Getting to Know You: How do you Memorize?

Time Posted on November 24, 2010 User River La Belle

What is your technique for memorizing God's Word? I do not think that I'm wrong in saying that the main function of Memverse is the review, not the memorizing ... So how do you memorize Scripture off-line?

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Tag memorization, getting to know you

50 responses to Getting to Know You: How do you Memorize?

River La Belle

When I was in the Bible Bee, my technique for memorizing was (and still is) this:

1. Write the verse down (on a flashcard). That's half the battle right there; a step so easy, yet so overlooked. Writing anything down will increase your chances of remembering it by, seriously, at *least* 30%! I'm serious; it helps A LOT more than you would think. I need other people to attest to this. . .
2. Read it OUT LOUD at least five times. That will help you get used to hearing yourself say it and you won't doubt yourself while you are reciting.
3. Say it from memory at least four times. I know you just looked at it, but that will help your brain get used to not seeing it.
4. Read it OUT LOUD at least three more times REAL SLOW, THINKING about what it means for you as a Christian and how it is applicable to your everyday life. 1 Tim. 3:16. This will make it a lot easier to recite, because you have an idea what it means, and you're not just carelessly rattling off unmeaning syllables.
5. Then say it from memory at least two more times. Once again, you are helping your brain get used to not seeing it written down.
6. Possibly the most important step, and you might be able to get away with skipping steps 2-5 if you do this one diligently enough: CARRY THE FLASHCARD WITH YOU FOR THE REST OF THE DAY. Then WHENEVER you remember it, recite it as best you can before taking it out and checking yourself by reading the verse a couple of times (out loud).

You can print your verses up or type them, and then read them, but it's just not the same because seeing and reading your OWN handwriting will help your brain remember it lot better than just laser-jetted ink. You know, just think for yourself, it's a lot easier to remember a phone number that you wrote down, than it is to remember one out of the Yellow Pages.

****EDIT****: Reflecting what Josie said, I neglected to mention that obviously, if a verse is five lines long, you will definitely want to break it up into sections. I don't know why I forgot to say that. And also, work especially on the linking words between sections and verses. They are what will trigger your memory, so if you forget those, then you're shot, even though you might know most of the next verse.

Josiah DeGraaf

My method is in no means as precise as River's method! What I usually do is, if it is part of a long passage I am working on, separate it into four to six verse chunks. I then read it over and over again OUT LOUD until I get the concept. I then go through a cycle of trying to say as much of it from memory OUT LOUD and looking back for the stuff I forget. I then do it again and again and again until I can say the verse from memory two times in a row without looking at the passage.

River is totally right on the last step. It is shocking how much you can forget it in a day. Make sure you review it a couple other times that day--whether that means reading over it once or just saying it from memory.

I have found that, for me, if I can remember it until when I go to bed, whenever I wake up the next morning the passage seems a lot more clearer for me and I find it a lot more easier for me to say it from memory.

If you are having trouble remembering the reference for the verse and/or getting parts of it mixed up and you can't seem to remember it well enough, I find that the best thing to do is to make up some 'story' or 'scene' for the verse, the more outrageous the better. For example, when I was doing the Bible Bee I kept on forgetting what verses 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8 was. So, I looked at the passage and decided to remember it by, since the verse talks about a nurse caring for children, that the '2' in the reference reminded me of a little child, and the '78' in the verse reminded me of an old nurse. After that, I had no problem remembering that reference!

So that's how I memorize...

Alex Watt

Thank you, River, for creating this post.

Everyone is different with the way they memorize, because everyone has a slightly different learning style.

Memverse has been very helpful to me, but I didn't realize that right away. I was doing research on how to memorize scripture, and found something online suggesting Memverse and "prompterizing" to help with memorization (prompterizing being the first letter of each word. The theory is that if you can recall something by yourself, even with help - the first letters of each word - it will help you to remember it). So, I created an account, but didn't use it until Josiah DeGraaf recommended Memverse to everyone at a meeting for our Local Bible Bee.

Then, after I decided to give Memverse a chance, I added ALL of the Bible Bee verses for Juniors (500). I think I put them in on the same day, or at least the same week. A lot of my memorizing had to do with typing the verses out on Memverse, which is similar to writing them out. It took a long time to get my account to say "29 minutes a day" :) ...

I also used the PDF that you can get from the bottom of the "My Verses" page and printed it out.

I didn't memorize all the verses by Locals. I worked on "all of them" most of the time. So I had a general idea of what they were about, regularly going through all of them, but very few word perfect. I don't know if this was good or bad. During this time of getting familiar, I did work on some of the small verses to nail them down. I remember doing 1 Thessalonians 2:12-13 over and over again aloud. I had quite a bit of trouble with that one (good job, Josiah, on the 1 Thes 2:7-8 story. That's funny, but stories help a lot. :) ). I also remember that Revelation 3:14-22 came somewhat easily, because no one was home so I was speaking it loudly with emphasis on different parts. River did a good job explaining (steps 2-4) something like what I do. I don't have much of a procedure; I just do what works and eventually get it down. I didn't do a lot of writing the verses out this year - the only one I wrote out was Deuteronomy 4:31-40.

