Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mormon Morsels: Mind Fields

"The mind is like a field: you will harvest whatever you plant in it if it is nourished."
--Grant Von Harrison, Drawing on the Powers of Heaven

One of the main ideas in the book Drawing on the Powers of Heaven is that learning to control our minds is vital to our success and what we are able to accomplish in this life.  Harrison says, "Your life is influenced more by your thoughts than anything else."  And really, he's right.  We become what we are thinking.  Our thoughts influence how we handle challenges, relationships, faith, self, prayer.  It takes a sustained mental effort to think positively and be believing, especially over a long period of time or during a particularly challenging trial.  Thinking negatively, however, is as easy as pie and requires no effort.  

Negative thinking, or stinkin' thinkin' as Zig Ziglar would say, has been a particular challenge in my life.  A natural-born editor, I tend to very quickly see what is wrong or needs to be fixed.  It's just so easy to point out the negative, so natural.  Yes, so much the "natural man".  And when we don't make a real effort to control our thoughts we are "prone to dwell on petty feelings (e.g., resentments, offenses, jealousies, anxieties, strife, contempt, self-pity)".  Stinkin' thinkin', indeed.

"Look unto me in every thought;"
--Doctrine & Covenants 6:36

How can we overcome this?  A constant prayer in the heart and a conscious desire to change.  And faith, looking to the Lord in all our thoughts, which is part of what it means to pray continually.  Lots of faith that the Lord really can help us have a new heart, and a new mind where this stinkin' thinkin' is concerned.  I really think that is a recipe for success.  In fact, I know it is.  It worked for Enos; it can work for us, too.

So what are you nourishing in your mind field?


  1. Hopefully your mind field does not become a mine field! Great thought Julie!

  2. Wow. I have been thinking about this a lot lately, too. My father-in-law says that every time anything happens in our lives we IMMEDIATELY tell ourselves a story. From that story stems the reaction we have. Sometimes the story we tell ourselves is spot-on, and more times than not, it's completely inaccurate--which is why we have misunderstanding, hurt feelings, etc. I'm glad that I'm not the only one thinking about having a change of mind. Thanks so much for the boost today, Julie.

  3. Kara, that reminds me of another quote in the book from Hugh B. Brown:

    "Every man is a diary in which he writes one story while intending to write another. His humblest moment is when he compares the two."

    Love that.

  4. I have also been thinking about this (even before I knew you posted it). I think it's a tender mercy of the Lord that we have been pondering the same thing, b/c I thought this post was very helpful! It reminds me of Elder Oaks' recent conference talk: "Desire."