Emily Belle Freeman



Living Deliberately

3 Nephi 12:34 - 3 Nephi 16:17

This weekend I had the opportunity to visit a place I have wanted to see for many, many years.

Walden Pond.

Perhaps you remember the significance of this location...

Years ago a man named Henry David Thoreau was looking to find his way in life.  After a restless period of seeking, a friend advised him, "go out...build yourself a hut, and there begin the grand process of devouring yourself alive.  I see no other alternative, no other hope for you."

And so he embarked on a two year journey.  He built a small one bedroom shack next to the pond.  He learned what it meant to live simply.

He said:

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach,

and not, when I came to die,

discover that I had not lived."

I love this thought of living deliberately. Fronting the essentials. Discovering how to live.

As I walked around the lake two questions filled my mind.

What is essential? How might I live each day more deliberately?

Could the answers to those two questions help me to discover how to live better?  More abundantly?  With purpose?

As I walked I thought how sad it is that we each don't have the opportunity to escape for two years to a place of beauty, quiet, and serenity.  A place that would allow moments for pondering and deep reflection.  A place where we could separate the complexity of our life into something more simple.

Few there be that find and experience that kind of opportunity.

I thought of that again today as I read through 3 Nephi 14:14, "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

A Walden Pond verse.  A verse about what leads to life.  The Gate.  The Way.  A verse about living deliberately.

Few there be that find it...

I wanted to go back to the pond, the place of serenity, so that I might ponder the scripture I had read...so that I might discover how to live.  Deliberately.

And then I remembered the pictures I took on that beautiful October morning.

Do you have a few minutes?  Would you like to escape to a place of beauty and quiet and serenity?  To reflect.  To ponder.  Maybe shut the door, turn on one of your favorite thinking songs, and immerse yourself, for just a moment, in the beauty of Walden Pond.

It won't take long. It will be worth it.

Think about your life for a minute...

What is essential?

Can you picture them, the very most essential things in your life...what are they? Maybe you could make a list.

It might help as you begin to answer the next question...

How can you live each day more deliberately?

Is it hard to decide?

Look again at the essentials.

Now, with those in mind ...how can you live each day more deliberately?

If inspiration doesn't come easily, pray that the Keeper of the Gate, the One who knows the way will guide your thoughts.

Out of the complexity a narrowing will begin taking place. Things will become clear.  Straight.

Leading unto life.

The way He would have you live it.



So that at the end of each day you will discover that you have lived.




Emily Freeman