BYU WOMEN’S CONFERENCE – 1 May 2020
“My middle daughter has recently learned to drive. In her drivers’ education class, she drove a simulator machine before sitting behind the wheel of a real car. The real car is much harder to drive; the stakes are so much higher. On the simulator machine if you run a stop sign, it will tell you that you made a mistake and make you start a new round. In real life, if you run a stop sign you could severely injure another person.
Driving a real car is dangerous, but it’s also the only way to really learn.
Living in a body is also dangerous. People, disease, gravity, and our own clumsiness hurt us—they can kill us or they can wound us in ways that feel even harder than death.
But there are lessons that only our bodies can teach us.”
I was talking with my own children about this. What can we only learn from our bodies – things that we can’t learn from reading our scriptures, or from watching a youtube “how to”, or from listening to podcasts, or whatever?
I learned from the scriptures to “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” I love that scripture in Proverbs – I have loved it since I was a child. But until I didn’t place in my high school debate State competition, until I didn’t get accepted into my first university of choice, until I served in Centurion where no one wanted missionaries, until I lost my child to a condition I have that is not supposed to be hereditary, etc etc., until I had the opportunity to practice trusting the Lord, and not leaning on my own understanding, I couldn’t have learned that lesson.
I have learned so much from Brooke Castillo’s podcast about my human brain. But until I went ahead and set the goal to floss my teeth each night, and until I used my brain to mentally and physically rehearse my night time routine, including flossing my teeth, I couldn’t have created that new neural pathway. I couldn’t have improved in that way, that quickly, without a body.
I learn humility from my human body. I learn to rely on others’ strength, at times. I learn something about my own strength. I learn gratitude for something that has served me so wholly, so consistently, with very little acclaim – my human body.