By Cecily Markland
From the time I was a young girl, words have fascinated me and provided hours of entertainment. Often, when I was delaying my chores or when it was way past my bedtime and I still couldn’t pull myself away from my preferred pastime, I heard—so many times, in fact, that it still rings in my ears—the chiding from my mom or dad to “get your nose out of that book.”
I was almost glad for the few times when I was sick enough to miss school, because all I needed was a piece of paper and a pencil and I could spend hours writing down all the short words I could make by rearranging the letters in a longer word or phrase, like “Mississippi” or “Happy Birthday.” Or, I’d pick and ending, like “-at” or “-ight” and list as many words as I could think of with those endings.
It wasn’t until a little later in life that I realized words needed to be looked at as more than simple entertainment—or a way to escape my Saturday chores.
Over the years, I’ve come to realize the importance of my “working” words—and I am grateful for the opportunities I have as a freelance writer and editor to do something I love while still providing a roof over my head.
Even more than that, however, I’ve also learned that words have a place in our very salvation. “For our words will condemn us, yea, all our works will condemn us and we shall not be found spotless,” we are told in Alma 12:14.
Of course, words would be important to a Father whose words directed the process set the very planets in orbit … and to a Son, who was referred to as “the Word” who was “made flesh and dwelt among us."
In fashioning our conversations and our writings—and in every other thing we do—we are encouraged to look to Christ—and especially to the words of Christ.
In Alma 37:45, the words of Christ are compared to the Liahona, the “director” that was provided in the wilderness.
“And for just as surely as this director did bring our father, by following its course to the promised land, shall the words of Christ, if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise.”
I still love to play word games and I still love to read into the wee hours of the morning, but I’ve also learned to treasure and even to feast at times, on the words of the master wordsmith…and I love, indeed, what He continues to write on the tables of my heart!