Monday, January 11, 2016

Spiritual Safeguards

Important Safeguards for Spiritual Vitality


I have observed that there are some important safeguards which will help us maintain our spiritual vitality. One is Sabbath day observance. Without communion with God in renewing our covenants with the Son, we limit our ability to feel the presence of the Holy Ghost and to have that sweet association. When we put forth the effort to attend our meetings and partake of the Sacrament, feeling gratitude for the atonement and commitment in our effort to be obedient, we will experience a remission of our sins and a renewal of our spirits. This in turn will not only strengthen our resolve, but also our testimony. 

The Word of Wisdom

Another one is keeping The Word of Wisdom. For those who have made covenants to do so, it is vital. The Word of Wisdom is more of a spiritual commandment than a physical one. Even so, there are great physical blessings linked to its observance. The loss of the Spirit is the quickest and greatest loss if The Word of Wisdom is abandoned. The blessings of health and hidden treasures are immeasurable if kept. 

The Law of Tithing

A third one is The Law of Tithing. Like The Word of Wisdom, tithing is more of a spiritual commandment than a physical one. The Lord already owns absolutely everything. While tithing is set up as a means to help with Church maintenance and growth, it must be noted that it is by far more a means of providing individual maintenance and growth. Because tithing comes as a sacrifice, it requires faith; and, as we exercise our faith, the Lord blesses us with those things in which we stand in need, according to His merciful judgment. 

Personal Experience and Testimony

There was a time in my life when I was out of harmony with some of the commandments. But I knew that if I continued to pray and have faith, that if I continued to go to Church and do those things that were required of me, that I would remain safe, and that Jesus would help me through my current situation. Where ever you are right now in your journey, you can begin by having faith in Jesus Christ and striving to live the principles of the gospel to the best of your ability. It matters little if you begin with fear or duty or love. As you practice living within the safe boundaries of the gospel, you will begin to feel His love more deeply and develop a desire to follow the Savior, from whom you feel so much love.

There have been times in my life when I’ve felt offended, but I have continued to hold to these safeguards for the following reasons: I knew that I needed to be an example to my children and help them establish a pattern of attending church and developing personal faith; I wanted to be able to take the sacrament each week; I wanted to retain a temple recommend so that I could enjoy the blessings of the temple; and I believed in the gospel and the blessings that our promised to us by a loving Heavenly Father through the Gift and Atonement of His Son Jesus Christ.

When we understand the power behind these safeguards, we should never allow ourselves to abandon them. While there are many reasons for which people fall away from the Church, the above three safeguards can protect us from such danger. Even when we experience doubt, depressions, questioning hearts, fear, or estrangement; if we will continue to be humble and prayerful, practicing the fundamental principles of our faith, of which these three safeguards are a part; I feel certain that we will stand on high spiritual ground, away from the torrential currents that are eager to divert us from our safety. In so doing, the Spirit will bless us to recognize and love truth and help others to do so as well. 

Scriptures Related to the Post:

Sabbath Day:

Exodus 20:8-11:

8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Doctrine and Covenants 59:9-12:

9 And 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;

10 For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High;

11 Nevertheless thy vows shall be offered up in righteousness on all days and at all times;

12 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. 

The Word of Wisdom: (See Doctrine and Covenants 89):

Doctrine and Covenant 89:18-21:

18 And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;

19 And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;

20 And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.

21 And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.

The Law of Tithing

Alma 13:15:

15 And it was this same Melchizedek to whom Abraham paid tithes; yea, even our father Abraham paid tithes of one-tenth part of all he possessed. 3 And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people.

4 And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord.

Doctrine and Covenants 119:3-4

3 And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people. 

4 And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord.

Malachi 3:7-12:
7 ¶Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?

8 ¶Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

10 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.

11 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.

12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.

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