During the Women’s Session of General Conference, our dear prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, challenged the women of the Church to participate in a 10-day social media fast.
I officially completed my fast, and I must say it was like a juice cleanse for my soul (not that I’ve ever actually done a juice cleanse in my life, but you get what I’m saying).
In his conference address, President Nelson said, “The effect of your 10-day fast may surprise you.”
I knew when he issued the challenge that I’d be blessed for participating, but I was surprised—surprised by how much Heavenly Father blessed me for it.
I learned a handful of important things:
I learned that my fingers have a mind of their own and tap the Instagram app almost automatically. (I had to delete the app from my phone so that I didn’t mindlessly and inadvertently open social media.)
I learned that I was wasting way too much time scrolling through pictures and posts of people I don’t know all that well.
I learned that I don’t need social media to keep in touch with the people who matter most to me.
I learned that I don’t need fancy vacations or a perfect house with white kitchen cabinets or 10,000 jumpsuits to be happy (although I am a huge fan of jumpsuits).
I learned that I miss the 90’s and the pre-Instagram/Facebook/Twitter era of my youth.
What I learned, though, doesn’t really compare to what I felt during my social media fast.
I felt PEACE. An elevated sense of peace. A life-changing peace. The type of peace I didn’t know I could feel while not in the temple or an inspiring church meeting. It was so refreshing to disengage from the world and political divisiveness and all those things that are just a waste of time. I felt the Spirit more consistently and more poignantly. Some of my most powerful spiritual moments and confirmations occurred during this fast.
I felt GRATITUDE. The Spirit blessed me with a heightened awareness of my many, many blessings. I wasn’t thinking about all the things I don’t have, but instead all of the things I do have that I don’t really deserve. I wasn’t making comparisons or envying so-and-so’s freshly microbladed brows. I wasn’t wasting time entering giveaways I knew I wouldn’t win for things I don’t need. My eyes were opened to the myriad blessings that God has been generous enough to grant. I felt lucky that everything and everyone I need is within my reach.
I felt PURPOSE. Because my mind wasn’t lost in cyberspace for embarrassing amounts of time, I was more deliberate about how I spent my day. I was more present for my husband and my son. I devoted time to family history work and ministering and revisiting the most recent General Conference Talks. My offerings were small, but I was blessed for simply trying.
I felt JOY. I felt so much joy because I felt close to my Savior, and that was definitely the paramount blessing from this social media fast. Eliminating unnecessary distractions from my life allowed me to focus more on Jesus Christ and His goodness. In just ten days my testimony of and love for Him has grown dramatically.
I know President Nelson was inspired to issue this challenge. Throughout the past week and a half, my heart burned with additional confirmations that he is a prophet called of God. He closed his conference address by blessing us with the ability to “leave the world behind.” This is the only way to lasting peace, joy, and ultimately eternal exaltation. Count me in!