Has anyone else found that they suddenly have a bit more time on their hands? It seems to be a common thing happening around the world right now. COVID-19 has brought many negative things, but I’ve been trying to put a positive spin on the situation. Personally, I have enjoyed spending a lot more time in the scriptures during quarantine!
Life in the Scriptures
I was recently reading in Ether and came across this scripture:
And now I proceed with my record; for behold, it came to pass that the Lord did bring Jared and his brethren forth even to that great sea which divideth the lands. And as they came to the sea they pitched their tents; and they called the name of the place Moriancumer; and they dwelt in tents, and dwelt in tents upon the seashore for the space of four years.
Perhaps you know what happened next:
And it came to pass at the end of four years that the Lord came again unto the brother of Jared, and stood in a cloud and talked with him. And for the space of three hours did the Lord talk with the brother of Jared, and chastened him because he remembered not to call upon the name of the Lord.
With the worldwide pandemic on my mind, these scriptures seemed more relevant to me. I may not be living in a tent, but I sure am dwelling in my home a lot more these days. We may not go without sacrament meetings for four years, but it’s definitely going to be more than a few weeks.
When this is all over and we get to return to our meetinghouses for Sunday worship, I do not want the Lord to chastise me. I asked myself, “Am I remembering to call upon the name of the Lord?”
Without church every Sunday, it can be easy to get complacent. The Sabbath can begin to feel like every other day of the week. My heart feels heavy thinking about the many people who could take spiritual steps back during this time.
What Can We Do?
This time of worldwide pandemic is not an excuse to get relaxed about the gospel. In fact, President Nelson said during this recent General Conference, “It has never been more imperative to know how the Spirit speaks to you than right now.” We should be using this extra time at home to become even more like our Savior, Jesus Christ.
I came up with a list of things that everyone can do to stay spiritually fit, no matter their situation. I hope it helps you or inspires you to help others! We can do this quarantine thing!
1. Set Aside Time for Study
First, make sure to put aside a specific time for gospel study. It could be in the morning, during your lunch, or right before bed. It doesn’t matter! You also don’t need to study for any certain amount of time. Maybe you have an hour or maybe you only have five minutes. The Lord will accept any time you have to offer!
The important thing is that you make a mindful effort to pay attention to the gospel. Listen to a conference talk while you exercise or make dinner. Watch a Bible video before falling asleep. Read a chapter every day. There are endless ways to accomplish this goal, especially while in quarantine.
If I don’t set aside a specific time to study, I find myself pushing it off. My study then loses importance and I don’t get as much out of it as I could. When it becomes a part of my routine and I make it a priority, I feel the Spirit way more.
2. Focus on Meaningful Prayer
My relationship with Heavenly Father always improves when I work on enhancing the way I pray. Trust me, I know how difficult it can be. Elder Christofferson gave a great talk about making prayers more meaningful. He said,
Our prayers can be brief through the course of the day, and it’s just what flows out of us naturally. The closer we get to Him, the more that happens automatically and we feel that closeness. It’s like having a friend and walking together through a hallway at school. You want to turn and talk to each other about what’s going on at the moment. And as you draw closer to God, that companionship, that friendship, if you will, tends to develop in the same way.
I love the idea that we should be forming a friendship with God. He loves us! I know that by making prayers more thoughtful, we will feel His hand more often in our lives.
Elder Christofferson also counseled that we should also look for opportunities to have long prayers. Have a quiet time and allow yourself to be taught by the Spirit. If you have a lot of kids around, quarantine prayers can be difficult. Know that the Lord sees your effort.
Praying with real intent will bring so much peace and comfort during this time of fear and anxiety. Follow the promptings that are given to you by the Spirit!
3. Participate in Come, Follow Me
Our leaders were so inspired when they released Come, Follow Me! This manual is for everyone and will bless your life immensely. My family has seen so many miracles as we have followed along every week.
Every individual and family will experience Come, Follow Me differently. Some do it every day and others do it only on Sundays. Do what works best for you and your situation. The manual has so many ideas, activities, and prompts to inspire gospel learning.
We actually have some incredible printables and lesson ideas right here on Third Hour! If you need some Come, Follow Me help, make sure to check those out.
4. Find Ways to Serve
Lastly, the world needs a lot of kindness right now. Serving others will not only brighten the lives of others, but it will help us to feel better as well! There are so many ways to serve people, even when we’re all staying inside.
Send a scripture to someone, video chat with a friend, donate to a charity, or sew face masks! Offer to do a grocery pickup for a neighbor who has to really stay in quarantine. Sing a hymn for a friend while standing in their driveway. I would love to see what creative ideas you have come up with!
Mosiah 2:17 says,
And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.
When we serve others, we are serving our Heavenly Father. Therefore, we are growing closer to Him! Turning outwards right now will most definitely help us to bring His Spirit into our lives and continue to improve even without our Sunday meetings.
You Can Do It!
Times are tough, I know. Reach out, read the scriptures, and come unto Christ. He loves us and is the light that will get us through these dark moments. I pray that we will all return to church when this is over and find that we are better people than before!
How are you staying on the covenant path during quarantine? We would love to hear your additions to this list! Let us know in the comments below.