Becoming holy amid the increasing turmoil
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At a BYU-Idaho women's meeting on Jan. 26, Sister Wendy Watson Nelson spoke about the importance of becoming holy women of God in increasing turmoil.
"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, wife of Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve, 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.
Sister Nelson expressed that if individuals could look at who they were in the premortal life and see the commitments and covenants they have made and who they stood by — meaning the Savior — all of their present problems would fall away.
She referenced Joseph Smith's remarks about gazing into heaven, saying that in 10 minutes one would know more about a topic than if a person read years and years on the topic.
"If you could gaze five minutes into your premortal DVD, you would know more about yourself, more about your problems than if you took a lifetime to study it," Sister Nelson said.
She 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.
Sister Nelson invited the women at the meeting to try the experiment as well. She said that the desire to remove anything and everything unholy from their lives, hearts and homes is absolutely a part of wanting to increase the holiness.
Many struggle with the fear of being unholy or having too much of a chaotic life in order to become holy. She said that many women may even feel like a broken ovenware dish — shattered, useless, in which everything they have to give is gone and empty.
Sister Nelson empathized with those women and expressed that there is a way for them to feel whole again. She quoted Mosiah 4:2, which reads: "And they viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified. …"
Sister Nelson said that the atoning blood of Christ helps individuals turn their weaknesses into strengths and then take those strengths and magnify them.
"I have seen, over and over again, that the atoning sacrifice of the Savior turns [our broken ovenware dish] into … a porcelain, gilded serving bowl," said Sister Nelson.
She concluded the meeting by expressing the great need to be holy in these times of turmoil.
"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."