, I am happy for them!
But for me, I can't start fresh. I don't want.
So, bring on the colored pencils and red pen, because I've got a lot of work to do!
Are you a 'fresh start' kind of person? Or do you color, too?