When I was studying for Locals, still trying to get a handle on the verses, for the last 3-4 weeks, I went through all the verses every 4 days (I had what I called Quadrants).

My brother and sister were the most helpful though, especially preparing for Nationals. Ben (my brother who did well at Locals), wanted to help me with my verses. He would correct me on every word I missed. In studying for Nationals, I asked him to use a score sheet, and he would write down my score for every verse. He would also mark up the PDF I had printed. He would put a slash through words I missed, put a carrot and write words I was adding in. I was able to use this on my own, then, and know that I was having trouble on a particular spot.

Also, whenever I was working on a particular passage, which I usually only did for passages under 6 verses, I would review it regularly for a while so I wouldn't forget it. The longer passages came into place after typing them out 15 - 25 times on memverse, and from my brother helping me.

We won't memorize anything unless God helps us, so pray that you would be able to memorize. More importantly, though, ask God that they wouldn't just be words in your head but truths hidden in your heart by faith.

I am sure I have a lot to learn about memorizing, and appreciate reading everyone's thoughts. It comes down to this, though: memorizing is work, no matter how it is done. His Word is worth it.

P. S. - I do think memverse is helping me learn verses, not just review. If I add a verse to my account that I have never memorized, I do learn it eventually, even just with Memverse.

So, my suggestions in a more orderly fashion, but not necessarily in the right order:

  • Pray.

  • Read it / Say it

  • Keep going over the verse/passage until you can do it without looking. (During this time, you may develop stories, mnemonics, or other devices to help you remember a verse.)

  • Come back to it later that day, or you will forget.

  • Review the verses regularly.

  • Have someone to help you recite aloud (if that helps your learning style).

  • Make sure you know what it means. Don't be afraid to spend a lot of time thinking about it. Memorization is less important than getting it into you.

  • Think about them in bed, too. I memorized Psalm 4:8 right before sleeping one night. I once had an AWANA leader who said that working on your verses before bedtime would help you a lot, because then your brain works on it in the night.

  • Definitely get and use a account! It is free and useful!

  • Have a sheet with all the verses and take it everywhere. You may want to also mark your common mistakes on it with a pencil.

(Did I get all the steps?)

BTW: When working on long passages, I usually take them verse by verse (by long, I mean over 7 verses or so. Less than that, I usually focus on the whole thing.) In the Exodus 12:3-14 passage, I had to remember that there were four verses in the NIV translation that started with "T" (verses 5-8. I was in the habit of forgetting one.)

Wow. That was the longest and most disorganized comment of my life. :) Thank you for understanding. I think I will have to write the verses out more in the future, like River.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Maybe now is a good time to memorize or review Psalm 100. I need to do that.


I haven't really found a really good way to memorize yet, but right now this is how I do it:
If I'm doing a whole chapter, I take it verse by verse, and even break the verses down into sentence by sentence, sometimes even smaller than that. I just take as much as I can remember at a time, read it once or twice, and then say it out loud, and if I can't remember it, I read it again until I can remember it, and then I say it out loud several (I do mean several) times until I am sure I have it down. Then I move on to the next sentence. When I have that sentence memorized, I try and see if I can remember the two sentences together. Most times I can't, so I have to go back and start the process over again until I remember both sentences together! And then I go on to the next sentence, and so on. Memorizing is kind of hard for me because I have a really bad memory! (But maybe that's just an excuse...)

This is a really good post, and I'm already getting some good ideas for memorizing! Thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving!


WOW!!! Hearing these words from young men of God is such a blessing. God bless you all!

How do I memorize? At first, without Memverse, I did one verse a day. I wrote it down, put it in my pocket, and reviewed it as often as possible throughout the day. I walk to work, so while I walked I would repeat it over and over. Since I started memorizing seriously, I have been working on entire books, so as I added verses, I would repeat as much as I had memorized to that point as I walked to and from work. Sometimes I had to walk a little slower so I could finish a passage before I got home! :D

Now that I have memverse, I have to admit, I don't go over the verses all day.... (I spend that time praying, instead). Now, before I add a new verse, I spend as much time as necessary to be sure I have it in my heart. I say it over and over, and make sure I understand every word, especially the little words, cuz those are the ones that can so easily trip me up. I close my eyes, sit quietly, and listen to myself as I quote it in my head. I have my memorizing time early in the mornings before my husband is up, so I cannot be speaking out loud; but that has turned out to be a great blessing for me. I have found that I have been teaching myself to bring "every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor 10:5b). WOW! Another blessing of memorizing God's word! :)

Talia "StoryMaker"

During Bible Bee season, I use a variety of techniques, mainly using a first-letter promterizer, reading repeatedly, and working with others (a LOT). When it's not Bible Bee season, I mainly just use MemVerse and go on every day. Sometimes I will tag verses before I start memorizing them to help me become more familiar with them. Also, when I started memorizing Psalm 119:1-8, I first wrote it down on an index card and carried it with me throughout the day. This helped my memorization of it significantly.

