Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Obtaining Spiritual Knowledge

One of the most interesting things that I have learned is that I already knew most of the things that I have been learning, I’ve just come to understand them at a higher level. Things that I could have heard in church and said, “well I already know that”. In other words, I’ve learned that it’s not so much what you know, but to what extent you understand it. I’ve learned that the effort we put into our spiritual learning determines the depth of understanding we obtain, and the more spiritual knowledge we gain, the more we feel the love our Heavenly Father has for us, which cause our faith and testimony to grow. Obtaining spiritual knowledge doesn’t come merely through the physical efforts of study and prayer, as much as it comes from our spiritual yearning, also known as hungering and thirsting for righteousness.

The process of gaining spiritual knowledge does not happen overnight, our spirit must work through our mortal body which comes with strong physical desires which can completely overshadow the spiritual desires. Every time that we chose something spiritual over something physical, it gives our spirit power, and spiritual sensitivity. “A strong human spirit with control over appetites of the flesh is master over emotions and passions and not a slave to them. That kind of freedom is as vital to the spirit as oxygen is to the body! Freedom from self-slavery is true liberation!” (Elder Nelson- Decisions for eternity) As our spiritual sensitivity grows, through the enabling power of the atonement, our excitement and desire for more spiritual sensitivity also grows in a cyclical pattern that never ends drawing us closer and closer to God and perfection. We must continue to make decisions that appease our spirit instead of our physical senses. In other words, we must DESIRE to overcome the natural man. Heavenly Father can work with our righteous desires to make more out of us than we can ever imagine.

D&C 121:34,35 “Behold there are many are called but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen, because their hearts are set so much on the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men.” In other words, if our desires are leaning more towards building our earthly kingdom, Heavenly Father can’t use us. Our hearts must be set on Him and building His kingdom. Whether or not we are “chosen” by God depends upon us and our hearts.

A while back I learned of something that made me excited and want to share it with everyone. I felt like it was important and could fix everyone's problems. I remembered my mission and how I felt, and that there is nothing more important, more healing, more exalting than the gospel. I realized that my heart was not in the right place. I needed to become more excited about the gospel. I needed to regain the excitement for the gospel that I had while I was on my mission.

I made a decision to dedicate a larger portion of my time to study, prayer, and fasting. At first it was difficult to spend more time studying scriptures, it was kind of a chore. Slowly my heart changed, instead of needing to plan time for scriptures, I began to earnestly seek for more study time. I started listening to the gospel whenever I didn’t have time to read. I noticed that when friends and family had deep questions, I was better prepared to answer them. The gospel became exciting and delicious.

 Matthew 6: 19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.


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