Janell Greenwood spoke at devotional today. Her talk is titled Loosen the String.

The title of her talk comes from a story in her talk.

“Joseph Smith explained this when he told the story of a hunter’s bow being strung too tight.” Greenwood said. “What happens when a bow is strung too tight? It loses its elasticity, rendering the hunter’s equipment useless.”

In her devotional she underscored the importance of having time for wholesome recreation.

In the talk she shares an experience when she was working as a Camp Director and Adventure Therapist in Michigan. On the first day she got a call and was told that her oldest step sister had been killed and her youngest step-brother was in the hospital both from a senseless act of violence.

She shared that because she wasn’t able to go out and hike, or go to the temple as she usually would have, she went swimming instead. She said that by keeping her body busy she was able to “think of almost nothing and yet focus on one thing.”

Going to the pool that day helped her avoid having an empty mind that Satan could have taken advantage of.

Be intentional

In her interview she shares that we can be busy all the time. We could pull out a phone and be looking at social media, but that would not be wholesome or help in any way.

In her talk she asks students to consider the next time they have some free time to do something that will bring value to themselves or to others. This can be for both single and married students with families.

“You see our choices that we make in wholesome recreation can lead us to greater joy!” Greenwood said. “Let me emphasize that Wholesome Recreation is a principle, when applied righteously, will strengthen marriages and families.”

Greenwood said choosing to introduce recreation into families lives will not only bless the parents, but the children as well.

“Parents through intentional application of wholesome recreation can heal relationships, build a child’s resilience, increase adaptability and help build a child’s testimony, helping to prepare their children to bring value to their own lives and the lives of other,” Greenwood said. “This requires intentionality on the part of spouses and parents.”

She encourages single students to start now by building in time for wholesome recreation. She shared a story of a young woman who regularly made time for Family Home Evening, roommate prayer and weekly church meetings. As a mother she continued in the same habits.

Renewing and Connecting

Greenwood shared that making time for recreation is not accidental. She suggests holding a weekly family home evening, family councils, meals and other traditions that are planned and scheduled.

When students come to her overwhelmed she asks them when was the last time that they did something that brought them joy. She then suggests they take 30 minutes for a walk or run. After they return they are happier and have usually accomplished more work.

To know if something is wholesome Greenwood says to consider three things.

1. Does this bring value to my life?

2. Does this bring value to the lives of others?

3. Can I feel the fruits of the spirit spoken of in Galatians through the activity I am considering?

As with everything she says the Savior is the perfect example. He carefully used His time to minister and connect with people.

Click on the link below to hear the full interview and on the link above to hear the full devotional.