I also really like the idea of slow reading and "praying on" verses to deepen your understanding of them. After all, you need verses in your heart more than you need them in your mind!

River La Belle

Thanks Josiah! That's great! And you reminded me of something else very important:

If you do any memorizing or review right before you go to bed, and it's the last thing that's on your mind when you turn your lights off, your brain kind of soaks in it, and, as Josiah said, it will be very clear in the morning and very hard to forget. My usual pattern of doing MemVerse is that I do it in the morning right after I wake up, but if my day is crazy, then I do it at night. Then when I wake up in the morning, I can recall almost every verse I reviewed, whether I knew it already or not. So. . .

River La Belle

@Alex, coming from the guy who championed the Bible Bee Juniors, that was great. You definitely fleshed out what I said, awesomely. I'm going to have to use some of your ideas. . .

@Josie, you made me realize how much I forgot in my first comment! It is very, very, very important to review the sentences together, otherwise you will just have a whole bunch of disjointed sentences floating around in your head. E.g. I'm memorizing Psalm 119 and I'm on verse 26 or so. It's getting really hard to remember the order because every verse is pretty much unrelated to the rest, and I haven't been reciting them consecutively as a whole.

@Laurel: Another great idea! I don't do that nearly as often as I should. Taking every thought captive, all the time. . .

@Talia: Tagging; I hadn't thought about that! Another great idea!

I can see this post becoming a huge blessing to others. . . not only myself!!

Chancellor Ghafouri

i like memorizing the bible its like when we have nothing to do we could memorize our verses, i dont' like wasting my time its not a good thing that you should and its always good to talk about the bible the more we memorize the bible we are refreshing our mind

Chancellor Ghafouri

some times we have hard times memorizing and we should never give up we don't want to make our brains to go out of battery when we are memorizing or reading the bible it always helps us in hard times


I now use the block method of memorizing; (Daniel Staddon gave me his book at Nationals! Thank you so much!) I used the phrase-by-phrase method for all 800 verses, and it worked, but this way is much faster. To totally understand it, you will either have to get his book, or go to the website of the developer of the method, Steve Mugglin. (

But basically,

I read over the verse line-by-line in my Bible (with a paper underneath each line); and pay close attention to the first and last words of each line, until each line triggers the next.

I also try to get the main point of each passage; and meditate on them as well. And this is the extremely important, like everyone has already said!

River La Belle

Good points, Chancellor Ghafouri!

Angela, I'm definitely going to have to get a copy of his book. . . I actually found Steve Mugglin's website through Steven Truman's(??? I'm sure that's not his name; the Senior who got second place last year) blog. It was complicated. . . But I'll have to take a second look now. . . Your comment is intriguing.

Josiah DeGraaf

@River: His name is Truman Vaughn...

Alex Watt

@River and Josiah - Do you mean Truman Falkner?

River La Belle

Yes, Alex. Thanks.

Josiah DeGraaf

Whoops! Yeah...that's who I meant...


Okay. So here's my method.

I start by reading the verse, passage, or book. If it's a verse, chances are the first read through will actually help me get a grasp on what it's about. If it's a passage, the first read through will at least get me an idea what it's about. If it's a book, the read through really doesn't do much, but at least I know roughly how long it is.

Next, I figure out the breaks. In a book, I count the chapters and verses. In a passage, I look for paragraphs. If it's a Bible Bee verse, I go by card. Usually I find that 4-6 verses constitues both a paragraph and a good chunk to memorize. The 2-verse cards for Bible Bee were usually a bit too long on the first card and about right for the second card.

After that, I start memorizing it. For Bible Bee, I found the memory software very helpful. For other things, I often use the memory software at It doesn't have much of a review system, at least compared to Memverse, but it does have lots of learning tools. I've also just done "brute force" a lot--read through it 10-15 times (for a 5-6 verse passage) and I'm likely to "know" it by the end. In my experience, the quicker I learn it, the quicker I forget it. The slower I learn it, the slower I forget it. Thus, the really hard passages that I've finally memorized I can usually remember a month or two later without review, but the 1 and 2 verse passages I mix up and don't remember. So, more and more, I've just read it a LOT and then said it throughout the day. Sometimes I print out the passage I'm learning and carry it with me so I can check myself. Other times I just try to keep a Bible handy.

While I'm doing this, I look for the "flow" of the passage. This doesn't really happen with the short passages, which is why I like memorizing longer things. Basically, I look for where the author is going. If it's a narrative, that's really easy. I just ask myself, "What happens next?" whenever I'm stuck. If it's poetry, that's often brainsplittingly hard. For "teaching"--epistles, parables, speeches--I look for the "argument;" whatever the author is trying to prove. For example, Romans really "snapped" when I realized that the first 11 chapters are one really long argument. Does it help me figure out whether the word that comes next is "because," "for," or "since?" No, not really. But it does help me remember where the entire passage is going.

