Just after midnight on Friday morning, Kris Belcher, a beloved Deseret Book author and Time Out for Women speaker passed away. Belcher lived her life inspiring others despite many health challenges, including cancer that led to her losing her sight. In the wake of Belcher’s passing, Emily Belle Freeman penned the following: “She is finally able to see . . . it was the text I received just after midnight. And just like that, she was gone . . . one of the noble and great ones. And I held her hand, and I thought of the wisdom she gave every one of us. And the love. Oh, she knew how to love . . . and there was peace. #intothelight.”
Just last week, Freeman spoke on the All In podcast about her friend Kris Belcher’s desire to collect people’s “One Holy Thing.”
Morgan Jones: "Recently on 'Don't Miss This,' you all extended kind of a challenge in Kris's honor. And I was thinking that it would be cool to have you share what that challenge was and then to have our listeners, to extend that challenge to them as well."
Emily Belle Freeman: "So a couple of days ago, well, it was actually a couple weeks ago now, she called me. And she was struggling, she's in a lot of pain, excruciating pain. And she called me in tears. And she said, 'Can you give me five minutes and just help me get through the worst of this?'
And I said, 'Yes. What should we talk about?' Because she just needs a distraction at that time.
And she said, 'I want you to tell me about your one holy thing.'
And I said to her, 'I don't know if I know what that means. Like, what does that mean?'
And she's like, 'The Spirit told me I need to hold on to holy things. And so in these terrible moments, I'm calling people and I'm asking for their one holy thing.' And it was so interesting for me to stop for a minute and think, in the midst of the whirlwind that is life and everything that is going on, if I had to come down and say, 'What is the one holy thing in my life right now that I am holding on to?' what would it be? And we had a really sweet conversation about the power of loving like God does. In my mind, that is one of the holiest things in my life right now, is just learning to love at God's capacity. And how do we do that? Like, how do we learn to do that? And we talked about that for a while, then we issued that challenge on 'Don't Miss This.' And now her bedroom wall is filled with holy things. And they are the sweetest things. Some of them have to do with like the birth of Christ. One is someone talking about her daughter singing the Primary songs. Someone talked about sacrifice and their most painful moments being their holiest things. And watching people express what their holy thing is, right now, has actually been so amazing. I can't even tell you. So it'd be fun, if you extend that challenge, I will make a commitment to write down all those things on yellow sticky notes."
As a result of the conversation with Freeman, we challenged listeners to share their “one holy thing.” Answers ranged from scriptures to thoughts to people. In memory of Kris Belcher's passing, here are some of your “one holy thing” responses on the AllIn.Podcast Instagram page. Read all of the comments here. Thank you to each and every person who commented:
“When I find myself overwhelmed and/or not sure what ‘success’ looks like in a season, I repeat to myself ‘loaves and fishes’ as my prayer that He’ll take my meager offerings and attempts and expand them for His purposes. It’s often repeated in desperate hoping.” -@snyderem
“My family’s cheer and group hug after family prayer at the end of every day.” -@melinda.joy
“My first, and clearest, memory of an answered prayer. I knew God heard me. It was instant and clear. I know that God wanted me to know He was listening. That sure knowledge has been the foundation of my spiritual growth.” -@treanahunt
“I had a period of time when I was very ill. I remember thinking whatever things I can’t do . . . what I can do is always be faithful to my Heavenly Father and the sacred covenants I’ve made to Him. I could always pray and listen to the scriptures. Those are my holy things. I look back and remember the closeness to the Lord that came from doing those things that I could and knew the Lord knew I was giving all that I had to Him.” -@jsjudd13
“My daughter received a true miracle and was healed of a brain malformation through pediatric brain surgery. Her surgeon was an angel on earth for us and it made me realize how much we can bring about Heavenly Father’s plan through service to others.” -@onehm
“The last verse of Enos is what I hold onto. It’s comforting to me.” -@everyhomeneedsagrandma
“After my son passed away I needed to have the constant companion of the Holy Ghost. Having the Spirit was not only my direct connection with deity, but also with my son. It is where I feel peace, a feeling of calm reassurance that all is well.” -@kahustead
‘My one holy thing right now is my recently renewed temple recommend and all it represents to me personally.” -@erinfeathers
“His ability to mend the broken moments of my life. The Savior has blessed my life with the knowledge that He fixes the things that are broken in this life. Whatever might be the case in your life. Broken hearts, broken minds, broken families, broken promises, broken dreams. He knows your heart, He knows you. He knows me and will help me maybe not exactly how I want it but in the way that my Savior knows best. I believe one day, when I see Him, it will all be mended.” -@amberellensargent
