Need help memorizing scripture and want an easy and fast way to do it?
You’re in the right place.
On this page, you’ll learn how to memorize scripture quickly and make it stick for the long-term.
All by spending no more than 5 minutes per day.
You’ll learn to create a robust Memory Palace Network to do all the heavy lifting.
You’ll also learn how to create effective associations to use within your Memory Palaces. This “Magnetic Imagery” will pop any verse back into your mind almost instantly.
You’ll next learn how to follow-up for long-term recall and the bad memory habits you must avoid.
Are you ready?
Great – let’s go!
Why Memorize Scripture?
Before getting started with your strategy for memorizing scripture, it will be helpful to put some thought into why you’re doing it. To put my cards completely on the table, here’s why I do it:
Here are some other reasons that might relate to you:
- Memorizing scripture creates an internal source of inspiration
- After you memorize scripture, you will feel closer to your traditions
- Memorizing even just one more verse can make you feel incredibly closer to your source
- Deeply internalized knowledge can help heal spiritual wounds
- Once you memorize scripture, you will become a better contributor to your community
Experiencing even more benefits is guaranteed, such as an increased ability to interpret and explain scripture.
Please post any additional reason you can think of in the comment section below.
What To Do Before Memorizing A Single Verse
Once you know why you’re memorizing scripture, it’s important to plan.
Your plan should include:
- A Memory Palace Network
- Practice time
- An arrangement of the material you plan to memorize on your first outing
If you’re missing any of these essential ingredients, you likely won’t experience the outcome you seek.
For finding practice time, follow my P.E.A.C.H. formula (practice encoding at calm hours):
The Memory Palace Network for Scripture and Verse Numbers
Think you can memorize scripture without a Memory Palace Network?
Many people do.
Others think it can be done with just one Memory Palace.
But without several in play, success is highly unlikely.
The truth is that your brain is going to be challenged.
The best way to manage that challenge is the Memory Palace technique.
How does the Memory Palace technique help with that?
By reducing the cognitive load. It’s like having a canvas to paint on, instead of trying to paint on thin air. Do that and you risk having your colors splash on the ground in a mess.
What Is A Memory Palace?
A Memory Palace is a scientific tool used for transmitting any kind of information into long term memory as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Unfortunately, few teach this ancient mental tool in this way, which is sad. More people will get better results when someone just tells them the simple truth.
Here it is laid out in the form of a simple free memory course:
What To Do During Scripture Memorization
Once you know how to create a Memory Palace Network and have it in place, it’s time to learn how to associate words and phrases with locations.
The course covers everything in detail, but as a quick example, let’s use these wise words:
Proverbs 18:13 (NIV): “To answer before listening — that is folly and shame.”
How to memorize bible verses will be covered later. For now, let’s focus on the verse itself.
Focus on the words themselves
Personally, I’m a quick study. As a result, I usually don’t spend a bunch of time on the meaning of a passage. That comes after I’ve memorized it.
However, you might benefit from understanding the meaning first, If that’s you, be sure to reflect before you start memorizing the exact words.
Next, sort out the keywords. In our example verse, they are:
If I may explain the process from example, here’s what I did next:
I asked myself…
Who do I know who relates most closely to either the form of the verse or its meaning.
My friend’s sister Andi comes to mind.
In a Memory Palace, it’s easy to see her typing out an email. Like this:
What kind of email?
An email in response to an episode of Faulty Towers she’s just seen on television. She does this before she even heard the end of the sentence that offended her, and as a result, feels ashamed.
Why Faulty Towers?
Because it has a sound similar to “folly” in it. Note that I thought of and chose Andi as my “Bridging Figure” for this verse because I was focusing on the first word “answer.”
The “an” in Andi and the “an” in answer “magnetically” attract each other. Weave these associations together in a Memory Palace and one will “trigger” the other.
By looking for natural parallels that are already in your memory and imagination, you can often come across just the right set of images. This happens much more quickly than if you try to create abstract associations.
Abstractions in your associations must be avoided as much as possible.
They’re difficult to recall, create weak associations and cause more frustration than they’re worth.
How To Memorize All Those Little Connecting Words
Now, I know what you’re thinking.
What about “to,” “before,” and “is”?
Before you spend time memorizing them, stop and think it through.
Do you really need to memorize them? Or can you allow your mind to fill in the blanks?
