Spiritual daily bread by Elder. R Seely
Or what can get out of today spiritually?
Today is Sunday the 23rd, most of you have more than likely dozed off at least once today, are thinking about what you need to get done in work, or are thinking about the lesson that you need to teach in 40 min. Some of you are wondering about what else you’re going to do this week. A couple of you are going to relax today and not think about work until tomorrow, unless you’re us, and you have a full schedule to get to. Doesn’t matter what you’re thinking as long as something comes out of your thinking. But what should you be thinking about during the Sacrament service is not work, or the lesson. But what I want to talk about is “How are you growing spiritually?” and “How can I continue to grow after Sunday”? I hope that’s what you’ll be thinking about throughout church today.
Most of the time we can say that we have spiritual insights at some point during the time we spend at church, but what about the other six days that we aren’t at church? A phrase that is used throughout the mission is “if we don’t have daily contact with our investigators, satan does.” The same thing applies to those who are less active and those who are active as well. We all need to be having daily contact with Heavenly Father through prayer and scripture study, and among the things that we ask for, we need to include being able to understand the promptings of the Spirit.
Let me speak first on preparing to receive “spiritual daily bread”. In a talk given by Elder Richard G. Scott entitled “How to obtain revelation and inspiration for your personal life” in the April 2012 General conference, he says
“…yielding to emotions such as anger or hurt or defensiveness will drive away the Holy Ghost…”
“…another enemy to revelation comes from exaggeration or loudness in what is stated. Careful, quiet speech will favor the receipt of revelation.”
These are the don’ts here are some of the Dos:
“…spiritual communication can be enhanced by good health practices. Exercise, reasonable amounts of sleep, and good eating habits increase our capacity to receive and understand revelation…”
And one last thing,
“For spirituality to grow stronger and more available, it must be planted in a righteous environment. Haughtiness, pride, and conceit are like stony ground that will never produce spiritual fruit. Humility is a fertile soil where spirituality grows and produces the fruit of inspiration to know what to do. It gives access to divine power to accomplish what must be done. An individual motivated by a desire for praise or recognition will not qualify to be taught by the Spirit. An individual who is arrogant or who lets his or her emotions influence decisions will not be powerfully led by the Spirit.”
Here are some of the benefits of doing the dos and not the don’ts.
“One must be ever mentally and physically clean and have purity of intent so that the Lord can inspire. One who is obedient to His commandments is trusted of the Lord. That individual has access to His inspiration to know what to do and, as needed, the divine power to do it.”
President Eyring in the October 2014 conference said
“We all know that human judgment and logical thinking will not be enough to get answers to the questions that matter most in life. We need revelation from God. And we will need not just one revelation in a time of stress, but we need a constantly renewed stream. We need not just one flash of light and comfort, but we need the continuing blessing of communication with God.”
Let’s stop and ponder that for a minute. There are more stories than we can count where one person or another has received revelation, about some of the consequences that would have happened if the leader wasn’t partaking of the spiritual bread. Think of this story from President Packer’s life.
“…That night near 10:00, two missionary elders came to the airport. We knew then that the planes would not fly. They told us there was a train leaving Munich for Berlin at midnight. The Elders took us to the train station, helped us buy our tickets, and saw us aboard the train, which would take from about midnight until about 10:00 the next morning to arrive in Berlin.
As the train was pulling out, one young elder said, “Do you have any German money?” I shook my head no. He said, “You better have some,” and, running alongside, pulled from his pocket a 20-mark note. He handed that to me.
At that time the Iron Curtain was very “iron.” The train stopped at Hof on the border between West Germany and East Germany, and the crews were changed. All of the West German crew members got off the train, and the East German crew got on the train. Then the train set out across East Germany toward Berlin.
The U.S. government had just begun to issue five-year passports. I had a new passport, a five-year passport. Before our trip, we went to have my wife’s passport renewed, but they sent it back saying that the three-year passports were honored as a five-year passport. She still had more than two years left on her passport.
At about two o’clock in the morning, a conductor, a military-type soldier, came and asked for our tickets, and then, noting that we were not German, he asked for our passports. I do not like to give up my passport, especially in unfriendly places. But he took them. I almost never dislike anybody, but I made an exception for him! He was a surly, burly, ugly man. We spoke no German.
In the train compartment, there were six of us: my wife and a German sitting to the side of her and then almost knee to knee in a bench facing us were three other Germans. We had all been conversing a little. When the conductor came in, all was silent. A conversation took place, and I knew what he was saying. He was denying my wife’s passport. He went away and came back two or three times. Finally, not knowing what to do, I had a bit of inspiration and produced that 20-mark note. He looked at it, took the note, and handed us our passports.
The next morning when we arrived in Berlin, a member of the Church met us at the train. I rather lightly told him of our experience. He was suddenly very sober. I said, “What’s the matter?” He said, “I don’t know how to explain your getting here. East Germany right now is the one country in the world that refuses to honor the three-year passport. To them, your wife’s passport was not valid.” I said, “Well, what could they have done?” He answered, “Put you off the train.” I said, “They wouldn’t put us off the train, would they?” He said, “Not us. Her!”
I could see myself having someone try to put my wife off the train at about two o’clock in the morning somewhere in East Germany. I am not sure I would know what to do. I did not learn until afterwards how dangerous it was and what the circumstances were, particularly for my wife. I care a good deal more about her than I do for myself. We had been in very serious danger. Those whose passports they would not accept were arrested and detained.”
There is more than one example of those in the story being in tune with the spirit because they were partaking of the spiritual bread daily. ~8:29
On the one hand we have the young missionary (who is Elder Bednar) receiving inspiration to give him the 20 mark note (he says “That 20-mark note was worth six dollars, and six dollars to an Elder is quite a bit!”). And on the other Elder Packer using the money received to “pay off” an East German official.
In the end, preparation can only do so much. We need to apply all the things that we have learned through our scripture study. Allow me to take an example from my mission. My companions have taught that we need to be doing four things: learning, applying, teaching and, relearning. When we learn about something we see how it could be applied to our lives. We then apply it to our lives. And then we go and teach others through our experiences of applying it. And then we relearn the concept, but in a new way. Most of us have read the Book of Mormon at least once (if not, go and do so) and we have gathered something from that experience. During my most recent readings of the book I have more than once skipped over 2 Nephi because of its difficult-to-understand chapters. But I commonly miss something from those chapters that may help me help someone else. If I did not have those scriptures on hand, would I have missed something for a lesson that I might need to teach? But I read those chapters this time around and I was surprised at the depth of some of the teachings. I picked one or two of those teachings and then applied them to missionary work and my life. The changes that occurred were quite significant. My interactions with the members improved, my investigators progressed quicker, and even my companion noticed a change. I then went about teaching my companion what changes I have made, and various members were also taught the same principles. I then was given some inspiration from a member on how another set of ideas could improve the experience I had with this, and I have began the process all over again. Obtaining the spiritual bread is a long and labor intensive process, but the results that came from it are well worth the effort.