It seems that in my religious culture (LDS) there is an unwritten rule that you receive your very own set of scriptures when you are baptized, usually at the age of eight. Often it’s the parents of the child that give the scriptures and sometimes it’s the grandparents or someone else that is close to the child.
In my family, the precious gift was given to each grandchild by my Grandma. Yet, somehow, I was skipped. Maybe Grandma didn’t have money at that time or maybe it just slipped her mind. I’m not completely sure, to be honest. I just know that I did not receive my own set of scriptures until I was 11 or 12.
It was Sister Kearney that bought them for me. She was my Merrie Miss teacher and she told us at the beginning of the year that she would buy a set of scriptures for every child that brought a set with them to class each week. They didn’t have to be our own, they could be borrowed. And borrow I did! I made sure that I had a set of scriptures with me every single week. Whether I was in my home ward or visiting another ward, I had a set of scriptures with me. I wanted those scriptures!
At the end of that year, if memory serves me correctly, I was the ONLY student to have earned the prize. I don’t know how much it really mattered to the others because I believe they all owned their own sets already. Probably given to them for their baptism.
I was so excited when Sister Kearney called to confirm which color I would like. I chose black. Black is safe.
They were beautiful! My name was engraved on the front and I set to work! They were well used, especially throughout my seminary years. They were marked up, written in, scribbled on, and wrinkled. I LOVED them. In fact, I still DO love them.
Grandma actually ended up giving me another set of scriptures for my 16th birthday to make up for not giving me a set at baptism. I was afraid of that set. Sounds silly, I know. I didn’t know what to do with them! They were so NEW! So crisp, so clean, so sacred. I was afraid to DO anything to them. And they meant almost nothing to me aside from the fact that Grandma had given them to me. They didn’t make any sense.
I tried marking a few verses and making them my own but they weren’t as readable and understandable as my hammered, well worn set of black scriptures from Sister Kearney. The words were the same, of course but it just wasn’t the same. After trying to make them work, they were finally set aside (and eventually given to my sister) and I turned back to my old set.
Fast forward several years to 2006. Anthony bought me a brand new set of beautiful green scriptures for Christmas. My ‘new’ married name engraved on them and everything! I was giddy! It’s just what I had asked for. I wanted a new set with my name on it and there they were.
Fast forward again to today…. guess how many scriptures have been marked.
ZERO, ZILCH, NADA!
I am scared to death to mark in them. I’ve had them for almost five years now and they are still waiting to be loved. They go with me to church every Sunday and they are used for personal scripture time and family scriptures but they are still unloved. I love the words, the meanings, the messages, the stories, the people… I just don’t love those green books… yet! I just don’t fully ‘get’ them.
I ran across my old black ones the other day and took a peek at them. It made me a little bit sad to see how loved they once were and how neglected they now are. It made me sad to think of the new (five year old) ones sitting in their case, practically untouched. It’s time for a change.
My new goal is to LOVE those green scriptures like I’ve never loved before. I’m going to mark them up with pen, pencil, scripture markers, stickers, tabs and everything in between.
I can’t wait to love them! I’ve found a fabulous resource for all of the above and I can’t wait to share that with you also.