In my experience, most people do fine with letting their mind fill in the blanks, provided they follow the rest of the steps on this page.
But if you need to come up with associations for all these little words, I suggest you consider creating a “stockpile.”
If you use a tutu for “to,” always use that same association.
If you use a bee driving a forklift for “before,” always use that every time you need this word.
Don’t worry. It’s unlikely that your mind will mind the repetition. The Memory Palace will provide more than enough differentiation.
The important point is that you’re drawing upon information, ideas, people and objects already in your memory.
That’s where the real memory magic happens. And sadly, this is a point that is too often missed by many memory experts who otherwise mean well.
For Bible Memorizers Who Want To Remember Chapter and Verse
Now, you might be wondering how to memorize bible verses, chapters, and books.
In general, I suggest that you have one Memory Palace Network per book.
So if you’re working on the Proverbs, have a Memory Palace Network just for that purpose.
This way, you’ll never have to wonder what your MP Network is for – it will always be clear to you.
For more help with memorizing numbers, you can also learn the 3 Most Powerful Memory Techniques For Memorizing Numbers.
Mnemonic Examples For Verse Numbers
Once you’ve understood this technique, it will be simple to create little associations to precede the associations you use for the verses themselves.
Have a look at this:
For Proverbs 18:13, for example, I see a large TV set that I actually owned vacuuming J Edgar Hoover using a Hoover vacuum.
Weird and memorizable, right? It is!
But why these images?
Because 18 for me is always represented by a few things, one of which is a TV set.
Not just any TV set, but a particular TV set that has meaning for me.
And when you know the Major Method, you’ll know that there’s a very good reason that it’s a TV and not some other object.
Likewise with J Edgar Hoover with a Hoover vacuum.
It represents 13 because I’m following this simple chart:
Sometimes for 13, I see Hoover vacuuming on the Hoover Dam. There’s actually a way to make that dam a Virtual Memory Palace that I’ll talk about in the future. For now, here are 5 Memory Palace Examples you can learn about to enhance your practice.
In any case, having multiple images to draw upon is the Magnetic Memory Method Principle of Compounding. It’s part of the joyful science of creating and using a “Magnetic 00-99 P.A.O.” Learn more in the MMM course on memorizing math, equations and all things related to numbers.
I know that this process might sound complex.
It really isn’t once you get into it. After all, as Jeannie Koh explains in her Magnetic Memory Method Testimonial, using these techniques helped her reach her goals immensely:
And it’s a skill worth having for more than just memorizing verse numbers. It makes committing all numbers fast, easy, effective and fun.
What matters most is that you associate everything with information that already exists in your mind and that is meaningful to you.
Following Up: What To Do After Your Memorize Scripture Verses
Now comes the fun part.
What you want to do is mentally walk through your Memory Palaces one at a time.
Do this as many times as it takes to recall the verses accurately. Be sure to recall them both verbally and in written form. There are a few more tips on this practice below.
How many times exactly is a question no one can answer. At least 5 times the first day and then 1 time per day for a few weeks is a good rule of thumb derived from Dominic O’Brien.
As you develop your skills, you’ll find that different verses enter your memory at different rates and each presents its own form of brain exercise.
The varying levels of challenge is a good thing. It keeps you on your toes, keeps things interesting, and in fact, you don’t want it to be easy. If using memory techniques suddenly became easy, they’d be boring and you would stop using them.
It’s very important to set a time aside for practicing recall to ensure that you do it.
I suggest using a Memory Journal to gather all your Memory Palaces and record your recall.
There’s no perfect journal, but one I recommend is called The Freedom Journal. It has just enough space for an effective Memory Palace drawing and lets you create 10-day “sprints” over the course of 100 days.
How To Recall One A Verse-By-Verse Basis
As you go, “trigger” off the associations you made and let them bring back the information.
For example, I would start with the specific Memory Palace and the specific station.
How does one remember that?
If you’ve correctly planned and organized your memorization activities, then the answer will be known to you without any stress or strain.
You create the Memory Palace Network to serve the outcome you want. This process alone will help you remember what is memorized where.
If you’re properly numbered each Magnetic Station as taught in the free course, then you’ll have even more “autopilot familiarity” with your Memory Palaces.
How the Memory Palace Tells You The Right Word Order
And if you are memorizing verse numbers and memorizing the scriptures in verse order, order itself acts as a clue. It will tell you where in your Memory Palace the information is located.
