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Male’ yad

By Justine Dorton

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.

About Justine Dorton

Justine is a mother to five children, and has a husband lodged somewhere (probably in the den). She is not very fond of speaking of herself in third person.

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