The call of Church leaders to "raise the bar" placed direct attention on the preparation of future missionaries. Also, the new Preach My Gospel missionary guide emphasized effective personal scripture study in order for missionaries to fulfill their purposes of teaching by the Spirit and inviting others to come unto Christ. Thus, "raising the bar" and Preach My Gospel together created an important focus on the personal scripture study of prospective missionaries. However, available social research offered little indication of the state of scripture study among future missionaries. Consequently, this study maintained an exploratory design and utilized qualitative research methods to discover the nature of personal scripture study among prospective missionaries. The aim of this study was to find descriptive data that would be useful to parents, trainers, leaders, and future researchers in helping prospective missionaries to improve their personal scripture study. From February to April 2006, six respondents participated in repeated interviews and eleven others informed two focus groups. This study reported results and conclusions with rich description—involving ample use of evidence and quotations from the narrative data. Findings of this study include the following: They all knew scripture study was the right thing to do. None of them studied well while in high school. They all had improved their scripture study during the year prior to their mission. Their upcoming missions served as a prime motive for wanting to improve their scripture study. They all had experienced blessings from scripture study. Reading the scriptures out of obligation or for an extrinsic reward is less-effective scripture study. Particular methods and factors produced meaningful results. Primarily, this research found that personal agency, a structured routine, and knowledge of why and how to study the scriptures were vital to effective scripture study.



College and Department

Religious Education; Church History and Doctrine



Date Submitted


Document Type





scripture, personal scripture study, Latter-day Saint missionary preparation