I really don’t like gimmicks. I feel like we think we have to come up with a clever program at church to get people to act. Bearing testimony as a quorum/class challenge, having a missionary tie to encourage sharing the gospel, or a color chart for seminary scripture mastery. It reminds be of President Packer’s 1985 Ensign article where he cautioned that “…when we are overprogrammed [revelation] sometimes is smothered.”

I recently rediscovered the music of the Pioneer Sesquicentennial Spectacular. (available now on VHS!) It was a mission favorite and much of it is pretty awful. One of the songs that always stuck out to me was “30 Days.” (Sung by George Dyer who I sung with for Messiah in America) It basically compares the tempering process of a brick to us as we go through trials and experience. This tempering makes us stronger.
30 Days to Make a Brick- Kiln
Last month I had a great time with my Unsabbatical. I was actually disappointed when it was over. Then at General Conference, Elder Durrant suggested that we Ponderize a scripture every week. I love the idea and wanted to do it for the next month. Then Elder Durrant outright extended the invitation.
30 Days to Make a Brick- Minecraft Clay to Bricks
Why don’t I commit to doing it for 20 years? Because I know I won’t. In President Packer’s previously referenced article, he declares that there is nothing wrong with having programs or ideas. The problem comes when we become so focused on the program, we lose sight on the principle behind it.
Why will I commit for 30 days? The principle behind my Unsabbatical was to increase my commitment to my leaders and serving when asked. After 30 days of saying “yes” to everything I found joy in service and have become more likely to service when asked in the future, without feeling obligated to say “yes” every single time, when maybe someone else needs that blessing, or my family might need me more. 30 days of ponderizing is based on the principle that there is power found in studying and pondering the words of the scriptures. Next month I might not ponderize still, but I expect that I will have a deeper love of the scriptures and look to them more often for help and guidance.
30 Days to Make a Brick- Large Kiln
It takes 30 days to make a brick. “Folks are like that too.” They say it takes 30 days to make or break a habit. My hope is that I can make some good habits 30 days at a time, and maybe break some bad ones.