Scripture Study Tips: Color Coding

First of all, here’s a short video I’ve made with a few good color-coding tips.

There are a lot of resources on how to color code your scriptures, and color coding can be pretty effective. Here are a few ideas that I’ve liked when studying the scriptures.
Color Coding your scriptures
Color Coded Scriptures

Welcome to my Scriptures.

Gospel Topics
It is better to limit how many gospel topics you want to color code. I have a handy pencil that I always use. I like it because all of the colors are contained in one pencil (I’m not always losing crayons, pencils, scripture markers), and because my colors are limited to only 8 options.

Here is my color code:
Orange – The Godhead
Yellow – Jesus Christ
Red – The Plan of Salvation
Light Blue – The Priesthood
Dark Blue – The House of Israel (scattering/gathering etc.)
Green – Principles of the gospel / Covenants
Pink – “The story”
Brown – Evil stuff

This color code makes sense to me, but you should always taylor it to your needs. Just make sure it is something you can remember, and that the code is used consistently throughout your scriptures.

Personal Interests
Perhaps it would be more interesting to do a color code with personal interests – rather than gospel topics. Here is a list of topics that I may find interesting in my life. See if you can find some you’d like.

Following the Spirit
The Voice of the Spirit
Missionary Work

Patriarchal Blessing Topics
If you are a Mormon, and you have received a Patriarchal Blessing, then I think that this would be a really cool project. Obviously, I can’t really list a generic set of ideas to color-code, as each Patriarchal Blessing is different. But here is the idea: Read your patriarchal blessing and find a few ideas or principles that you want to learn more about. Then, when studying the scriptures, mark them with a corresponding color. This way, your color code applies directly to you!

Using Colored Pencils
Resist the urge to color too much! When I was in seminary, my teacher would ask, “Did you have a coloring book growing up?” I colored every single thing I read. Of course, because everything was colored – nothing stood out! So, I’d suggest to be judicious when color coding. (That being said, I may still color a little too much).

Also – as mentioned earlier – it is easier to limit the color coding options to less than 10 colors. I remember my Grandma had this REALLY COOL color coding chart – with like 38 colors. Of course, you needed a book to remember the code. And half of the colors were too similar. (Can we really tell the difference between periwinkle and sky blue?). If you stay simple, then the color code will actually be useful.

Colored Pens
Colored pens can also be a good tool. I like using them so I can write in the margins. In the past, I’ve used one of those 4-in-one pens and I think it was ball point with regular ink. (Like a Bic pen.) I’d suggest staying away from that – mostly because the ink will start to bleed through the page after time.

Color Coded Scriptures - bad ink.

Here is an example of where the ink is bleeding through…Not fun.

Instead, look into something that’s archival – something like these (I promise I DON’T work for deseret book). These pens have really fine tips, which are also great for little spaces.

Hopefully, you’ve found some useful information. Do you have any other good color-coding ideas? If so, please comment and share!

Additionally, you can check out my free scripture study eBook Getting More from the Scriptures: Techniques and Projects for Effective Scripture Study.