As I said a little while back, I listen to the LDS Voices podcast every day, because I love the little spiritual boost that it gives me to start off my day. Recently I have had a few strike me more profoundly than the others, so I have decided to share a little bit (what struck me and/or why) with you guys. Usually things strike me profoundly when I have a personal application for it (strange I know <-- sarcasm), so please know that if I put something up here it is not because I'm trying to make a point to anyone about what I see that they need to work on. I put it up because I see the need for it in my own life.
This morning I listened to a talk--given by John Bytheway at BYU Education Week in 2008--called "Weed Your Spirit, Grow Your Testimony." Click here to listen to it (it's 51 minutes 24 seconds in length) if you so desire.
We talk a lot about gaining a testimony in the Church. Brother Bytheway points out that the scriptures don't talk about gaining a testimony; they talk about growing a testimony (he references both the parable of the sower and the seeds and Alma's chapters on planting the seed in fertile soil). A testimony--as much as we want to treat it as such--is not something that comes once and then BAM... you're saved. This ain't Glen Lerner's "One call, that's all" program. It takes work, watering, clearing of weeds, etc. to grow and cultivate into something that can blossom and bring forth fruit.
Another thought that impressed me is that if you want good things to grow in your garden, you have to put them there; they don't just magically show up after you clear the land. Similarly, if you want good things to grow in your heart, you have to put them there. The weeds of a garden and the weeds of life will show up on their own--you don't have to go looking for them--but expecting a strawberry patch to sprout up in your backyard (especially here in Vegas) without you having first looked for, found, and planted the seeds is silly beyond all measure.
A third thought that impressed me was that all we have to do to lose our testimony is nothing. The weeds will come and choke out our garden if we are not proactively working to grow what we have planted.
The next Gospel Talk will be about a talk that has really shaken some of the foundations of my life (and in the best possible way). Today's talk, by old Johnny B., is an extension of the thoughts from that other talk: What are we bringing into our gardens and how well are we recognizing the weeds from the good things we are planting?