Next, I would recall Andi and simply ask myself: “What was she associated with?”
Asking questions during recall is important because you’re encouraging your memory to do a bit of work.
Sometimes the entire line will blast back at you, almost like magic. Especially if you complete these powerful visualization exercises.
Other times, you’ll have to piece it together, word for word.
In all cases, if you have a pen or pencil in hand, recall the verse first, then write it down. Say the line out loud as well.
At more advanced levels, you can certainly remove the writing part, but I don’t recommend it. Even when I’m memorizing names of people I’ve met, I almost always write them out in my Memory Journal.
This simple, 1-2 minute practice ensure that I receive the full benefits for my memory and successful recall.
The Big 5 of Learning For Long Term Memory
In full, these are:
- …from and into Memory
Visualized, the levels of processing effect for memory looks like this:
I’ve just mentioned writing out what you’ve memorized and speaking it out loud.
Writing automatically leads to reading, and you’ve already ready read the verses before, during and after memorizing them.
However, it’s good to also read interpretations by multiple thinkers where possible.
Plus, there are often more comprehensive commentaries available that you can read on various scriptures that will give your mind more context to help create deeper connections in both your imagination and the physical structures of your brain.
A Solo Way To Hear Memorized Verses Out Loud
It’s also important to also hear the verses spoken by others, so try to find recordings that you can listen to and recite along with them.
You can also record yourself and listen back to your own voice.
I also suggest making memorization a family or at least a community occasion.
Reciting with others and hearing others share what certain passages mean for them is very useful for creating long term memory impact.
The Biggest Levers You Need For Memorizing Scripture
In brief, you’ve got to commit to creating the time for memorizing scripture.
Logical, isn’t it? If you really want to get something done, you’ll make the time.
How much time do you need?
No one can honestly say just how long it will take for you to reach your goals.
However, once you’ve started, chances are that this question will no longer be very interesting to you.
You’ll be enjoying the process so much and become completely satisfied that each new verse gets you closer to the goal. The journey will become so much more important than the destination.
And when those destinations are reached, you’ll be excited and want to create new ones. The benefits for the sharpness of your mind will be very clear to you.
Common Questions And Answers About Memorizing Scripture Quickly
Does The Length Matter?
Yes and no.
I recommend starting with short verses in the beginning. The sooner you develop the skills needed to quickly and accurately memorize short verses, the sooner you’ll be able to tackle longer verses.
The trick is in seeing that longer verses are usually just shorter verses fit together. In such cases, it can be very helpful to spend more time ensuring that you understand the gist of a long verse before committing it to memory.
Should you use flash cards and sticky notes?
No, I don’t recommend this because it doesn’t create the needed skills of memorization that a Memory Palace and association develops.
These forms don’t create brain exercise either. The only exception to the rule is if you are memorizing individual words or terms and don’t have the answer on the back of the card.
Instead, feature the Magnetic Imagery you created on the opposite side of the flash card or sticky note. In this way, you’ll ask your brain to do a bit of memory work and jog itself into action. The benefits of doing this will be incredibly rewarding.
And as soon as you can, leave the index cards and sticky notes behind.
Why You Shouldn’t Memorize Scripture From Online Sources
Many people want to memorize from online sources such as the Scripture Typer app and Bible Memory Kids.
To be honest, these Bible apps look great. They’re clean, well-organized and perhaps even fun to use.
But they’re also creating Digital Amnesia.
If you must source your scripture from a screen, at least write it out in your handwriting and memorize from that. This practice will deepen the importance of the verse to your mind and is a win-win from the get-go.
What Scripture Do You Want To Memorize?
At the risk of being repetitive, knowing why you want to memorize scripture does matter.
For myself, I like to memorize the odd line from the Bible. But overall I prefer scripture from the non-dual tradition, Advaita Vedanta.
In this memory demonstration, you’ll see me recite 32 verses from a text called the Ribhu Gita:
Although I didn’t memorize a verse every single day, I rarely spent more than 5 minutes on any single verse. It just isn’t necessary when you have these skills.
Ultimately, what really matters is that you learn the skills and ground the project on a solid reason why you want to commit the scripture to memory.
Long-term memorization is a marathon, not a sprint.
Plan, show up consistently, and enjoy the multiple benefits as they increase, one verse at a time.