“Mine is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. How lucky are we to have it? I’ll be baptized into the Church this weekend and I couldn’t be more excited. Because of His Atonement I’m able to receive this beautiful gift. My amazing husband is performing my baptism. Talk about a way to bring and keep families together.” -@giselle.e.sturm
“The fellowship of my ward. As a new convert, and living so far from my children and grandchildren, the encouragement and love I feel from my new ‘family’ is indeed a tender mercy.” -@mum3katengrace
“The legacy my mom left my by her example of always thinking of others. Even when dying of cancer, she focused on her nurses and family. It helped me so much and I always think, ‘What would mom do?’” -@rindaall
“2 Kings 6:16: ‘Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.’ Heavenly Father watches over us and blesses us every day and when days are dark and heavy, He sends angels and armies as needed.” -@mabaker49
“Knowing that we’re all in this together. The bonds and genuine joy found in making friends and family relationships is the most beautiful thing to me and can withstand and endure any sadness or pain that comes. I believe that. Remembering we’re all just on one big heck-of-a-rocky hike together makes me smile and even more so when we look after each other along the way.” -@ruby_olivia_rees
“Last year my husband went to the ER because of a bad reaction to an antibiotic, but while there they discovered a massive tumor in his back. As we left the hospital, we saw a big, bright rainbow. We were told it was benign. And then later met with the surgeon who would remove it., where we then found out it was not benign, it was cancerous. As we left that appt. we drove and saw another big, bright, massive rainbow in front of us. At this same time our son was having very concerning symptoms of leukemia and we needed to run a lot of tests. As we left that appointment and went home, another big rainbow appeared. They have become our ‘Holy Thing’—the reminder that He is with us through our storms and that hope is right around the corner.” -@jodibrimhall
“My ‘one holy thing’ is music that fills my soul. Two of my most treasured and sacred favorites are ‘A Gaelic Blessing’ by John Rutter as sung by the Tabernacle Choir and Rob Gardner’s hymn, ‘Fill My Soul With Peace’ from the Saints and Pioneers album. Both have come to me as answers from my heavenly home in times of heartache and longing.” -@kimmythequeenbee
“My One Holy Thing was seeing Christ’s Atonement change my friend’s countenance through his repentance. Christ’s grace met me there that day.” -@debbie.craner42
“Singing Primary songs and hymns to my kiddos at bedtime. One kiddo who has been struggling with anxiety loves the song ‘Abide With Me; ‘Tis Eventide’ and recently told me it helps him feel peaceful, like he’s watching ocean waves.” -@aeallen04
“The time I have spent with loved ones (especially my children) is so precious. Whether at a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal, a school event, watching a movie, playing on the beach, exploring a museum, or having scripture study together—these moments are so holy to me. So sacred.” -@patchistan
“My one holy thing right now in my life is my weekly temple attendance. For the past four months my husband and I have been going to the temple on the same day each week and to the same session. This commitment has brought an added measure of the Spirit and God’s love into my life on a regular basis and I find myself craving even more time in the temple. This one holy thing in my life has helped me through some dark times recently and I feel forever changed by it.” -@hollylesue
“My one holy thing continues to be the loss of my son, Carson. We lost him in a tragic accident in Park City, July 2012. The heartache and despair was overwhelming but at the same time I have NEVER felt so sure of the Lord’s grace and love. I know I continue to survive because of Him. I have come to know our Savior on a personal level and it is the most holy thing to me.” -@hzbch
“My one holy thing is my relationship that I have developed with my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ through the Book of Mormon! I love it with all my heart. It has answered my prayers more times than I can note. President Nelson asked us to ponder what our life would be like without the Book of Mormon. I don’t even want to imagine. My testimony is everything it is because of that book! My life and strength is what it is because of that book. My one holy thing? Unequivocally, the Book of Mormon.” -@comefollowmeforus
“Right this minute, my One Holy Thing is that I know Christ sits with me. He sits with me in the isolation of depression, which makes the isolation go. He sits with me in the optometrist for the 20th time, knowing they have no clue. He just sits with me.” -@anunexpectedme
As a young wife with two small sons, Kristin Warner Belcher was stricken with radiation-induced cancer, an illness brought about by lifesaving treatment she received as an infant for bilateral retinoblastoma. Five major surgeries within the space of five months left her physically and emotionally devastated — and completely blind. During that time, she discovered moments of spiritual strengthening that became holy places in her life — places of hope and healing. You can read her compelling insights about finding hope in the midst of heartbreak and tragedy in her book Hard Times and Holy Places.