My Testimony for Today

As I walked into church last week, I shook hands with the people I passed by, I embraced the sisters I saw, I patted the children underfoot. My hands touched and moved across the members of our ward as we mingled with each other before the services started.

On Monday, I washed and folded laundry, wrote two thank you notes, played with a pencil while working through 5th grade math homework.

As I worked in my kitchen on Tuesday, I held a telephone to make Visiting Teaching arrangements. I ladled soup into containers to take to neighbors. I wrapped up cookies for children to take to school and enjoy.

Wednesday brought my hands into contact with a talk from Elder Uchtdorf to read and prepare to teach. They made notations, underlined, and thumbed through the scriptures. I spent time sweeping, hugging a distraught friend, and fumbling along the keys during piano practice with daughters.

During much of the daylight on Thursday, I worked in my calling, taking care of much needed items that I had been set apart to do. I found myself hugging and cuddling with children in the evening, and holding hands with my sweetheart as the day drew to a close.

There was only one goal for Friday, which was accomplished by keeping my arm around my daughter’s shoulders as we spent the day together, ignoring most everything else to visit and strengthen each other.

As this week is drawing to a close, I consider what my hands have seen this week. Male’yad is the Hebrew word which the King James Bible has translated into ‘consecration’. The word consecration is, in Hebrew, and translated literally, “filled hands”, or sometimes “open hands”.

As I stretch out my open hand to embrace someone at church, idle away on the computer, or ladle soup for neighbors, I fill my hands with that which I have dedicated my time. Are my hands open to give and to receive? Are they filled with the work of the Lord? I have covenanted to do so, and how I spend my time – where my hands are busy – tells the Lord where I am truly willing to sacrifice. My hands speak to the Lord in their actions every day, filling themselves with the treasures I truly hold.

Hugh Nibley stated, “the “filled hand” is the widespread sign of offering sacrifice.”1 I pray my sacrifice this coming week will be one that fills my hands with the work of God. I hope my open hand is filled with the sacrifice of my time that will keep the Spirit in my life, and make my work a true consecration to the Lord. I pray I can live up to the covenants I have made for the use of these hands.

1. Hugh Nibley, “Sacred Vestments,” Temple and Cosmos, 106.

November 13, 2009


  1. jendoop

    November 13, 2009

    Wow, thank you for this lesson.

    We don’t often talk about consecration. Is it almost taboo? I appreciate the reminder that this kind of life is what I’ve committed to. I hope it will make me less likely to complain about having my hands full 🙂

  2. Paula

    November 13, 2009

    Good. For a minute there I thought this post was going to be about contracting H1N1 from contact with somebody at church.

    Love that we can take the time to be aware of the many things our hands can do. Time to use my hands to help my daughter put on her jammies. (Blogging isn’t one of those consecrated things my hands do, but “there is plenty indeed for my two hands to do!”)

  3. Natalie

    November 14, 2009

    I read this and all I could think about was Swine Flu (so, ditto Paula).

  4. Carol

    November 14, 2009

    This post is a masterpiece. We may not realize how we truly consecrate our lives by the seemingly small things we do each day that make such a big difference.

    Thanks for reminding us that as we open our hands through service we fill our hands with blessings unmeasured. I am constantly amazed at how richly God blesses us as we offer him our hearts.

  5. traci

    November 14, 2009

    Asking for the Lord to consecrate my day is something I have fallen out of. NowI feel I can be more specific. Consecrate my actions – and maybe then I can look at what I do?
    This week again I spent much frustrated time in church working on committeess – nothing really bad, just a lot to do in a short period of time. When I came home to whiz thru the house before DH came – I thot how unfair that I spend a day at church, he works, and comes home to nothing special. So I worked to set up a desk for his writing, that he has been wanted to have for weeks. As I work at church I continually ask myself – what amount of time is fair to him, is dinner ready is the house in place? I think of this often because I was single so long, that these are new thots. Yes, I need to do service, but not to the detriment of my husband – I believe my 1st calling the Lord has given me. This post makes me look at this differently – consecration.

    And blogging – I believe the part I play hereis part of consecration – becuase my mission becomes clearer. And the blog of mine – shares my life with others. Blogs can be consecrated too.

    Thank you so much – I love to come here and ponder!

  6. Annie

    November 14, 2009

    Beautiful thoughts and writing, Justine. I’ll look at my week differently now and give a similar prayer.

  7. Justine

    November 14, 2009

    Paula and Natalie, sorry if I unintentionally misdirected your thoughts.

    The ideas that I’ve been reading and studying about consecration have definitely reminded me more of the covenants I’ve made, and the symbolism of my full hands. It’s a beautiful way to keep it in the front of my mind.

    And Traci, I certainly think blogging can be what we make it. I know I have strengthened my testimony by reading some beautiful words that people have been bold enough to s hare, and it can be used as escape from our lives, which isn’t always a positive.

  8. Kay

    November 14, 2009

    I loved this. I love the way Segullah often gives me sonething to take away which will help make my life better, and therefore the lives of my family too.

    What have I touched this week that has really helped? One thing that comes to mind, is putting on a full funeral feast for our children when the hamster died. As Huw (9) said, he was a part of our family, and they wanted to celebrate that. Cooking shows love in our house, so baking their favourite brownies and making my husbands favourite soup especially for him also counts. Countless other things come to mind, from cuddles with my children to preparing my primary lesson. Some days are good, others I could do more with my time, as ever life is an unfolding experience for us to live and improve on.

  9. Marintha

    November 14, 2009

    Beautiful Justine. Thanks.

  10. Melissa M.

    November 14, 2009

    Justine, this was an absolutely lovely post. Some nights as I fall asleep I like to review what I’ve done that day, and I am happy when the day has been spent in serving and loving my family and neighbors. This post gave me a new way of thinking about it—what my hands have been doing all day. Thank you!

  11. CatherineWO

    November 14, 2009

    A lovely post. Arthritis and fibromyalgia have made physical touch very painful for me. It is nice to be riminded that the symbolism, the service, can still be there, even when the actual touch cannot be.

  12. Michelle L.

    November 14, 2009

    absolutely beautiful.

    I loved the description of your days and am reminded of the need for all of us (but women especially) to make time to nurture others.

  13. Melissa Y.

    November 14, 2009

    Beautiful. Thanks for giving me something to think about (and try to do).

  14. Adri

    November 14, 2009

    Beautiful post, Justine!

  15. m&m

    November 14, 2009

    I love all that hands can mean in our lives and in gospel symbolism. And I love thinking about how Christ says that we are engraven upon His hands.

  16. Sage

    November 15, 2009

    Wonderful post, Justine! I read some to my husband. Isn’t the gospel beautiful! I keep thinking of the symbolism of hands in the temple–but mostly love how the daily use of hands demonstrates our consecration.

    I will be pondering this for some time and trying to use my hands with more dedication.

    Thank you.

  17. Sarah in Georgia

    November 17, 2009

    Justine, your post inspired me to do a small art project at my house. I’ve posted about it here:

    Thank you for the reminder to make good use of my time and my hands.

  18. Justine

    November 17, 2009

    Holy Cow, Sarah, that is so great looking! Thanks for sharing it here. I love the imagery of busy hands, too.

Comments are closed.