Less Stressed More Blessed
Sister Wendy Nelson invited the women of the world during BYU Women’s Conference to “make a sacrifice of time to the Lord by increasing their time in family history and in temple work for the next 21 days.”
She invited a group of stressed and exhausted mothers to make a sacrifice and the success is in the results when she said, “these young mothers proved that it works. It works for women who have made covenants with God. Why? Because when covenant women keep their covenants, they have greater access to the power of God. The power of God flows into them, and that power, His power, generates a decrease in stress, an increase in energy, more and clearer revelation for their lives, renewed focus, courage to make needed changes, an increase in patience, and more time for what matters. That’s what these young mothers taught me as they kept their covenant of sacrifice.”
In my own life, as I have dedicated small amounts of time to this amazing work of redeeming our ancestors, I have found that God will open the windows of heaven and blessings will begin to pour out. President Packer once said, “The Lord will bless us as we attend to the sacred ordinance work of the temples. Blessings there will not be limited to our temple service. We will be blessed in all of our affairs. We will be eligible to have the Lord take an interest in our affairs both spiritual and temporal…Our labors in the temple cover us with a shield and a protection, both individually and as a people” (The Holy Temple , 182, 265).
A Sacrifice of Time
How do we make a sacrifice of time when we already feel as if we can’t accomplish everything that is already on our plate. President Oaks said, “We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families.”
“Consider how we use our time in the choices we make in viewing television, playing video games, surfing the Internet, or reading books or magazines. Of course it is good to view wholesome entertainment or to obtain interesting information. But not everything of that sort is worth the portion of our life we give to obtain it. Some things are better, and others are best. When the Lord told us to seek learning, He said, “Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom” (D&C 88:118; emphasis added).”
(read the full post about blessings associated with family history here.)
Recently in a devotional to the youth of the world, both President and Sister Nelson spoke. President Nelson invited the youth to “make a weekly sacrifice of time to the Lord, for three weeks in a row, to let Him know that you want to be part of His youth battalion—more than you want anything else. For three weeks give up something you like to do and use that time to help gather Israel.” (Worldwide Devotional)
21 Day Challenge
Although these two messages were given three years apart, they have a similar invitation to help us make a sacrifice and experience the blessings of family history, temple and missionary work. Were you inspired to get started yet here we are 3 years later or 3 weeks later and we haven’t made our sacrifice to the Lord? What might be holding you back? As you ponder your reasons, let’s share an idea to help you accept the challenge and find success in the call to action given both by President and Sister Nelson.
First, download this 21 Days of Temple and Family History printable below. One is blank to add your own ideas and the other one can be used to guide you through the next three weeks. The best part about this idea is that you get to “pick your play.” Think of it as a heavenly bingo card where everyone is a winner. The game of life is full of opportunities to serve our ancestors and help strengthen our own testimonies at the same time.
It Starts Tonight!
Once you have printed out your temple chart, decide if you want to work on this by yourself, as a family or with a friend. Next, it is time to “pick your play.” Do you want to pick a row and focus on it for three weeks, or maybe you like the corners or a column perhaps you want to black it out and do one a day or a few in one day. However you choose to sacrifice your time, just choose to do something today.
The Greatest Showman seems to be a favorite movie around the world. One song has hit me in a new way. I love the part that says, “What’s waited till tomorrow starts tonight. It starts tonight. And let this promise in me start. Like an anthem in my heart. From now on.” Let’s start tonight to begin the journey of a lifetime, to follow the prophet and reap the blessings waiting for you. Let’s bring our ancestors to their heavenly home!