Take Time to be Holy

by Lyndie Jackson

Like Martha in the New Testament, we can fill our to-do lists with worthy endeavors, including work, school, extracurricular activities, and so on. With all of these tasks, I often find it difficult to do what matters most. It can be exhausting to work through everything that we all have to do every day, but the words of a favorite song called “Take Time to Be Holy” come to my mind:

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on.

Spend much time in secret with Jesus alone;

By looking to Jesus like Him thou shalt be;

Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.1

Luke 10:40 says that “Martha was cumbered about much serving.” Serving is, of course, a good and noble thing to do, but sometimes we must choose between what is good and what is best. Christ gently reminded Martha that “one thing is needful.” Upon reading this, I wondered what is most needful in my own life—am I choosing the better part, as Mary did? 

In one of his addresses, Wilford Woodruff pointed out, “We are all dependent upon the Lord, upon his Holy Spirit, and upon the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ, for instruction, for light, and knowledge, such as is calculated to edify, encourage, sustain, and aid us in magnifying our callings in this life.”2

As Wilford reminded, we need the help and support of the Lord to do everything that is required of us and to complete our responsibilities—not just in the Church, but in our day-to-day lives. The last verse of the hymn sums up the blessings that come as we put the Lord first:

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul.

Each thought and each motive beneath His control;

Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,

Thou soon shall be fitted for service above.3

I testify that as we take time to be holy and rely on the Lord, we will be built up as we work through our neverending to-do lists. As we choose the better part, the best ways to spend our time and energy, we can be supported in the roles we have and find peace and rest.

Lyndie is working toward a degree in Public Relations at Brigham Young University. Originally from Idaho Falls, Idaho, she enjoys running, spending time with her husband and family, and reading. Lyndie served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Hermosillo, Mexico, where she developed a love for the Spanish language and the people there. She was drawn to the Wilford Woodruff Papers out of a desire to learn more about Church history and enjoys being part of the organization’s efforts to touch lives with Wilford Woodruff’s words.

  1. William D. Longstaff, “Take Time to Be Holy,” ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

  2. Discourse by Wilford Woodruff, April 22, 1860, The Wilford Woodruff Papers, wilfordwoodruffpapers.org/discourse/1860-04-22.

  3. William D. Longstaff, “Take Time to Be Holy,” ChurchofJesusChrist.org.