Wednesday, March 4, 2015

"Take Time to Be Holy"

When I was in high school I learned the importance of scripture study and almost always made time for it every day. This is one of the first things that I had found I had a true testimony of. When I read my scriptures, I had a better and happier day. When I did not read my scriptures my day was usually not that great. I believe it also helped me to withstand the temptations that were around me at that age. I remember uncomfortably sitting in a car with fellow students my age during ranging to get our drivers licenses. Theses students talked about serious sins that they had committed like they were no big deal. I remember them also saying in one form or another that they were Mormon. I feel like I had no desire to do those things that these students were doing and I believe that was because I took the time every day to read my scriptures and become closer with my Heavenly Father. That does not mean that I was not tempted in other ways because I did make mistakes, some more serious than others. I do know that I was able to overcome these trials and mistakes by continuously reading the scriptures.

Take Time to Be Holy 

"Take Time to Be Holy" is a beautiful song. I encourage everyone to listen and try to understand the words. 

Take time to be Holy, speak oft with thy Lord.
Abide with Him always and feed on His word.
Make friends with God's children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on.
spend much time in secret with Jesus alone;
By looking to Jesus like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let Him be thy guide
And run not before Him whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow still follow thy Lord,
And looking to Jesus trust in,
Trust in the Lord.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul.
Each thought and each motive beneath His control;
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shall be fitted for service above.
Thou soon shall be fitted for service above.

This song illustrates several ways that we can take time to be holy. I believe there are three main aspects of  holiness in which we need to make time for.

Speak oft with the Lord

This obviously means that we need to take the time to pray. Our Heavenly Father knows us more than we know ourselves. We can ask him to help us, protect us, and understand His will for us. This phrase not only says to pray, but it says to pray often. We need to be in constant communication with our Heavenly Father in order to receive the fullness of His blessings.

Feed on His Word

This means to read our scriptures and study the words of the prophets. This also means that when He impresses us we should obey. How blessed we are to have the scriptures and modern day revelation! Without these tools we would not know what we need to do in this life, or what is expected of us. His word is the key for us to one day return to live with him.

I am constantly reminded of this scripture,
"Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." - 2 Nephi 32:3

This means that we have a surefire way of knowing the steps we need to take to become like God. Isn't that our ultimate goal? Of course we should study all that we can to get there.

Make Friends with God's Children, Help Those Who are Weak

We need to make lasting friendships and help our friends in time of need.

Sister Kathleen H. Hughes, former member of the General Relief Society Presidency, relates in a General Conference address,
"As a Relief Society presidency, we sometimes hear women say that they don't feel the love of the Lord. But perhaps they would feel more of His love if they looked for His hand in the actions of those who care for them. It may be a member of their branch or ward, a neighbor, or even a stranger who blesses them and manifests Christ's love."
(What Greater Goodness Can We Know: Christlike Friends)

We are indeed making time to be holy when we make time for God's children.

Missed Spiritual Opportunities

David O. McKay, former president of the LDS Church, tells the following story after discussing with The Quorum of The Twelve Apostles the importance of meditation. This story is told from,  Teachings of Presidents of the Church - Harold B. Lee manual, pg. 182.

"The President then took occasion to relate an experience in the life of Bishop John Wells, formerly a member of the Presiding Bishopric. A son of Bishop Wells was killed in Emigration Canyon on a railroad track. ... His boy was run over by a freight train. Sister Wells was inconsolable. She mourned during the three days prior to the funeral, received no comfort at the funeral, and was in a rather serious state of mind. One day soon after the funeral services, while she was lying on her bed relaxed, still mourning, she claims that her son appeared to her and said, 'Mother, do not mourn. Do not cry. I am all right.' He told her that she did not understand how the accident happened. He explained that he had given a signal to the engineer to move on and then made the usual effort to catch the railings on the freight train, but as he attempted to do so his food caught in a root and he failed to catch the hand rail and his body fell under the train. It was clearly and accident. He said that as soon as he realized that he was in another environment he tried to see his father but he could not reach him. His father was so busy with the duties in the office that he could not respond to his call; therefore, he had come to his mother and he said to her, 'You tell Father that all is well with me. I want you to not mourn anymore.'"

Wow. Re-read the story again if you have to. The Bishop in the story missed out on an amazing spiritual experience because he was too busy to be reached. How many times have we missed out on spiritual experiences because we were too busy to listen?

Vicki F. Mastsumori, former counselor in the Primary General Presidency states,
"Because the Spirit is often described as a still, small voice, it is also important to have a time of quiet in our lives as well. The Lord has counseled us to "be still, and know that I am God." If we provide a still and quiet time each day when we are not bombarded by television, computer, video games, or personal electronic devices, we allow that still, small voice an opportunity to provide personal revelation and to whisper sweet guidance, reassurance, and comfort to us." 

Yes, we are busy. But are we too busy for our Heavenly Father? When I have a quiet moment, I like to turn on the TV or look at my phone. Some noise or screen always has to be running it seems like. I think the problem is that when we do have that little time to relax, we spend that time doing other things.We do not set the Lord as our first priority.

We are missing spiritual opportunities.

Our Ultimate Goal

Isn't our ultimate goal to become like Gods and Goddesses? How will we get there if we are not counseling with our God consistently? Our Heavenly Father went through the same trials that we went through and made it! He knows how to get us there. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows our potential. He can be our mentor if we let him.

I believe that the last few verses of the song illustrate that when we "take time to be holy" we will more readily become like Jesus by trusting in Him. In return, He will trust us because he knows where our hearts are.

I am not writing this because I am good at these things. In fact, I am actually rather poor at them now. Since high school, my life has changed and different responsibilities came. I have not made the Lord a priority nearly as much. I am writing this because I heard the choir sing this song at my stake conference. I felt the spirit strongly suggest that this is the most important thing that I can do and if I do this then I can reach my ultimate goal and become like my Heavenly Father. 

I encourage everyone to set a goal. Make a sacrifice of your time. I have a testimony of this because I know that when I have made that time, I feel my Heavenly Father more present with me throughout my day. Feel His spirit. Feel his love. Feel closer to God.

"And so I beg of you ... to live each day so that you might receive from the fountain of light [the] nourishment and strength sufficient to every day's need. Take time to be holy each day of your lives."
-President Harold B. Lee