The little words are the hardest part. For those, the only advice I can really give is: Memorize it right the first time. Just reading it aloud over and over--without trying to recite the verse--is the best technique I've found. Once it's in your brain wrong, it's likely to stay there. You can change mistakes over time, but you'll have to be especially careful as you memorize, and that's hard. So, if at all possible, make it a habit to memorize correctly the first time.

But really, the hard part is review. I'm (trying) not to memorize anything new this year, simply because review is a huge job. If you don't review, you WILL lose what you memorized. Depending on how well it was memorized in the first place, this may take from an hour to three years, but it will happen. To avoid missing verses as you review, have a system. Memverse is really good, but tend toward uncertainty when you're entering verses--even if I know it well, I often click a 3 just so I'll know it even better. Quite honestly, I didn't do any Memverse over the summer so I could focus my energies on current Bible Bee verses. For review, I did a lot of saying the verses aloud. Sometimes I recited, recorded what I was saying, and then listened, checking myself. This worked, but it was a bit slow. Other times I'd just mentally recite, which was much faster, but it's easy to get distracted and also miss the "small word" mistakes, which is usually what I'm trying to correct.

Here's my biggest tip for review: review with someone else. I review with two people, and it's really, really helpful. I'll meet with each one about once a week for an hour or so during the school year--it was longer during Bible Bee. We both recite during this time. One recites and the other checks. It's a great way to stay accountable and spur one another on, and I highly recommend it. If you don't know anyone who already memorizes Scripture on their own, don't let it stop you. One of my partners, as far as I know, didn't do much memorization at all before we started meeting together. Initially it was just for Bible Bee, and so I was the only one reciting, but after the competition she started memorizing, and got about five chapters memorized in the next six months or so. (It was poetry, too!) Family also works, if you can find someone willing to listen.

Like Alex said, memorization is HARD. Be ready for that, and don't give up. The important thing is to do a little bit every day and not to forget what you already have. And pray. A lot. Remember, it's not just words on a page. God doesn't care if you've memorized the whole Bible if your life hasn't changed. He wants heart change, not head results.
Keep up the fight everyone! I hope you find this helpful. :)

River La Belle

GREAT, Rachel!!!! I'm really inspired!!!

Hilary Batty

I actually just use memverse. I started memorising the Navigator's topical memory system many years ago and learnt a few, but then lost steam. I find using memverse much more enjoyable, because typing for me is much less onerous and much more speedy than writing. I actually don't need any other form of learning them - I am finding I am able to learn to memorize the verses just by using memverse. I guess I would learn them quicker if I did other stuff as well, but I'm fine with a little bit at a time.

Alex Watt

@Rachel - Yes, thank you for the post. I was looking at the website you mentioned and found the articles helpful, although I plan to just use memverse for the memory software for several reasons. I like that all the verses are online so I can do my verses from any computer with internet access and memverse is a community, which is helpful when memorizing.

Christopher Pearson

I write my verses down on index cards, fold them in half and place them in a section in my wallet.

ZachB -

hard one! Usually I read it a lot then I use MemVerse.

Daniel Staddon

@ Angela - I am encouraged you found the technique helpful! I truly believe it would have been impossible for me to complete all 1500 verses last year if it had not been for Steve's new approach to memorization.

I find it fascinating to see the many different methods of memorization here. Everyone is different and some techniques work better for some than others. Once you have found the way that works best for you, the most important thing is to stick by it passionately, and seeing you all do just that is so encouraging. Keep up the good work everyone!

River La Belle

I copied and pasted Arthur Roshkovski's comment from "1 JOHN Quote or Declare," as it was very apropos to this post:

I posted a note on the groups facebook page but for those who don't have facebook I will post it here:

A Revolutionary Approach to Scripture Memory.

From Daniel Staddon's book "The $100,000 Word":

As I was preparing and memorizing verses day after day, things were going great until I started getting into the longer passages of Categories 3 and 4. It was not long before I realized that the method of memorization I had used up until then just wasn't going to work. I began to get bogged down, taking more and more time and finding it harder and harder to memorize each passage. It was then that I discovered a brilliant article wirtten by Steve Mugglin in which he tells of a revolutionary new approach to memorization. I was shocked when I discovered how well it worked. Suddenly I was memorizing long sections, sometimes 10 to 15 verses, in just half an hour or so! I sincerely do not believe I would have been able to finish all the required memory work for the Bible Bee without applying this technique. I owe a huge debt to Steve for sharing his discovery.

Always before I had used rote memorization, as most people do. I would repeat each phrase over and over again until I could say it without looking, slowly building one phrase at a time. Though this may work for some people, or for shorter passages, I was ready for a different way of thinking. Might there be a better approach? One with less pressure and tension? Could there be a more efficient method of memorizing Scripture that would take less time and effort?

