Talking Shop with Zach and Krista of The Scripture Study Project

It’s been one of my 2019 goals to listen to more podcasts.

It has also been a goal to increase my spirituality as I immerse myself more deeply in holy scripture.

Discovering The Scripture Study Project podcast has been a divinely-inspired blessing for me as I’ve worked on both of these goals. Hosted by creators Krista and Zach Horton, their weekly discussion offers “a fresh and faithful study of the scriptures.” Not only is their podcast incredibly uplifting and thought-provoking, but it also provides the fuel we all need to progress in becoming more like Christ. (They’re also hilarious and super fun to listen to!)

Making their weekly episodes on The New Testament a part of my spiritual study this year has enhanced my gospel study and worship, increased my love and respect for holy scripture, and allowed me to invite the presence of the Holy Ghost more into my life. I recommend it heartily to everyone I know.

Today on Talking Shop, Krista and Zach discuss the divine origin of the podcast, how their podcast community has inspired them, and how they find fulfillment in pursuing their passions. I am so excited to share this with you all! (Update: The Scripture Study Project has a new website and an exciting new offering: The Book of Mormon Study Record! Shop here!)

Everyone, meet Zach and Krista Horton!

Tell us a little about your family and background.

Zach and I have been married for twelve years and have four kids, ages nine down to two. Zach is a Seminary teacher and principal in Utah for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he loves what he does and we feel lucky to be where we are. He just finished his PhD! (hallelujah!) so we are entering our first years of marriage without school attached to our lives, funny how you think it will slow down and it never really does! I have dabbled in a few things in our marriage, graduated college in Health & Education then decided to go into the photography business (side note here, Zach and I started this business together so the podcast is not our first business endeavor together!) and held on to that part-time through my years of mothering my babies full-time. I loved the creative outlet that photography has given me (and still does!). I also write and create with some amazing women on the blog The Small Seed.

How did The Scripture Study Project get started?

Zach: It was Krista’s idea.

Krista: I still remember the day the thought came to my head. Zach was telling me about something he was learning in his study and I just thought it was so cool. I had the thought that people would love to hear this kind of stuff. We had a few discussions before this with friends and neighbors about starting a bible study but just always shrugged off the idea because taking another night away from our family seemed practically impossible, so I know those discussions also played a part into this. Anyway, later that day “a podcast!” popped into my brain and I was instantly excited. Although the funny part is when I first had the idea it was all meant for Zach — that HE should start a podcast! Zach was interested in my idea but right off said that he would only do it if I did it with him. For some reason, I agreed and now here we are almost 100 episodes later. I love thinking of this day and I think I remember it so vividly because it really feels like God has been leading us all along. 

How did you learn to produce a podcast? Was there a learning curve?

Krista: Yes! And Zach is really good at learning new things so I made him do it… I was really great moral support. 😉

Zach: Lots of Google and really overly-technical podcasting blogs — and a few headaches. I think we took the long way around; we learned too late about other podcasting means that make it easier. Looking back now I’m grateful for what we learned as we tried to get it up.

What have been some of the most meaningful experiences you’ve had with The Scripture Study Project community?

Zach: The individuals that have reached out and shared their story of how scripture study has changed their lives. That may sound cheesy but it really has and continues to be the heart of what keeps us going.

Krista: I agree 100% with Zach’s answer! It has also been a thrill for me to discover the scriptures in a new way. Challenging myself in the scriptures and studying them so deeply has been so rewarding I can barely put it into words — other than I love the scriptures even more now than I did before!

What advice do you have for listeners looking to enhance their study of the scriptures?

Krista: My favorite advice is always removing the “to-do’s” of scripture study and change it into spending time with God — connecting to Him, listening for Him, seeking and asking. We can get easily bogged down with scriptures when it becomes another box to check but it is freeing to just use them as a tool to find God every day. 

Zach: We’ve given so many on the podcast and on social media but one I’m thinking of that maybe we haven’t shared there is to talk to someone about your study. Our personal study has skyrocketed because we study and do the podcast together. It has made it so much more meaningful and real. 

