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April 30, 2020 - Stillness

As members of the Church, a culture of doing more and more somehow means we are more like Christ. If we find ourselves overwhelmed, stressed, worried, or not as spiritual as we want to be, our thought process is to do more. Read the scriptures more. Go to the temple more. Pray more. Serve others more. It is definitely concerning that religion is being equated to spirituality. When, in fact, these are two totally separate ideals that are both needed. It's not the Church's fault or even members of the Church that this is our mentality. Society, in general, is moving at such a high rate of speed, we get caught up in that phenomenon. If we want to get somewhere, we just need to hop in car or a plane. If we want to watch a video, we just need to pull it up on our phones. If we want answers to something, we just need to ask Siri or Google. Everything is immediate. So much so, that if it doesn't come immediately, we get frustrated, worried, or stressed. I'm reading a book called The Power of Stillness that I downloaded from Deseret Book. In it, the author relays a story about a student meeting a Buddha master for the first time. As they sit to talk and to drink some tea, the master is pouring the tea into the cup, and it quickly fills and yet he continues to pour, as it spills onto the table and onto the floor. The student finally asks, "why do you keep pouring when the cup is already full?". The master responds, "that overfull cup is like your overfull mind. You need to empty your mind if you want to take in anything I can offer you." Stillness doesn't just mean that you aren't running around. Or that you're sitting down watching TV. It means to calm your mind. It means mindfulness. Be aware of your surroundings as it relates to time and space. Be mindful of the processes your body goes through without you even thinking to do them, like breathing. It mean meditation. It seems counter intuitive to slow down to gain more. But that is what the Savior is teaching us. "Be still", He says. I, especially, need to seek for quality and not quantity.

David O McKay once said in a meeting with the Twelve:

"Brethren, we do not spend enough time meditating".

And King Benjamin in Mosiah 4:27 teaches:

And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.

Order! Heavenly Father is a God of order. Everything He does is order. So let us focus more on being still. Let's calm our minds. Let's not get caught up in the hustle and bustle that society is thrusting upon us. Let's stop and smell the proverbial roses....or literally, if necessary.

"Stop meaningless busyness and instead sit with loved ones. Sit with neighbors. Sit at the feet of our Lord and His Father."

Jacob Z. Hess, Carrie Skarda, Kyle Anderson, Ty Mansfield , "The Power of Stillness: Mindful Living for Latter-day Saints", 2019

"God doesn't burn out or use up one person to save another."

Wendy Ulrich

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