Sunday on Monday is a Come, Follow Me–based podcast where host Tammy Uzelac Hall and her guests really dig into the scriptures each week. On a recent episode, Tammy was joined by Susie Hernández, an elementary school counselor in New Mexico who teaches children social and emotional skills. In the podcast excerpt below, Tammy and Susie discuss the significance of the Savior going alone to a mountain after performing a miracle.
This podcast excerpt has been edited for clarity.
Susie: “When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.”
Tammy: What are your thoughts on the Savior taking time to be alone?
Susie: I’m an elementary school counselor, and I was thinking about how sometimes kids in school need a little time to be away from everyone to regroup, to feel their feelings. They need to feel the anger, to feel the sadness, to feel the frustration—and not have to worry about who’s watching or if they are going to get in trouble or get made fun of. So they come to my office, and there’s a quiet space there. And sometimes they just sit there; they don’t want to talk to me. They’ll just sit there quietly. And I always tell them, you can take as much time as you want, but you do eventually have to go back to class. So they’ll sit there and they’ll think, and sometimes they’ll cry and sometimes they’ll want to talk to me.
I think solitude is so needed to feel what you’re feeling and not have to worry about taking care of someone or impressing someone or having to feed someone. It’s just your time to be by yourself, and in our case to commune with the Lord and sometimes say, “I can’t do this; I can’t move forward.” Or to give thanks or express something that we’re feeling at that time.
I really love that the Savior went up to the mountain alone. He didn’t have to worry about feeding people. He didn’t have to worry about His disciples. It was just Him—His time to regroup, to think about what had happened. I don’t know what else He did up there except to be alone. And I think that’s something we need to do to be able to let go of things that are burdening us.
I think about how in the celestial room it’s so quiet. You’re there thinking about what happened earlier in the temple and conversing with the Lord. I don’t know what other people pray for, but I pray about what I want to change in my life, people I want to mend relationships with, and how I can serve better. And that, to me, is just like going up into a mountain where it’s quiet. It is so refreshing and so strengthening and helps me get ready for whatever comes next.
Listen to the rest of this episode and find more episodes of Sunday on Monday at ldsliving.com/sundayonmonday.
Susan Hernandez, who goes by Susie Q., was raised in Southern California and now lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the July/August 2023 issue of LDS Living magazine. Find past issues as well as learn how to subscribe for inspiration straight to your mailbox at ldsliving.com/magazine.