The "Curiosity" Concept

So much of what we learn is caught by curiosity. Wondering what is coming next, and then seeing it, is one way to work in harmony with the brain's natural ability to pick things up. For example, if I were to say, "We rested under the shade of the _____," your mind automatically guesses, "Trees!" Taking advantage of your mind's natural desire to satisfy curiosity, we can turn the work of memorization into an activity that is remarkably similar to a game.

So how does the technique work? Let's illustrate the actual process with a familiar passage such as John 3:16. First, use a piece of paper or something to cover everything so that all you see is the first line of the verse. We all know how it begins:

John 3:16, "For God so loved the . . .

What could the next word be? For a moment, pretend that is is completely unfamiliar and that you must guess. Now take a peek at the second line. Did you get it right?

. . . world, that he gave his only . . .

Notice where we are placing the breaks. This is part of the strategy! Have you ever noticed where people usually pause in their recitations? It is almost always at the end of a sentence or verse. This is because they used the old method, stopping at logical breaks. But if we stop in the middle of phrases, right when your mind is dying to know how it finishes, we create a much stronger link. This is where the "curiosity" concept comes into play.

Put your mind's natural inquisitiveness to work for you!

Let your mind try to fill in the blank. If you get it right, that's wonderful. But then that next phrase will also leave you with a cliffhanger. This continual process connects the entire passage in a smooth transition from one phrase to another, similar to a train composed of many different cars. It is fine to have a long string of phrases memorized, but they will get derailed unless they are memorably linked together. Continuing with the third line:

. . . begotten Son, that whosoever . . .

As you read each line, don't force yourself to memorize it. Just let it become familiar as your read over it. Pay close attention to the final words ("His only") and beginning words ("begotten Son") of each line to strengthen the links between them.

. . . believeth in him should not . . .

What will not happen to those who believe? Keep your mind guessing at the next word before looking. But don't be disappointed if you cannot think of it. Remember, there is no penalty yet for not knowing the answer. The key is getting your mind involved with the passage. This is the fascinating part! While we are playing this little guessing game, reading over each line, our minds are doing all the work in the background. Every time we repeat a phrase, it is being established and reinforced in the memory.

.. . perish, but have everlasting life.

Congratulations! Now pick up your paper and jump back to the beginning for a second time through. This time see if you can remember the first two words of each line. As you repeat this process, you will find that once you can say the first few words, the rest of each line will soon come naturally.

It has taken several paragraphs to write this process out in words, but the implementation of this technique atually happens quite quickly once you get started. Just pause at the end of each line to let your mind ask "What's next?" before advancing to the next line. Then, glance back at the ending of the previous line and look again at the beginning of the new line. Do the same with the next line. After only a few times reading through this way, you will be able to recall each successive line before coming to it.

Eventually each line will trigger your memory of the next, and that one of the next, and so on, until all you have to remember is the first few words of the passage; the rest will flow natually. The best part is that this technique will work splendidly for long sections as well. Just expand the above idea to include multiple verses. You will have entire chapters down before you know it!

Obviously not every verse of the Bible comes naturally divided at the ideal places, but often you can use the normal breaks at the end of each line in your Bible or on your verse cards. These natural links may not be quite as strong as strategically planned breaks, but they will require less preparation time.

Do you see the strategy? The idea is to avoid working feverishly, trying to accomplish an impossible task and feeling discouraged when we fail, but instead just to be taking small steps, functioning in harmony with the way God has naturally designed us, and having fun in the process!

Daniel goes on to share many more tips and techniques which you can read about in his book. You can purchase the book from the IBLP Online Store:

or the National Bible Bee store:$100,000-Word--by-Daniel-Staddon.html

This is the basic overview of the "block", "chain", "train", "link", or whatever you want to call it method that was originally formulated by Steve Mugglin. You can read more details about it as well as other strategies on his website. The most helpful thing after becoming familiar with the concept is to see it in action and slowly start practicing and adapting it to your own memory work. On the left side of Steve's page you will find the slides that he created for the 2009 Bible Bee. Go through the slides (if you dont have the Microsoft powerpoint program, there is the online flash version) and you will be able to visualize how this method works and how verses are broken into strategic breaks:

Kyle Brannen

I look at the verse and reveiw it a sentance at a time. I don't move on to the next sentance until I have the current one down. This does not take long and is very efective.

Lydia Murray

All of these are really great, and I will try a couple and see which works the best! Thank you.:P

Kaitlyn V.

I just found a method for memorizing that I like and that works well. I write out my verses and then tape them to the ceiling above my bed so I can review them when I am in bed at night. If I already know the verse a little then I just write the first letter.


I just read the verse, and read it, and read it, and read it, and read it, and read it, and read it, and read it, and read it, and read it, and read it, and read it, and read it ..............

