I have dated many guys throughout my life and found that my church activities are very important to me. If they are not willing to go to church, the Temple or associate with my member friends, I feel a great loss.There would be an emptiness that is between us and I am not happy.
I know that I am very far from perfect and as one good friend pointed out to me recently: The church is like a hospital. We go quite frequently because we know that we need to have spiritual healing and this is the place to go for it. We have the opportunity to escape from the “Real World” and have a chance to find ways to heal our hearts. Even just going to church helps.
Another friend of mine had not been able to go to church because she did not have a ride and had to go home in the middle of it because she had to work. After finding out that this was the only difficulty, I offered to take her and her daughter to church but to get her home in time for work in the middle of church. After being at church the first week, the next week I asked her how her week was. She said that she noticed a big difference in just the way the week progressed. It was much better.
How does this affect the topic that I am addressing now? Well, most of us are looking for someone who has a spiritual focus. It is good to go out and play, to go to the dances, etc. But most of the ones going to the firesides are working on their hearts. If you have a Temple Recommend and find someone else who has one who uses it quite frequently, Bonus Points! Now, if you notice, I did not say that the other person just has one. But the focus is that they use it. And Frequently.
What about ourselves? Are we using our Recommends? Have we had to replace our covers because we wear them out? Have we been there frequently enough that the workers in the Temple know us by name?
There is a gentleman who was in a motorcycle accident many years ago. He finds that with his handicap, the only thing that he can do that creates service is to go to the Temple and spend each day there-all day long, doing sessions. I am not saying that we need to do as he does, but have you met him? Do you know his name? I had him as a neighbor for a short time and enjoy the spark that he has for his wife. He has a very sharp mind; he just has a difficult time getting the words out easily of what he thinks about.
I have another friend who prepares himself before he goes to the Temple so that he can bear his testimony to the person he is doing the work for. I truly admire that focus.
The word that we are describing and looking at is “Spirituality”.President David O. McKay defines spirituality as, the “Consciousness of victory over self, and of communion with the Infinite.” Really take the time to think over this statement. It is very deep and can change a life.
Remember, though, there are many people who go through the actions, but do not put it in their hearts. I remember doing this quite a number of years ago. I went to church, but did not try to learn anything. I was doing my part just being there-or so I thought. I read my scriptures, but did not contemplate what they were really saying to me. I went to the Temple, but did not seek for deeper understanding. The spark was there, but it was quite dim. I was just “Going through the motions.”
I had to make a decision to change. I had to begin to seek for the good in each meeting I attended. I began to look for messages in the scriptures that I was reading that I could apply into my life. I began to look for the spark in my heart and encourage it to grow. I began to make changes in my life by small decisions. Should I go to my meetings or skip them for a movie? Should I go to the Temple or spend time eating out with a friend? Many of these decisions are good and it became hard to choose which was better. I began to listen to my heart which showed me which brought more light into my life. Yes, sometimes being with a friend is more important than going to the Temple. This is where praying on my knees, listening while praying and focusing becomes important.
My recent favorite quote is this, “When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims of our affection, the demands of our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities.” Ezra Taft Benson.The interesting thing is that this is very true. Many things that I felt were very important dropped out of my life because they were not items that should not have been important to me.
Lastly, Howard W. Hunter said, “Developing spirituality and attuning ourselves to the highest influences of godliness is not an easy matter. It takes time and frequently involves a struggle. It will not happen by chance, but is accomplished only through deliberate effort and by calling upon God and Keeping his commandments.”
We are in this together. As states in one of the movies that I actually have enjoyed, “Never give up, never surrender.”