Eugene Church Experiences a “Memorable” Sermon

July 01, 2011 | Greg Middlestetter

Remember back a few years ago, when there were competitions in Sabbath School to see who could recite all 13 memory verses for the quarter? And then, as an adult, when class record was being taken the question was asked each week, “How many memorized their memory verse this week?” Many hands went up, but no one was asked to prove that they really had put the text to memory. Scripture memorization is still important with at least one person — Keith Zaugg.

Recently at the Eugene Church, Zaugg took the worship service to recite (in character) the entire book of James. As he did so, it was with all the passion and emphasis that Keith imagined that the author would have expressed if he were personally delivering the message. Many in attendance followed along in their own Bibles to see just how closely his recitation followed the biblical text. Many expressed a similar comment: “He didn’t miss a word!”

Keith Zaugg attended Laurelwood Academy and remembers hearing Bob King, a student from Auburn Academy, recite a chapter from the book, Desire of Ages. That inspired Keith to begin memorizing the last chapter of the book The Great Controversy; he made good progress but did not complete the task at the time.

Over the past 20 years Keith has begun to apply himself to the task of memorizing scripture. To date he has logged into his memory the Sermon on the Mount, the book of James, Revelation 20–22 (a five month task), Romans 12–13 and Matthew 24. He also recently finished his academy goal of memorizing the last chapter of the book The Great Controversy.

The hardest part of memorizing, Keith says, is finding the time to devote to the task. It’s something that he has found that he must make time for each day. Every new verse is repeated between 15–30 times and then he moves on to the next verse, daily reciting out loud the passages he is working on. Keith has found that the Lord blesses the memorization process and it becomes easier as time goes on.

There are other benefits for memorizing scripture Zaugg says, it keeps the brain sharp, it brings a blessing from being able to share with others, when persecution comes, we have the words of life to help us stay true, during the time of trouble we can bring hope to God's people.

Our congregation was blessed by Zaugg’s presentation. Many members commented that they too have been inspired to begin memorizing their scriptures.