Rachel Irene

Here are my memorization tips

~ Carry your verse cards in your pocket ALL DAY. Also, I find it helpful to carry the card that I carried the day before as well.
~ I find it helpful to wear my Bible Bee pin. Why? well, because it helps remind me to pull out my cards and review. I see the pin and I think, "Oh, i need to review my cards!" And I do that! Or you glance down at your dress (in my case, a shirt for you guys :) ) and see my pin. It reminds me to pull my cards out and review them!!
~ I totally agree with you all about memorizing in the morning/evening. In the morning your brain is fresh and not so tired. As you review your verses through the day, you'll get better at them. In the evening pull out those cards, sit down in your special spot, or lie in your bed as you review them and say them you yourself. Also I find it helpful to 'try' to memorize them right before my Sword Study, and again after I'm finished studying.
~ I'd really encourage you to read Daniel Staddon's book "The 100,000 word." It is packed with memorization tips, you name it.

I'm not really an expert at memorizing but hope this will bless you.

God's richest blessings,

Dakota Lynch

Here are some of the habits I've developed over time which have proven very successful for me personally:

1. First of all, I use memverse every day. I don't miss a memorization session unless I'm out of town, and take the Reference Recall test at least once each day for every 100 verses I've added. For example, if you are currently learning 200 verses I would recommend taking two RR tests each day if at all possible. I like to take the Accuracy Test about three or four times each month as well.

2. Recently I have found it very helpful to carry a small, pocket-sized journal with me when away from home that contains an updated list of my recent memory verses. Those are usually the ones I struggle to remember and having them constantly with me makes it that much easier to meditate on the Word of God day and night.

3. Keeping a printed list of all my Scriptures in a binder (using the Print button on the My Verses Page) is great for those times when you don't have Internet access, or when you simply feel the need to completely randomize your review time. I try to review at least two Scriptures per page daily, and have noticed that I'm much better at recalling those difficult passages than before I added this exercise.

4. Staying sharp on all of my complete chapters is also very important to me, and so I quote all of them at least once each day. This can be a time-consuming task, but I have found it very rewarding. For a majority of these chapters I actually have them recorded on an audio CD using my own voice and follow along with the CD as go I through my morning routine each day. That way any mistakes are instantly noticeable and you don't have to worry about ever needing to relearn a passage you mistakenly thought for months that you were quoting correctly.

Of course I should probably mention that there are often days when I'm unable to fit all of these things in to my schedule, but most days it only takes about about an hour's worth of effort to complete my mental checklist. Spreading it all out makes it seem to go even faster.

Alex Watt

Thanks Dakota for sharing what you do. It's always encouraging to hear about others who have a commitment to God's Word - to Him be glory for continuing in us the work He has begun (Phil 1:6). One thing I've been meaning to post for a while is the link to the Bible Bee Print Shoppe: You can purchase verse cards at a very reasonable price for 250 Primary verses, 500 Junior verses, or 800 Senior verses to work on even if you are not competing in the Bee. They're great to carry around. :) (Bible Bee contestants receive these as part of their family box.)

His Servant

When I study, I try to stay out of a room with a I don't get distracted.

Breaks definitely help! Don't try memorizing for hours at a time. Take a break, so that your mind can rest a little before you try memorizing more.

Having people quiz me is very helpful. If it doesn't work to have someone quiz you, get a recorder (hand-held, computer, of some-sort) and record yourself and then play it back to you, so that you can make sure you making mistakes you don't know about. If I start to notice that I make the same mistake over and over, I circle the word lightly, with a pencil, on my card. That way, the next person listening to me can know where my mistakes are.

Memverse is very helpful! Exetremly helpful...Oh, and the tests that he does on the blog are helpful also.

When I learn a new verse, I try thinking of words or things that help me remember a hard phrase. Some people have told me that the mind remembers things easier if they are new and different...and I've found it true!

If you are on a certain hard passage, read it over about 2 times before you go to bed. Your mind will be thinking about it in bed, and the next morning you will probably know it a lot better. At least, it works for me!

Here are some of my tips!

Dakota Lynch


I like how you mentioned reviewing a verse before going to bed for the night. I too have noticed that those difficult passages are often much easier the next morning once your mind is rested up.

His Servant


Yes, reading it before you go to bed helps so much! One night, I was feeling kind of discouraged about my memory work, and my older sister told me to read the passages that were being hard for me a few times before I got in bed. The next day, when I worked on them, it came so easily! I would highly recommend any person to do that!

Rachel Irene

Bethany - It helps so much!

His Servant

Yes, Rachel, it does help a lot! Glad it works for you also =)

Rachel Irene

One thing I like doing is to say my verses (in my head) That I have memorized recently (F.E, Bible Bee verses) while I lay in bed going to sleep. I think I have better dreams when I quote scripture before going to sleep. I think that is how I got that interesting dream about Memverse (well, that wasn't a better dream, but anyway) I like the quote in the Sword Study recently:
"When at night you cannot sleep, talk to the shepherd and stop counting sheep."
One thing is, when I cannot go to sleep , I either pray or quote scripture....before I know it I'm asleep! :)

John project

For those of you who have better things to do than listen to me flap my gum's,I have made a summery of my tips.

