Have you ever met anyone that has an amazing mind for retention? You can typically find these freaks of nature teaching LDS institute at your local college. Any topic can come up and they confidently say, “That reminds me of a scripture; let’s turn to it, shall we?” Contrast that with someone like myself. I usually say, “That reminds me of a scripture….let’s see…was it in 2 Nephi? Maybe it was in the book of Habakkuk?” I then spend the next few minutes in vain searching the Topical Guide for the “perfect scripture” that just can’t be found when I need it. I’ve never had a mind that remembers scripture references. I always wanted a topical guide that was organized for my brain….so I made one myself using Evernote.
Evernote is a great system for remembering almost anything. Between folders and tags you can effectively organize information in a way that will make it readily available in a moments notice.
Let me give you an example…
I came across the following quote during my personal study:
President Ezra Taft Benson taught:
“It is not enough to receive the priesthood and then sit back passively and wait until someone prods us into activity. When we receive the priesthood, we have the obligation of becoming actively and anxiously engaged in promoting the cause of righteousness in the earth, because the Lord says:
“‘… He that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned’ [D&C 58:29]” (So Shall Ye Reap , 21)
I then take a moment to consider what topics this quote relates to or when I may want to use it in the future. (Notice that this exercise also makes you think on a deeper level during personal study). I then tag the quote with duty, priesthood, and home teaching. Note saved.
Now in the future when I am preparing a sacrament meeting talk or sitting in a class where the priesthood is being discussed, I can quickly look up the tag on my smartphone and share this powerful quote.
This is also powerful for bishops that have a speaker end early and suddenly he has to fill 10 minutes worth of meeting time. He can quickly pull up a tag on Evernote and have multiple quotes, stories, or scriptures to reference.
A few examples of the tags I have in my personal topical guide are action, fast offerings, anger, funerals, apostasy, reactivation, apostles, fear, redemption, testimony, worth. That is only a small portion.
Your personal topical guide will be small at first but over time you will have a priceless resource for building your knowledge and testimony.