It’s hard to know when to stop being holy. Some things we are supposed to be doing, there are no natural stopping points. Can you ever do enough missionary work, when more people are born every minute then you can talk to in 60 seconds? Can you ever baptize the dead enough, when they die faster than you can baptize? Don’t run faster than you have strength, the scripture says. But conscience always whispers that maybe we have just a little bit more strength than we will let ourselves know.


“Quick! Quick!” shouted Aravis. “We might as well not have come at all if we don’t reach Anvard in time. Gallop, Bree, gallop. Remember you’re a war-horse.”

It was all Shasta could do to prevent himself from shouting out similar instructions; but he thought, “The poor chap’s doing all he can already,” and held his tongue. And certainly both Horses were doing, if not all they could, all they thought they could; which is not quite the same thing. Bree had caught up with Hwin and they thundered side by side over the turf. It didn’t look as if Hwin could possibly keep it up much longer.

At that moment everyone’s feelings were completely altered by a sound from behind. It was not the sound they had been expecting to hear – the noise of hoofs and jingling armour, mixed, perhaps, with Calormene battle-cries. Yet Shasta knew it at once. It was the same snarling roar he had heard that moonlit night when they first met Aravis and Hwin. Bree knew it too. His eyes gleamed red and his ears lay flat back on his skull. And Bree now discovered that he had not really been going as fast – not quite as fast – as he could.

-from the Horse and His Boy.

Worse, when you are trying to push yourself further in some gospel direction, its hard not to try and drag every else along with you. That’s just how the human character works. Commitment totalizes. The more committed you are to something, the more it has to affect everything you do, including your relationships and your loyalties. But a church full of either apathetic sloths or agitators for pet holies is a toxic church. That’s what authorities are for. They can say, “this far and no further.”  (Or, Aslan-like, they can push you to go further when you need pushed.)

Here’s Brother Eyring from last conference:

There are more hungry, homeless, and lonely children of Heavenly Father than we can possibly reach. And the numbers grow ever farther from our reach.

So the Lord has given us something that we each can do. It is a commandment so simple that a child can understand it. It is a commandment with a wonderful promise for those in need and for us.

It is the law of the fast.


If you feel directed to do more than this, do more than this. If God puts people in your path, attend to them. But above all, do this, and be content.

Here’s another passage from the talk. It also touches on the theme that sometimes it is better to take holiness in small sips rather than big gulps.

Many children, and some adults, may for personal reasons find a 24-hour fast difficult. It can be, in the words of Isaiah, felt that the fast has “afflicted [their] soul.” Wise parents recognize that possibility and so are careful to follow the counsel of President Joseph F. Smith: “Better to teach them the principle, and let them observe it when they are old enough to choose intelligently.”12

I saw the blessing in that counsel recently. One of my grandsons had found a 24-hour fast beyond his powers of endurance. But his wise parents still placed the principle in his heart. One of his school friends recently lost a young cousin to accidental death. My grandson asked his mother on fast day, at about the time he had always felt the fast was too hard to continue, whether it would make his grieving friend feel better if he continued his fast.

His question was the confirmation of President Joseph F. Smith’s counsel. My grandson had come to the point where he not only understood the principle of the fast, but it had also been planted in his heart. He had come to feel that his fasting and prayers would lead to a blessing from God for someone in need. If he lives the principle often enough, it will bring the wonderful effects in his own life, as promised by the Lord. He will have the spiritual blessing of power to receive inspiration and greater capacity to resist temptation.

My yoke is easy and my burden is light.

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