1.If you're truly serious about getting some chapters down, get an old bible or two, cause some of the pages are going to get smudged and fall out.

Just use them that way, or just print out chapters as needed.

2.Invest in some good Bible CD's, Mp3's etc. You will not only get fed Spiritually but you can focus on one chapter at a time if you want to. And of course they are great when you are your riding in the car, traveling, before bed, shower, whatever, use it!

The more you familiarize yourself with the book/chapters your going to memorize the easier it will be. Especially when you run across some chapters that are 71 verses long, like John chapter 6.

Trust me, when your facing 70 verses and you only have one down and you're only vaguely familiar with whats ahead........ do I need to say more?

I personally like Alexandre Scorby. I made the mistake one time and got the New Testament read by James earl Jones> If you don't mind having Darth Vader read the Bible to you, well then their all yours, I'll send em to ya.

3.Get a note book to write those stubborn verses in and you'll know the kind when you get to them and use the first letter of each word method, if you're using 3 by 5 cards I would usually write the whole verse out on one side and just the first letter's of each word on the back.

First go over the verse while only looking at the letters letting your mind do the work in recalling what words they represent. Then check and double check, and don't forget that the Devil in the mean time is going to be giving you crap, ignore him.

4. Make sure if you can, that the word string that you're memorizing is coherent to you. If its too abstract, then its going to be a bit more difficult to retain it.
But sometimes, in order to get the verse that's following the one you just memorized, you'll have to work in the last few words of the first verse- into the first words of the next verse.

Hope that doesn't sound to confusing.

When you start doing it, you'll know what I am talking about.

5.Repetition is the law memory, you know it and I know it and I know that you don't like it, cause it takes effort, plus, you got the devil screaming in your ear that you're never going to get this down.

If you thought it was just you having a hard time, please factor in the fact that the devil is not going to make it easy on you. Satan, really hates Gods word and would be really happy if you just decided to chuck it all, and go watch TV.

You are going to have to do some fighting, get over it.

On a side note,did you know that God has exalted his word above his name?

Look it up.

Okay, Back to repetition.

Take the pieces of the verse that you're working with and repeat it to yourself out loud.

Reinforcing it audibly really helps.

IE ; In the beginning was the word,In the beginning was the word,In the beginning was the word and the word was with God" Then add more to it, till you have the whole thing, got it ?

6. Review. If you don't review your memory verses,as often as you can least once a day or every other day, they are going to go bye bye.

Once you get a whole slew of chapters memorized, its going to get harder to review them all everyday, so once you feel you have some deep in your heart, and you'll know, then you can start dividing them up.
Do a few chapters one day and a few the next.
Another important element in reviewing is, to take your bible, and recheck your verses one by one every so often.
You will be amazed how your brain will replace some wording, especially if you're memorizing the king James version.

Another important thing is ,if you can, review your newest verses before going to sleep even if you have to just read em ,it helps a lot.

7. Believe it or not, your brain will get tired and more so in the beginning, so if your brain feels like mush , take a break and resume again later or tomorrow,or just take a day off.

* another thing , unless you don't mind writing out the whole book of John, just use your Bible for reviewing your chapters or the pages that came loose from their binding and display them with pride.

Considering that some bibles only get touched occasionally by a feather duster or just used to prop up the end of the bed when the leg gets busted off.
You actually took yours into battle and wrestled with the devil for it. And though it now lays tattered and torn, you have won a great prize of victory in the high calling of God in Christ Jesus!

Now, go out and get yourself a waterproof bible like I did : )

When it comes to individual verses I would definitely take the time to write them out. I am in the process of rewriting all my verses out again as well,using 3 by 5 cards.
If you can, try and get down more than one verse per card, because if you end up memorizing a 1000 verses, guess what, you're going have a thousand cards too.

Okay # 9 Most likely your going to have to get some small index card file box to store your cards in, because if you have them just laying about hither and yon, someone might come along and toss them into the trash thinking that they do you and God a service.

A topical file system might be the best way if you feel like going through the trouble which is what I am going to do this time. You know, Salvation verses with salvation etc.

That's it for now , thank you and God bless you!

Happy memorizing!

John project

I am so sorry about my last post, I guess I am not used to using your format , please except my apologies


Being a creative person, I sometimes use these methods if I am struggling with a verse:

1. Find a tune that the words of the verse seem to fit with. I find that classical music works best.

2. Draw the verse. This is kind of like a cartoon thing. As an example, for the phrase "the whole crowd of disciples" I might draw a donut, and then a busy discipleship conference.

3. Find some way that you can act it out.

Bethany Meckle (inactive)

Wow, these are all really great ways. I really like using music to memorize. My family recently got the 2011 Bible Bee Memory Verse CDs. They are really helpful.


Bethany M- the Bible Bee CDs are helpful! I used them to study my verses for the Bible Bee over the summer, and that is where I got the music idea from.

