In LDS General Conference we were invited to “Ponderize” (80% ponder + 20% memorize) a different verse of scripture each week! Elder Devin G. Durrant, challenged us to do this for at least 4 weeks in a row. He also asked us to imagine ourselves doing it for a year, two years, five years… even 20 years! Imagine how many scriptures we would have deep in our minds and souls by doing this one simple spiritual habit. It certainly gives a fresh new perspective to “feasting upon the word of God.”
“If you choose to ponderize weekly, you may feel a bit like a person who has enjoyed snorkeling in the past but has now decided to try scuba diving.
With that decision, a deeper understanding of gospel principles will be yours and new spiritual perspectives will bless your life.”
I love it! Let’s DIVE IN DEEP to the scriptures!
Here is my verse for Oct 4-10, 2015.(and let’s see if I can be consistent about sharing these each week with you!)
Ezekiel 36:26 (and verses 27-28 for deeper context).
I found this image online. I apologize that I don’t know who created it or remember where I found it. I believe it was linked to a Torah study site, and I think it provides some brilliant insights that I had never really thought about before with this verse. This is actually a passage I’ve loved since my life changing five month study abroad experience in Israel nearly 30 years ago.
During my time in Israel, the late Elder James E. Faust of the twelve apostles (whom I always adored, and who was the grandfather of my sweet High School friend Tina) visited us on two occasions. He was a master teacher and scriptorian. It was during one of his Sacrament Meeting talks that he shared Ezekial 36:26 and I’ve never forgotten it.
Although I had read the Bible before that, and I’m sure I’d read it before, it felt like the first time I had ever heard the words. It sunk deep into my soul. I loved the imagery of getting “a new heart” – giving away the “stony heart” and replacing it with a heart of “flesh” – or, in other words, a living – malleable, soft, learning, growing, flexible, feeling, sensitive to the Holy Spirit – heart.
I love the deeper message illustrated in the image above regarding “The New Covenant” meaning “a new heart.” When we make and keep covenants (sacred promises) with God, we certainly do offer up our heart to God as a symbolic sacrifice, and in return we receive “a new heart” from Him. Purified. Stronger. Greater capacity to endure through trials and love others with a godly love. Covenants with God in His church are made through outward ordinances (a sacred ceremony) such as a baptism, a priesthood blessing, a marriage, or the act of partaking of the holy sacrament on the Sabbath day.
Like the Lord’s followers in ancient days, the Latter-day Saints are a covenant making and covenant keeping people!
This week’s scripture motivates me to dedicate more time to pondering, making, keeping and renewing my covenants with God.
Ponderizing is somewhat like adding a new time-release vitamin to your current spiritual diet…
Can you imagine how your life and your family’s life will be changed if you write a new verse of scripture on your heart and mind every week for the next few months or few years or longer?
What verse will you be Ponderizing this week? – MoSop
Watch Elder Devin G. Durrant’s Talk: “MY HEART PONDERETH THEM CONTINUALLY”