“What would a woman in Zion be like?”
That is a question that runs through my mind a lot. As I try to weigh my personal behavior, things I need to improve upon, start doing, stop doing… I think about a woman of Zion, and it helps me to see more clearly. “What kind of a neighbor would she be?” or “what would she do when her daughter dumps all of her goldfish crackers all over the floor and then steps on them?” I think about a righteous women in Zion and it helps me to immediately see what more righteous behavior would look like, and then I can try to emulate it. It helps me act rather than react.
So, as the New Year was approaching, I started thinking about this question and how I could become more like a woman of Zion in 2014. And then I remembered a book I saw in the Deseret Book catalogue and I went right to a nearby store and picked up the book “What Would a Holy Woman Do?” by Wendy Watson Nelson.
I LOVE this book. I really, really love it. I really, really, REALLY love it.
I expected it to be a large book in the $25 range, but it isn’t – it is only about 50 pages – and is only $10.99. I found that to be a great value to me because I have received SO much from this book – and I read it in one short sitting. By the way, the e-book is on sale right now for $3.99 – you can find it HERE.
Sister Nelson starts the book by talking about the plaque on every temple that says “Holiness to the Lord”, and then relates that to ourselves – and how can we live lives worthy of having that saying upon us. After all, we are told to practice holiness continually (D&C 46:33). So she took this idea and emailed several friends and asked them to participate in a 3 day experiment where they take specific tasks in their day and ask “what would a holy woman do?” and try to be holy while doing it.
So, for example, some questions that you may face in your day are:
– How would a holy woman handle or avoid conflict?
– How would a holy woman handle a chore that she doesn’t like doing?
– How would a holy woman prioritize her day?
– How would a holy woman get all of her children out of the door on time?
– How would a holy woman pray?
– What would a holy woman watch, read or listen to?
– How would a holy woman get her children to practice their instruments or do their homework?
– How would a holy woman handle a tantrum?
– How would a holy woman act when she is accused, underestimated, or misunderstood?
– How would a holy woman act when someone else’s child succeeds over her own child?
– How would a holy woman teach, and prepare to teach, her children?
– What would a holy woman put into her body, and how would she keep it healthy? Why would she do so?
I imagine that the further one gets into the experiment, the answers to the questions above may change and become more and more holy. One thing I really like about this book is that Wendy Watson Nelson shares several stories of what happened to people who tried this experiment. I related with every single one of them – I think I bookmarked half of the pages!
I was so impacted by this book, that I decided to tell you all about it and invite you to, if you would like, to take upon this experiment yourself. I plan on doing it for far more than 3 days. Although, I must warn you that it is very enlightening. I see things I am doing well, and many more things that I need to improve upon. It would be easy to get down on yourself, but that is when we really need to apply the question “what would a holy woman do?” and recognize that change and progress are worth a lot of effort, and we are in mortality to overcome the natural man – not dwell on the fact that we are one. 🙂
I recommend that you get this book as soon as you can – there are many chapters that can help you apply this question to your life. However, you can take on this experiment without the book if you cannot afford it right now.
* By the way, this is one of the reasons I also LOVE the book “52 Life-Changing Questions From the Book of Mormon” by John Hilton III and Brad Wilcox. A good question is a really powerful teacher and they take 52 questions asked in the Book of Mormon and apply them to our lives. It is another book with impact! Plus it will fill your arsenal of tools to teach your children with questions you could use to help them have some powerful teaching moments themselves. A good question is impossible to measure because it stays in the heart and helps us act.
I have some printouts that you can print, cut out, and put in key places to help you remember the question, “What would a holy woman do?”
Here is the PDF: What would a holy woman do Printout
I scattered these around my home. I put one by my bed and another on my bulletin board in the kitchen.
By the way – that temple painting is by Mary Romrell. That was an amazing wedding gift years ago!
I also put on on the television, and another in my wallet.
I have been surprised that as I have gotten deeper into this experiment I am seeing, feeling, and understanding things in entirely new ways.
I will be keeping a journal of my own experience, and there are several authors who I have asked to write about this topic – so you will be getting lots of help along the way.
And PLEASE email me any significant experiences you have. I would LOVE to hear them! firstname.lastname@example.org
* Note – I am not getting paid in any way for this review of this book. I just really, really love it!