What do you enjoy about working together on the podcast? What are the challenges?

Krista: I have loved getting to work with Zach on a new level. Parenting, life and marriage are actually really fun for us (most of the time!!) but this has been a whole new experience where we are creating something very intellectual and spiritual that has just made me like him even more. I think the challenge is usually that I’m too bossy…

Zach: Not true! We like working together — all the time — and we like talking so this gives us a chance to do that even more. Challenges: the pressure of a weekly podcast means that sometimes we are recording when we really don’t want to be! And despite our best efforts to just “record it quick” it never really works out that way!

How do you prepare to record each week? Any pre-podcast rituals?

Zach: No rituals but we probably could use some! Honestly, we just study the scriptures a week ahead and try and ask ourselves: “What from this study matters to us and what might matter to other people?” Usually, I’m thinking: “How can we help people have the kind of study we just had? What questions are best?”

Krista: We never prepare or record without prayer so I think that has become a really important one.

What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned through the process of creating the podcast and its growth over time?

Krista: When God tells you to do something do it and He will help you!

Zach: Ditto!

How has The Scripture Study Project enhanced your own spirituality? What aspect(s) of your testimony have been strengthened through this journey?

Zach: God uses everything as His lesson material — I’ve been thinking a lot about how what I study in one place connects to experiences other books I’m reading or things I’m doing at work. A lot of those show up each week in the podcast but a lot don’t; a lot are just for me.

Krista: I can’t think of any way that it hasn’t — But mostly because I am seeing God in new ways as I have come to love and apply the scriptures in new ways. Raechel Myers, who runs one of my favorite Christian companies called She Reads Truth, talked about how she loves the scriptures because they teach the broader picture of who God is and who He has been through history but how they also teach on such a personal, intimate level how God rescues and loves His people. I’ve really felt that. I love seeing God in the stories from history and around the world but also can see Him so closely in my own life. I think the most clear answer to what part of my faith has been strengthened is that I have learned to rely more on God and see Him as my mentor and teacher. And to see Him always in the things that I do — once I do that He really does lead the way. 

How do you balance parenting with the time and energy requirements of your podcast?

Krista: As a person who loves to create and build, I have found so much fulfillment in building and creating a family and a home where we all want to be. I put a lot of my creative passions to work around my family. I see it as just as much of a work as anything else I do. As I have done that I have found God finding ways to help me build other things that are really great and fun and fulfilling for me too. I don’t know how to say this other than when you give God a little he gives a lot — and that’s not saying that I don’t feel that pull of where to put my time because I certainly do (WE do!) but I like to view my work as a whole because that simplifies this balance for me.

Zach: We don’t! I need more sleep!

Krista: Ditto!

The Fun Qs:

Your favorite family activity?

Zach: Is “all of them” a lame answer? Walks, bike rides, hikes. We are currently on a board game kick and our kids are finally old enough to play some of our favorite games.

Krista: Zach just told me he wanted his own set of Pokemon cards if that helps answer part of his question! Ha! I love anything outdoors: hiking, biking, playing soccer, swimming.

Food you’ll never get tired of?

Zach: Krista’s cookies

Krista: Snow cones in the summer and hot cocoa in the winter

Movie you can quote word-for-word?

Zach: The Emperor’s New Groove — even after all these years.

Krista: What Zach means is actually every movie he has ever watched – he has an incredible memory and loves movies…I on the other hand usually remember some lines from Princess Bride and a few Disney songs…haha!

Answer the following prompt:
“People would be surprised to know that I…..”

Zach: …am a closet real estate agent – my favorite “social media” to browse are real estate apps.

Krista: …that I love to bake and cook –  maybe no one knows that one, we don’t talk much about food on the podcast…

Listen to episodes of The Scripture Study Project podcast here and follow their Instagram page @thescripturestudyproject. Visit The Scripture Study Project website here and shop their new journal, The Book of Mormon Study Record here.

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