“Pondering often precedes contentment.”
During a Sunday School discussion of 2 Nephi 31-33, the same word kept coming to mind.
As a “Graduate Student SLP” I have spent a bit of time working on thought integration with patients. Particularly those with right CVAs (or cerebral vascular accidents, otherwise known as a stroke). These discussions are usually quite challenging because thought integration is something typically severely impacted in a right CVA injury. Essentially, it is what it sounds like, integrating all the pieces of the information to complete a thought, idea or concept of a particular subject.
For example: if you saw a picture of a woman, a table set for 2, pots and pans on the stove and a clock that read 6:00, you could reasonably conclude (often without really even thinking about it) that this is a picture of a woman likely waiting for another person to arrive so they could eat dinner together. They’re having something hot for dinner because the food is on the stove. Additionally, you could probably also assume that she was waiting for her husband to get home from work to share the meal she has prepared.
Easy enough for you and I, but for others this can and is extremely challenging.
Integration. We do so much of it automatically. But what about the times when we don’t integrate what we see and know with our actions and our attitudes.
I think Nephi’s final message and plea is for us, the readers of his words, to integrate the teachings of the doctrine of Christ into our lives in so much that it changes the way we act, the things we do, and the way we view ourselves and our relationship with our Savior Jesus Christ.
To integrate, we have to read beyond merely what is written on a page. We must ponder. We must apply. We must assimilate what is being said to us–our day, our life, and our individual situation. Hence, the quote above, “pondering often precedes contentment.”
When we have taken the time to ponder a concept and integrate it–apply it to us to the point that it could be reality–then we can be more easily be content with our current situation and remain hopeful about the good things we know are to come. Knowing, understanding, and integrating the doctrine of Christ as found in 2 Nephi 31-33 can help make this a reality for us.
***Post inspired by the talk: Content with the Things Allotted Unto Us by Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, given April 2000.