The Planting of a Seed

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Jane H. Wise

Adjunct Faculty, Law School


Six months from an undergraduate degree in English and theatre performance I was wondering what on earth I was going to do after graduation. Graduate school? Get a “real” job? My father, an attorney (and I had no real idea what that meant), said, “Why don’t you go to law school? You love to read, you love school, you love to perform—you’re a natural.” The seed was planted, and it began to swell in my heart. It began to enlarge my soul and be delicious to me.

I met my all-through-junior-high-and-all-through-high-school-and-all-through-the-university-departmental-English friend and announced, “I’m going to take the LSAT next week. I think I’ll go to law school.” Mind you, this was 1973, so this kind of announcement was not greatly anticipated. In 1976 I was the 100th woman admitted to the Utah State Bar. The first woman had been admitted in 1873 before the Territorial Bar, and 103 intervening years had passed before another 99 women joined her in the ranks. So in 1973 for a woman to casually announce she was going to law school was a shocking thing.

“I think I’ll go, too,” said my friend. It took about 30 seconds for her to plant the seed and for it to grow and become delicious to her.

I was a theatre major. I still love passion and drama and spectacle. But what I have found and what I continue to see is that the beginnings of transforming events happen simply and quietly in the planting of a seed. That doesn’t mean that the repercussions of that seed won’t mean thunder and lightning in the soul, but the idea usually begins in a quiet thought, the remark of a trusted friend, a new and sweet inspiration that brings light.

In D&C 88:119-120 there is the suggestion that in establishing a “house of learning,” disciples of Christ will make the experience of learning sacred and holy, because it will be done in his holy name. “That your incomings may be in the name of the Lord; that your outgoings may be in the name of the Lord; that all your salutations may be in the name of the Lord, with uplifted hands unto the Most High.”

Our most sacred experiences are bound to us in quiet ways. We enter the temple to make covenants and receive promises that God will reveal himself to us in the sanctifying of our ordinary lives: our obedience, our actions in day-to-day situations, our quiet contributions to his kingdom. The decision to go to law school from quiet-inspired nudgings proved to be revelation from God.

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