I just officially added #Ponderize to my spell check dictionary. I will be using it a lot this month as I spend my next #30Days Ponderizing a new scripture each week. During the October 2015 General Conference Elder Durrant spoke about Pondering and Memorizing a scripture each week. He called it “Ponderizeing”. Some have taken issue with members of Elder Durrant’s family trying to sell shirts promoting the phrase “#Ponderize.” Elder Durrant apologized and quickly removed the site. Then KUTV reported that the shirts were offered in the BYU Bookstore
Making money off of religious slogans is nothing new… The bookstore carries shirts with phrases like ‘Mormon. Know it, Love it, Live it.’ and ‘Lift where you are standing,’ a quote from Elder Dieter F. Uctdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency. ‘We have other conference-type quote T-shirts that the bookstore orders, and this is no different than one of those,’ Speckhard said.
While the timing could have been planned better, and maybe been done a little more tactfully, the selling of shirts does not change the spirit I felt prompting me to use this idea to have more focused scripture study. This week I have done that, and it has been very beneficial. That is the intent I believe Elder Durrant had, and they accompanying shirts was just a byproduct of that desire.
This week I Ponerized 1 Corinthians 10:13. It reads:
13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
As I read I used a tool I learned at BYU-Idaho where you write questions in the margins of the text and then spent the week seeking out answers through pondering, study, and prayer.
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man:”
What does it mean for a temptation to be common?
One of Satans most common tools is Pride. We just spent some time discussing it on the Podcast. The enmity of pride can be used to make us feel like we are better than other, but that enmity can also be used to make us feel like we are worse. Satan tells us, ‘You are the vilest of sinners, you are the only person struggling with this sin, everyone else in the ward is perfect and you are broken.’ The truth is the temptations that do so easily beset you are the same ones that affect many others.
That isn’t meant to diminish your struggle. The struggle is real. It is real for you and it is real for many others. Take courage that some have succumbed to the same temptation you have and have been made clean through the Atonement and other yet, have been strong enough overcome the temptation and you can too.
“…but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able;”
If we aren’t tempted above what we are able, then why do we sin so frequently?
By it’s very nature sin does not occur by accident. We may transgress the law in ignorance, but sin is a conscious decision. I found some insight from Doctrine & Covenants 121:35, “because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men…” When we sin we are putting something else before our devotion to God. It can be our natural man and carnal desires, it can be the influence of peer pressure, or it can be outright defiance toward God. So, what do we do when these temptations come?
“but will with the temptation also make a way to escape,”
What is my escape?
There have been many ideas that have been presented on this. A Primary Song suggests that you “hum your favorite hymn, sing out with vigor and vim.” Maybe a favorite scripture verse or quote will help you. When Joseph was tempted by Potiphar’s wife he literally escaped! There are many ideas and you can find the one that works best by trying them.
Part of what inspired this scripture was an article written by my wife about the Fight the New Drug movement. I helped her with some of the research and of the resources used this scripture. A Mormon Message about pornography based Jeffrey R Holland’s talk “Place No More for the Enemy for My Soul” gave me immense courage in the fight with Satan.
Picture the faces of those who love you, and would be shattered if you let them down!
“that ye may be able to bear it.”
Why are some burdens removed and others simply borne?
When Alma and his followers were put under bondage by the wicked priests of Noah, they had heavy burdens placed upon them. In answer to their secret prayers, their burdens were made light, but not initially removed. There was nothing of their own power that could remove them bondage, it was only through the power of God. Likewise, the only way for us to overcome the temptation to sin is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. That is what is needed to “wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.” (Mosiah 5:2)
What was your scripture this week? What insights did you gain? Have you benefitted from Elder Durrant’s invitation to Ponderize?