The Beauty of Holiness | Courtney Casper
What does holiness mean to you?
I think being holy or feeling a sense of holiness is related to feeling and being whole and one with God and Jesus Christ.
What day-to-day practices help you to feel holy? Are there certain spaces or places that help you draw closer to God?
True communication with my Father in Heaven through prayer in many forms creates a sense of wholeness and holiness within my soul. Yes, I pray in many different ways! I kneel in prayer in my closet, one of the most sacred of places for me. I write prayers in my prayer journal. I whisper them in the dark before anyone is awake laying in bed. And having my family is united in prayer together even through giggles and mid-prayer reminders to stop jumping on the couch, is also a daily practice that brings me a sense holiness and wholeness. I love the idea of spiritual practices, because they leave room for growth and learning and imperfect people, like you and me.
Why do you feel it is important for you to designate time to focus on holy practices?
I believe it only takes a few intentional minutes focused on our spiritual life and practices to create steady and tangible growth within us. I have experienced the power that just a few minutes every day in The Book of Mormon can have in our lives. The time and effort spent are worth far more than their numerical value, and in the busy, demanding, and loud world we live in, finding the time daily to commune and connect with God and ourselves becomes invaluable.
What are some difficult choices you have had to make in order to feel aligned with God, and feel His holiness in your life?
Honestly, the hardest choice I have had to make in my faith was when I chose to take the first step back to Him after years of doubt, anger, and sin had taken me down dark and lonely roads. It was scary and felt hopeless. God felt like a fairy tale, and I could see no happy ending. But by a true miracle, I felt carried to the starting line, and with every ounce of courage I possessed, I opened The Book of Mormon for the first time in many years and read one verse. 1 Nephi 1:1. The Holy Ghost bore witness to me that this was where I would FIND everything I needed. Hope. Faith. Light. Love. God. And my Savior. Every day is another step towards Him and his grace and holiness in my life. Every day I have to choose to take that step.
What do you do when you feel a lack of holiness in your life?
The fastest way for me to block out darkness or doubt that I am prone to wandering through, is music. I love music and am deeply affected by lyrics and words. Last year I made it a habit to have a playlist on hand that quickly dispelled faith harming thoughts. This playlist especially helps me to remain focused on the goodness of God any time I am struggling to access His light.
Who has inspired you to follow a path toward God?
Moses. I read his miraculous encounter with God and the Red Sea to my daughters a few years ago in a children’s bible story book, during a time when I was at a personal crossroads, my faith paper thin and frail. I felt that my own road back to faith and light was just as impossible as the reality of the Red Sea splitting in two. I didn’t know if I had the courage to take the first step towards such a miracle. Turns out that first step was the miracle. And the parting of every new Red Sea Road in my life is the unwavering miracle of love and grace from my Savior Jesus Christ. I’m learning the path towards God truly is just one courageous step in faith. And then one more. And one more.
What can taking time to be holy do for our relationships with others? How has it affected your relationships?
Choosing to take time to create holiness within ourselves has transformed my marriage. It’s not something I speak about much, but it’s the absolute truth, and I feel like I need to offer that to anyone who is struggling in their own marriage. We were a little bit broken and not sure how to mend the hurt, until we decided that we would become closer to God individually, with faith that it would bring us back together in a new and holy way. Honestly, I was skeptical at first. But through my mustard-seed-sized faith, and both of our commitments to God and each other, miracles surrounded us and it changed our relationship into something I never knew was possible. It took time, persistence, and figuring it out, but creating holiness within ourselves, brought wholeness to our marriage.
How do you make holiness a priority in your life? How do you make it a concrete rather than an abstract concept?
Holiness looks like worship, prayer, scripture study, and love, for me in an everyday form. It’s feet-on-the-ground, physical steps towards those things that bring me to God and Jesus Christ. It’s acknowledging my weaknesses, with absolute faith that God takes weak things and makes them strong. It’s facing every season with hope and optimism that no Red Sea Road is impossible with my Father leading the way. It’s finding Him in every condition, sickness and health, in the middle, in the mess, in the mundane. Holiness isn’t just a line item at the top of my to-do list, it is the only item on the list. Because truly every other thing falls into place when that one concrete item is in motion. It’s not ever checked off, but instead constantly moving within me.
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
— Proverbs 29 & 96
Courtney is a wife and mother to their three daughters living out in the country in Eastern Washington. She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on a mission to spread the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through love, empathy, and lettering. Curator of the Wide Margin Book of Mormon and creator of the Find Study Guides. Courtney is passionate about keeping her heart on her sleeve and joining a sisterhood of women, committed to walking in faith and trusting in God. At the end of the day, she just wants you to know that YOU ARE LOVED.