When was the last time you memorized passages from Scripture? It might have been when you were in eighth grade, preparing for confirmation. Or maybe earlier still, in Sunday school, when you learned the 23rd Psalm. Can't remember when it was? Never mind. It will probably come to you.
Within living memory, as the saying goes, evangelicals unselfconsciously learned Scripture by heart. The value of this practice was taken for granted. Certainly there was a wide range, from back-row pew-sitters who could call on a few salient passages, to silver-tongued preachers who could cite Leviticus and Luke with equal authority. But if, for instance, as a child in the 1950s, you regularly attended Wednesday evening prayer meetings, where the voices of laypeople predominated, you heard Scripture quoted (and misquoted) from memory. And if you listened in, during the Sunday meal after church, when grown-ups who took...
It is a good thing to memorise whole passages of scripture while you are still young. It will come in handy later in life, especially if called to preach or be a missionary. But don't expect to memorise anything if you keep changing your Bible version; and don't expect to memorise much if you use a modern version. Get a KJV and stick to it for life, reading vast amounts every day, and you will remember it without trying. God lodges it in the brain because it is his word. And his word makes wise unto salvation, and his word edifies, it is a quickening word, bringing life to all who hear it with opened hearts.
I'm one who can remember content, usually quite well, but rote memorization forget it. My mother could reel off entire poems, etc. rather effortlessly, I thought. However, after reading this secular piece on rote memorization, I do feel much more kindly to the idea! The Creativity Question, the fellow definitely makes a good case for learning drills.