Secret agent of God (Paul Harrison)

I would carry my Bible bee cards around everywhere i went and read them. For intense me memorization, i would read it once and then out the card down and OUT LOUD i would try to recite as best i could and just continue this process. Then, when i thought i had it down, i would bring it to mom and dad and recite it to them.

Rachel Irene

Bethany M and Paul- I used those methods during the summer. It helped me greatly. I also used a e others :D

Ben Walley

How do you remember which reference goes with which passage. That is the part that is hardest for me.

Darcy Joy

I use 2 methods when I memorize that generally work well for me. One method that works well for me is to take a verse or passage, read it through once, and then break it down into sections. Then I would take each section, say it over to myself about ten times OUT LOUD, do the same with the next section and then try to say them both together without looking. I would keep doing this until could recite the whole passage at least twice without looking at the card. This method generally works well for me because it allows me to become very familiar with a passage in a matter of days (this was important, when, as a Bible Bee Senior, I was learning 14 verses a day). The biggest problem with this method is that it is time consuming, VERY time consuming. I was generally spending anywhere from 1-2 hours a day just learning new verses using this method.

So this past fall I tried using that method to memorize my verses. But between school work and the 2 Peter bible study, I did not have enough time left over for all of that work. So instead I refined a method which I had used once or twice before on extra long or extra difficult passages. I would take a passage, read it over OUT LOUD about five times, and then type it out on my computer. Then the next day I would read the same passage OUT LOUD again five times. I would repeat this for several days until I could quote the passage without looking at the card. I know this method sounds pretty lazy and not very effective but it is for me. As an auditory learner (I memorize best by hearing) all I need to do was get used to the way the passage sounds when I read it.


This has been pretty helpful, thanks - another thing I use besides Memverse (which I'm not on that often) is an app on my kindle fire called Remember Me. I've gotten a lot of use out of it.
Thanks again for all the helpful posts!


Nicole J.

Wow, these are all great suggestions!
One thing I noticed is that everyone is memorizing their verses in one day and reviewing them later. That is great, and I would do that if I could, but my brain simply doesn't work that way, so this post is kinda for all the other people with brains like mine.
I take several days to memorize a verse/passage, and I am working on many at any given time. It seems like the more days a verse takes, the easier it reviews. I read it aloud (always always always aloud) at least 100 times, which adds up to about 5-10 days of memorization. The first 10-15 times I say it, I have to look at the card. At that point, one-liners are recited with ease, and I have portions of longer passages memorized, but not all. The last 30 or so times I say it, I don't have to look at the cards at all, but I still say it my 100 times, no less. Then I have some special "rites of passage" for the verse to go through before it is considered memorized and added to the review pile. First, I have someone check me while I recite it, usually my mom. Then I highlight the verse numbers in my Bible. This way, when I am reading my Bible, I see the highlighted verse numbers and I can try to recite it. (Sort of a spontaneous review method.) Then I draw a star on the verse card, and add it to the review pile. The stars are a safety measure, so no "un-memorized" verse accidentally gets mixed into the review pile!
I know this method seems ridiculously tedious, especially for the one-liner verses, but it really helps to stick it out and read it all 100 times. Then, when you review, it just rolls off your tongue, and you can relax and enjoy listening to the word of God. It is the best feeling in the world when I can lay in bed at night and relax by reciting a long passage, just hearing God's truth flowing from my heart and mind, and not being stressed at all.
Anyway, that is what works for me and helps me stay a little more stress-free. :) Don't feel pressured to limit your memorization to one day!

Oluremi Jewola Ogunde

Thanks everyone for your useful Bible memorization tips and suggestions. I use most of the tips already suggested, writing out the verses / passages / chapters, posting difficult ones on my wall so I can glance at them as I pass, saying them out loud many times etc.

As we all have different learning styles, I thought I should add this:

I love singing and I learn Bible verses and passages best by singing them. I found early on in my Christian walk that my best loved hymns and songs came directly out of Scripture. So now I find a tune and pin the verse or passage to it, or hum a new tune, record it on my phone's voice memos and then pin verses to it.

Lots of Biblically accurate songs already exist, a delightsome way to learn - but some aren't completely accurate and contain embellishments for rhyming, simplification or other reasons - and I find myself making mistakes here because of what my mind has already held fast. By the grace of God through patience and with MemVerse's help I am slowly teasing those off my memory now.

May I also add that God's holy word is sweet and most logical. God is first in everything, including maths, logic, story-telling (see the stories Jesus told such as the Prodigal Son, the Good Samaritan - never an unnecessary word, each word drives the story forward etc). The entrance of God's word really does give light and gives understanding to the simple. His holy word covers every aspect of our lives, both here and for all eternity.

Try songs or singing as you learn the verses, if it helps. God bless!


That's a good idea! :) I should try that sometime. I don't really have a good singing voice, but I think it could help the verses stick in my head. x)

Thank you for the insight! God's holy Word really does discuss everything we need to know for salvation and a relationship with His Son, as well as give insight into several different secular topics, shining the spotlight directly on the Bible. God bless your memorization as you pursue a closer relationship with him! =)