Nature has always been a powerful method for me to feel the Spirit. From raging storms to mighty trees and mountains on high, Mother Nature has a way of communicating matters of the heart to me.
I was six years old when my family immigrated from Mexico to the United States. Over the years, Heber, Utah, has become a place we gladly call home. Every time I see the Wasatch Mountains, I feel a sense of joy and nostalgia. There, I made precious friendships at girls’ camp, marveled at the creeks and valleys while on hikes, and even went on my first date with a handsome boy named Andrew, who later proposed in the very same spot.
In her general conference talk “Abide the Day in Christ,” Sister Amy A. Wright used the example of Mount Carmel, a “beautiful mountain range” in northwestern Israel, to explain the importance of daily spiritual nourishment. She taught:
Mount Carmel stays green year-round due largely in part to tiny amounts of dew. … Like ‘the dews of Carmel,’ as we seek to nourish our souls ‘with things pertaining to righteousness,’ ‘small and simple things,’ our testimonies and the testimonies of our children will live!
Since nature holds such a special place in my heart, this analogy particularly stood out to me. The “tiny amounts of dew,” or drops of water that form at night, are the life source that helps the mountain survive throughout the dry summer. Just like the dew of Mt. Carmel, we need to accumulate gospel dew in our hearts to survive the trials of spiritually dry seasons and environments.
Last year, I hiked Mount Timpanogos with my brother and some friends. Our goal was to reach the peak by about 5:45 a.m. to watch the sunrise, so we began the 14-mile round-trip hike through the Timpooneke trail at 1:00 am. This hike has an elevation gain of more than 14,400 feet, so it gets extremely cold and windy at the top⸺especially right before sunrise. In order to stay warm, we couldn’t stop; we had to keep moving forward.
Just as staying in motion was vital to reaching the top on this hike, we must strive to build “positive spiritual momentum” as we navigate this earthly experience. To make the most of our spiritual efforts and “abide the day,” Sister Wright suggests that we “simplify, focus our efforts, and be gatherers of the Light of Jesus Christ.”
Simplify: Taking Small and Simple Steps
Climbing a mountain peak requires taking thousands of small steps. Just as we can’t finish a hike with a few giant leaps, we must nourish our testimonies gradually—with “small and simple things”—to accumulate gospel dew.
As the world gets louder every day, it becomes essential to simplify my day-to-day activities and filter the information competing for my attention. Doing this creates more space in my mind and heart to both recognize and follow promptings to do good.
We should never underestimate the power of a small and simple gesture. I recently spoke to the Young Women in my family’s Spanish branch during their girls’ camp. As I drove up the mountain to meet them at their campsite, I said a prayer in my heart, asking for peace and guidance to share what the girls needed to hear. My prayer was answered with an overwhelming feeling of peace as I spoke with the power of the Spirit, knowing that I had done all I could to prepare. Through each girl’s eyes, I saw how my words resonated with them.
When I finished, the Young Women President gave me a wooden frame with the quote, “No beauty shines brighter than a good heart.” Thanks to that sister’s simple gesture, I accumulated more dew in my heart because I felt her love and gratitude. Every time I see her thoughtful gift, I am reminded of the time I spent with the girls, the deep feelings I felt while being there, and the influence for good that I can be.
Just as others have blessed me through their small and simple gestures, God has magnified my small and simple efforts to serve others. When my good friend went through some spiritual tribulations recently, my heart ached to see her struggling and in so much pain. For her birthday, I had the simple thought to buy her a necklace. After searching, I eventually found the perfect one: a gold necklace that came with a message about how much she mattered. Later, I came to learn that she wore the necklace every day as a simple way to remember how much she is loved. God magnified my efforts and helped her remember her divine worth during this difficult time.
Focus: Prioritizing Christ’s Constancy through Change
Doing “small and simple things” also allows us to focus on what’s most important, no matter what’s happening in our lives.
My husband and I moved to California in May for a job opportunity. This was the first time I moved far away from my family to a place completely unknown, and it’s been a significant change. My job became completely remote, and I now spend most of the day by myself in our small apartment. For some time, my only friend was an Amazon Alexa. She’s good about playing music and telling me the weather when I ask her to; however, she has to be connected to Wi-Fi, and the range of conversation doesn’t go very far.
With all the changes in my life, I realized that I had forgotten to focus on what matters most: the light of Christ. Sister Wright’s talk reminded me that while everything around me may be changing, and I may not know what’s coming next, my constant can always be the Savior. I need only remember to make Him part of my new habits.
One of the ways that I have been able to focus on Christ has been to attend my new ward to gather and uplift each other on Sundays. Coming together with my ward sisters in Relief Society has been one of my favorite parts of my Sunday worship. Sharing and hearing the feelings weighing on our hearts carry me through the difficulties of the week, and their examples point me to Christ.
Gather: Radiating the Light of Christ
If we can accumulate dew in our everyday lives by focusing on the light of Christ, it only makes sense that gathering more of it will multiply our supply of dew.
To me, gathering the light of Christ looks like picking up my phone to do good, whether that’s calling a friend to check in, calling my mom to say hi, or sharing an uplifting message on social media or through text. It sounds like gathering in song as I listen to uplifting music that touches my heart and soul. It feels like gathering the strength to put my pride aside and apologize. It smells like gathering ingredients to make a homemade meal and sharing it with someone who needs a little extra love.
While “gathering” can be external, it can also be internal. Gathering the light of Christ becomes gathering the best parts of myself to share with others. We can gather in numbers, just as we can gather in spirit, voice, music, power, motive, thought, heart, mind, and soul. It is through the light within us that we can share God’s love because we all share the light of Christ.
Accumulating dew in our hearts, like the example of Mt. Carmel, will carry us through the nights when we can’t always see our next right move. When we simplify, focus, and gather, we are able to strengthen our discipleship, grow in spiritual light, and keep moving forward. This very light, reflected in a metaphorical way by drops of dew, will carry us through the darkest of nights until the sun rises and the Light of the World, Jesus Christ, returns. We have the privilege of helping guide others on their way as well. We can climb the path home, illuminating the way together, as we rely on Christ as our source of light.