Daily Message – January 2nd, 2015
I listened to The Talent of Spirituality by Hartman Rector Jr., in the car on the way to Universal Studios Orlando today with #1, 3, and 5 and we had a good conversation about it afterwards. All of us can benefit from following the 11 steps to developing spirituality.
1. Prayer: But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul. [2 Nephi 32:8–9]
2. Fasting: “going without food or drink so that the senses are sharpened, the mind is alert, and humility is deepened. Awareness of our total reliance on God is a great boon to understanding and experiencing things of the Spirit. The Master fasted for forty days after his baptism. Moses fasted for forty days in the mountain before he received the commandments written by the finger of the Lord. I am not recommending forty days or five days or even two days in succession, but I am recommending twelve days a year and perhaps an additional day here and there as the Spirit directs. There is a special power that comes to the spirit through fasting.”
3. Attending Church: That thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day; For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High; Nevertheless thy vows shall be offered up in righteousness on all days and at all times; But remember that on this, the Lord’s day, thou shalt offer thine oblations and thy sacraments unto the Most High, confessing thy sins unto thy brethren, and before the Lord. And on this day thou shalt do none other thing, only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart that thy fasting may be perfect, or, in other words, that thy joy may be full. Verily, this is fasting and prayer, or in other words, rejoicing and prayer. And inasmuch as ye do these things with thanksgiving, with cheerful hearts and countenances, not with much laughter, for this is sin, but with a glad heart and a cheerful countenance— Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours. [D&C 59:9–16]
4. Paying Tithing: Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. [Malachi 3: 10-11]
5. Obeying the Word of Wisdom: [D&C 89]
“One of the most practical teachings of the Church regarding this principle is the Word of Wisdom. . . . Daily practice in keeping this commandment will do more in the development of true moral manhood than anything else I know. It is true. It deals principally with the appetite; but you show me a man who has complete control over his appetite, who can resist all temptations to indulge in [stimulants, liquor, tobacco, marijuana, and other vicious drugs]and I will show you a man who has likewise developed power to control his passions and desires.” [David O. McKay, Treasures of Life, compiled by Clare Middlemiss (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1965), p. 457]
6. Scripture Study: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. [2 Timothy 3:16–17]
7. Don’t Use Profanity: Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. [1 Timothy 4:12]
8. Don’t Speak Ill of Others: “You cannot speak evil of your brother—and this is particularly true of the Lord’s anointed—and still enjoy the Spirit of the Lord. Gossip turns off the Spirit every time. Of course, off-color stories and jokes are completely forbidden. You do not have to participate in these things; it is not necessary.”
9. Be Pure in Thought and Action: Avoid pornography in all it’s forms. Following the standards provided by Lord’s Prophets will help you keep your thoughts and actions pure.
10. Smile and be Sweet: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, and peace. Be happy, and you will find that it works miracles with everybody around you. And you really ought to smile even when you do not feel like it, because you become as you act.”
11. Sacrifice: “… instead of endlessly doing what you want to do you must do what the Lord wants you to do.”