Saturday, January 30, 2010

A 3-Day Experiment

What follows are excerpts from an article that appeared in Meridian Magazine and also in The Church News today. Notice how the "experiment" was only for three days. Notice also how only one small encounter per day was requested. ....In a talk at BYU-Idaho this week, Elder Russell M. Nelson’s wife, Wendy Watson Nelson, emphasized the importance of being holy and inviting the Holy Ghost into one's life. She said that she recently e-mailed six women, ages 25 to 65, and asked them to try an experiment to do with holiness.

"I wrote, 'In thinking about how to learn about holiness, I was wondering if, for just three days, you would be willing to, just once a day, purposefully choose one activity a day and try to be more holy while doing it or to do it as a holy woman? For example, you might try welcoming your husband home, or making dinner, or reading to a child, or exercising, or eating one meal, or talking with a friend, or shopping, or praying, or doing laundry. How would a holy woman do that?" said Sister Nelson.

The thoughtful responses Sister Nelson received helped her understand the difference a desire to be holy can make.

One woman wrote about her experience with the most troublesome task she usually had during the day: brushing her 4-year-old's teeth. She said that she pictured the Savior in the room with her and felt an immense difference.

"Suddenly, I had more patience. I didn't bark orders. I felt like I had more influence over the situation. I could step back and almost see, well, how would a holy woman handle this situation?" wrote the woman to Sister Nelson.

Many of the women expressed that, after the experiment, they felt that being holy was not such an unreachable goal. They noticed how the desire to be holy affected their lives and wanted to continue to improve being more holy in their everyday lives.

"I believe that if we are really going to do what we came here to do, and that the Lord is counting on us to do, that we need to seek in every way we can to be more holy, to invite more holiness into our lives so that we really can, as the forces around us are increasing in intensity, have an equal and opposite reaction to those forces," Sister Nelson said.

Sister Nelson said that whatever it took in the past years to have a strong marriage, great family and a great life, would not be sufficient now. "I've even started to believe that what was enough last year won't be enough for this year, not as the forces around us are increasing in intensity," she said.

"It is my testimony, sisters, that it is time. It is time to take time to be holy. It is time to pray for the Lord to help us to be holy," she said. "I know the Lord is counting on us to do exactly what we said we would do that we signed up for premortally. The only way to do the things you said you would is to be increasingly holy."

Postscript from The Thinker: I think Wendy also gave us (intentionally or not) the way to go about transforming our lives: begin by trying just one small act of holiness per day, gradually increase to maybe two per day, and so on, until responding in a holy manner becomes second nature.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing that! You have inspired me. :)

Rebecca said...

Thanks Mom! One of the things I remember being taught many years ago was to prepare Sunday meals with "singleness of mind/heart". I have always felt that I must have peace of mind and a love for my family as I prepared Sunday dinner.

The most interesting thing that I have noticed is that when I prepared Sunday dinner, the whole family ends up in the kitchen with me. The other thing I have noticed is that I do not see the dinner preparation as a chore but as an act of love towards my family.

You reminded me of this by sharing Sister Nelson's words.