Today’s Talk: My Heart Pondereth Them Continually
In this last general conference, Elder Devin G. Durrant encouraged us to “ponderize” the words of God. He defined ponderizing as “a combination of 80 percent extended pondering and 20 percent memorization.” For me, She Teaches Fearlessly has been a tool to help me fulfill the 80%–it’s helped me to think deeply about and apply God’s words to my own life.
Although “ponderizing” is a new word in my vocabulary, I realized that the concept is something I am familiar with. Memorizing and pondering scriptures has blessed me in so many ways. Ponderizing has helped me:
- Think good thoughts. Sometimes my thoughts are tainted with negativity, anger, immorality, or gossip. But regardless of how those thoughts were planted–by myself or others, I can push out the darkness and let God’s light pour into my soul. As I redirect my thoughts by reciting a scripture, I’m reminded of the primary song “hum your favorite hymn” [i]. As Elder Durrant said:
“When our minds are filled with uplifting thoughts and images, when we
‘always remember him,’ there is no room left for filth and trash.”[ii]
- Be comforted. Like anyone, I have experienced times of loneliness, anxiety, and downright fear; but in these trying times, previously ponderized scriptures have been there for me to call upon. And when I let those words into my heart, I feel buoyed up and filled with peace and strength.
“Learning, pondering, searching, and memorizing scriptures is like filling a filing cabinet with friends, values, and truths that can be called upon anytime, anywhere. . .” -Richard G. Scott [iii]
- Teach others. As missionaries during the “Preach my Gospel” era, we were not prescribed to teach particular verses of scripture in each lesson. Instead, we would prayerfully choose scriptures that would suit the needs and circumstances of each of our investigators. But although this preparation was valuable, we rarely used all of the scriptures we planned on, in fact occasionally we used none of them. Instead, our conversation with each person would reveal what they needed to hear. We would be led by the Spirit to a different verse–one we had ponderized. Being able to readily reference scriptures can be useful for teaching in other roles as well–as a visiting teacher, a relief society teacher, and a mom.
- Receive answers to prayer. Sometimes I will have a question in my heart and the Lord will enlighten my mind with a scripture that will help me solve my problem. One time in particular, my husband and I prayed for help to sleep train our daughter. Then one night in a dream, the words to two scriptures came to my mind. Those verses led us to make the changes necessary to have our daughter sleep through the night.
“How might your family benefit as you continually strive to fill your mind with God’s words?” -Devin G. Durrant
I believe ponderizing to be an inspired concept. It is more than a nice idea or even a worthwhile hobby, it is a lifeline from a loving Heavenly Father. As we ponderize, our thoughts can be purified, our hearts can be comforted, our loved ones can be edified, and our prayers can be answered. I know that God speaks to his children–whether in the form of scriptures, modern day prophets, or personal revelation. And I’m grateful for inspired guidance which, if followed, will help me “to elevate [my] thoughts and . . . feel closer to God.”