Fall is a time of harvest, and surely the bountiful personal harvest that has just come to us once again with the October general conference will provide many rich zero-calorie feasts for our minds and spirits in the winter months to come. How we need and appreciate the counsel to be wise, to prepare, to build our families, to pray, repent, study the scriptures and to attend the temple! Surely today's scripture is the perfect dessert topping from this past weekend of listening to a prophet's voice:
Today's Scripture : Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge. For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them with thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips, that thy trust may be in the Lord (Proverbs 22:17-19).
In other words, it is a blessing and good counsel to keep words of wisdom close to us, or even memorized . They will fit in our lips and mouths to fill us better than excess foods that are not needed to build health and strength.
Which were your favorite talks? It's easy to go find them, download them, print them, then carry them with you to memorize key phrases, scriptures or paragraphs to draw upon when the desire to overeat occurs. As a personal testimonial for the value and light that comes from memorizing, I'd like to tell you about my mom, then read on for two scriptures that I highly recommend to help us master our appetites..
My mother, now 86, was raised in Alberta, Canada, right across the street from the Cardston Temple. From the time she was a young child, her schoolwork was demanding, far more so than in many of our current public school systems. The requirements to memorize poetry provided a lifelong love affair with the strength that comes from having things in her head and heart. Throughout her five years a full-time worker at the Washington, D.C. Temple, I often had her co-workers say: “Your mother is amazing! I think she has the standard works memorized!”
I learned that as she led the music of the devotionals before her shift started, she often quoted the passages of scriptures that are noted for each hymn. It is the custom in the Washington D.C. Temple to read the scriptural text before singing the hymns, but she quoted them from memory. Her life, though it has been filled with its fair share of mortal challenges, is filled with the peace that comes from having scriptures engraved upon her mind and heart. She has always said that memorizing them brings entire new dimensions of understanding that do not come from reading alone.
Maybe that's why she is so loved and so good — the wisdom she needs to guide her actions is always within her. Through the years, people have been continually drawn to both her charismatic personality and the light that glows from within — a light that comes from the scriptures that are fitted within her mouth and spirit.
Well, we can do the same!
Here's a good trick for memorizing from Mom and from my husband, a seminary teacher who is working with students and helping them with scripture mastery. Read the scripture aloud several times, then write down on an index card just the first letter of each word in the scripture to use as cues. Carry the card in a pocket or in the car with you.
Here are two that I know will make a difference:
Scripture 1: Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy, for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are (I Corinthians 3:16-17).
Which temple ye are! What thrilling words! How could any inappropriate foods or portion be more important than keeping our keeping our mortal temples clean and cared for? Though you may feel that your body doesn't seem to be much like a temple, it is! And though the phrase, “him shall God destroy,” may seem extreme, it quickly defines what happens to our health when we overeat and do not exercise.
If you have not yet had a chance, I hope you will soon find time to read Elder Daryl H. Garn's fascinating article entitled “Worthy to Enter” in this month's (October 2007) Ensign . He shares a conversation held with the general contractor of the Houston Temple shortly before it was dedicated. The perspective he shares applies to each of us who are learning to respect our bodies as temples.
Scripture 2 : Behold the ships, which though they be great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the helmsman steereth (James 3:4).
Here's the powerful visualization of a great ship in a storm being guided by a small steering wheel. We can easily adapt this to healthy eating. In comparison to our limbs and other body parts, our mouths are very, very small, yet it is our mouths that steer the direction of our health. We can grab hold of that small steering wheel and guide it towards life-giving fruits, vegetables and water in the storms of junk foods and hold on, though the winds may blow. Picture that helmsman using his might and muscle during a driving storm to save the ship, the crew, and the cargo — then apply it to your own life and the things that are worth saving.
I'm sure that you have your favorite scriptures. Prayerfully search for the ones that will guide your healthy choices this week. After all, we're temples and worthy to be inspired by just the right scriptures that will make a difference.
Today's Empowerment: Just memorize a scripture!
Today's Journal Prompts/Discussion Starters/Assignment:
For those of us who need dessert early in the day (Yo! Me!), this is a winner. It's easy to cut in half, but refrigerates well for another day or so — so go ahead and make a full recipe.
4 cups skim milk
3 cups cooked brown rice
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar