- We view our experiences in terms of eternity. As we draw farther from worldliness, we feel closer to our Father in Heaven and more able to be guided by his Spirit. We call this quality of life spirituality.
- To be spiritually minded is to view and evaluate our experiences in terms of the enlarged perspective of eternity.
He uses several stories from the scriptures to illustrate spirituality.
- This scripture reminds every Martha, male and female, that we should not be so occupied with what is routine and temporal that we fail to cherish those opportunities that are unique and spiritual.
- The Roman soldiers of Pilate provided an unforgettable illustration of the different perspectives of the carnal mind and the spiritual mind. During a tragic afternoon on Calvary, a handful of soldiers waited at the foot of a cross. The most important event in all eternity was taking place on the cross above their heads. Oblivious to that fact, they occupied themselves casting lots to divide the earthly property of the dying Son of God. (See Matt. 27:35; Luke 23:34; John 19:24.) Their example reminds each of us that we should not be casting our lots for the things of the world while the things of eternity, including our families and the work of the Lord, suffer for our attention.
He illustrates another example from a BYU Devotional from years past. This is one of my favorite stories and one that has lead and guided me as I raise my children in today's world.
- Here is an example of a spiritual and a temporal evaluation of an everyday experience. In a BYU devotional several years ago, Elder Loren C. Dunn described how his father, a busy stake president in Tooele, gave his two young sons the responsibility of raising cows on the family farm. He gave the boys large latitude in what they could do, and they made some mistakes. These were observed by an alert neighbor, who complained to their father about what the young cow-raisers were doing. “Jim, you don’t understand,” President Dunn replied. “You see, I’m raising boys, not cows.” (“Our Spiritual Heritage,” in Brigham Young University 1981–82 Fireside and Devotional Speeches, Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1982, p. 138.) What a marvelous insight! What an example for parents who are inclined to view and evaluate their children’s performance solely in temporal terms.
President Oaks then gives us some everyday practical ways of looking at the world through spiritual eyes. He starts by talking about priorities and serving others.
- A spiritual person has no priorities ahead of God. A person who seeks or serves other objectives, such as power or prominence, is not spiritual.
He then speaks about money.
- If allowed to become an object of worship or priority, money can make us selfish and prideful, “puffed up in the vain things of the world.” (Alma 5:37.) In contrast, if used for fulfilling our legal obligations and for paying our tithes and offerings, money can demonstrate integrity and develop unselfishness. The spiritually enlightened use of property can help prepare us for the higher law of a celestial glory.
- We seek spirituality through faith, repentance, and baptism; through forgiveness of one another; through fasting and prayer; through righteous desires and pure thoughts and actions. We seek spirituality through service to our fellowmen; through worship; through feasting on the word of God, in the scriptures and the teachings of the living prophets. We attain spirituality through making and keeping covenants, through conscientiously trying to keep all the commandments of God. Spirituality is not acquired suddenly. It is the consequence of a succession of right choices. It is the harvest of a righteous life.
So much of my study over the past couple years has been on how to become a better disciple of Jesus Christ. Spirituality plays a huge role in that because spirituality is the basis of strong communication with the Holy Ghost. I have found in my life, as I do things to invite the spirit in, I am more likely to hear and follow the promptings of the spirit. President Oaks gives us great examples of how to live our lives so we can be in tune with the spirit. I am glad we have great men leading this church on earth that are focused on their spirituality so the instruction from Heaven can be given. It is my hope that I can add things into my life that allow the spirit to be felt more often throughout the day.