Ponderize

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There were a few instances recently wherein I was asked to share my favorite scripture. I hesitated and said, “Oh, uh, the one where, you know . . .”

You get the idea.

I knew what my favorite scripture was, but I couldn’t repeat it and I couldn’t even name where it was.

I felt ashamed of myself. I ought to be able to at least recite my favorite scripture OR at the very least remember where it is.

That’s why the recent General Conference talk by Devin G. Durrant, First Counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency, entitled, My Heart Pondereth Them Continually, really hit home with me. In the inspired message, he introduced a new term, PONDERIZE.

He said:

I invite you to “ponderize” one verse of scripture each week. The word ponderize is not found in the dictionary, but it has found a place in my heart. So what does it mean to ponderize? I like to say it’s a combination of 80 percent extended pondering and 20 percent memorization.

There are two simple steps:

First, choose a verse of scripture each week and place it where you will see it every day.

Second, read or think of the verse several times each day and ponder the meaning of its words and key phrases throughout the week.

Imagine the uplifting results of doing this weekly for six months, a year, 10 years, or more.

As you make this effort, you will feel an increase in spirituality. You will also be able to teach and lift those you love in more meaningful ways.

He then went on to remind us of additional benefits of pondering over and memorizing scripture each week,

You might ask, “Why should I do this?” I would answer that we are living in a time of ever-spreading evil. We cannot just accept the status quo and be fed ugly words and sinful visuals almost everywhere we turn and do nothing in response. We must fight back. When our minds are filled with uplifting thoughts and images, when we “always remember him,” there is no room left for filth and trash.

My favorite thing he said, the thing that made me determined to “ponderize” in my life was this:

. . . the primary goal of ponderizing is to provide an uplifting place for your thoughts to go—a place that keeps you close to the Spirit of the Lord.

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The idea of giving my thoughts a higher place to go appealed to me.

After hearing this talk, I was determined to “ponderize” in my life. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve included the scriptures I’ve chosen to “ponderize” thus far below. They are some of my favorites, the ones that speak to me personally. As you can see, I have not made my goal of pondering/memorizing a new scripture once a week, as Elder Durrant suggests. But, I’m trying and that’s all that matters! I plan to get better at this as time goes by.

Alma 48:16-17

And also, that God would make it known unto them whither they should go to defend themselves against their enemies, and by so doing, the Lord would deliver them; and this was the faith of Moroni, and his heart did glory in it; not in the shedding of blood but in doing good, in preserving his people, yea, in keeping the commandments of God, yea, and resisting iniquity.

Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.

I love this scripture because it tells us that we, through righteous living, have the power to defeat Satan and his temptations.

1 Corinthians 3-8

3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8 Charity never faileth . . . (goes on)

I love this scripture because it is a constant reminder to be filled with charity, the pure love of Christ.

Psalms 23:1-6

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadethme beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow ofdeath, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

I’ve always loved this passage of scripture. I like having it in my mind. It reminds me to be thankful for all of the blessings the Lord imparts upon me and my family. It also reminds me that the Lord is in charge and he will always prevail.

Doctrine and Covenants 122: 7-8

7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

8 The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?

This is one of my absolute favorite scriptures. It reminds me that all can go wrong in my life, but whatever I’m called to endure, the Savior has endured worse. He is the Savior of mankind and He was not immune to adversity. None of us are. Bad things happen to good people. As much as we all hate trials, we do learn and grow from them.

Alma 30: 44

But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.

I love this scripture because as I look upon the amazing beauty of this earth, I am reminded that “all things denote there is a God.” The earth is a living testimony of our Father in Heaven.

If you feel so inclined to “ponderize” in your life, choose your absolute favorite scriptures, the ones that have great meaning to you. They will be written on your heart and comfort you in time of need.

I can’t begin to tell you how comforting it is to have these scriptures written on my heart. They truly give my mind a higher place to go, a place where I can feel close to my Father in Heaven.

Give “ponderizing” a try. It will change your life. It sure changed mine.

Tell me your favorite scripture.

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