Monday, April 23, 2012

Spiritually Minded

Book of Mormon Papers - a series of posts
containing papers I wrote for a
BYU Religion class my freshman year of college.

(Note: This paper reminded me of the first time I used an economy Book of Mormon for my daily reading of the Book of Mormon. I kept a little slip of paper as my book mark, and I kept a list of principles and words that were used to describe “eternal life”. I had a great little list, but I don’t know where it went, which is really sad. I guess I will just have to go through the Book of Mormon looking for eternal life again.)

Before Nephi died, he instructed Jacob to carry on the tradition of scripture writing, and instructed him to write the words of Isaiah for the benefit of the Nephites. Jacob proceeded to write the words of Isaiah and instruct the people how to live the words of Isaiah. In teaching the Nephites how to live righteously, Jacob admonished them that “to be spiritually minded is life eternal.” (2 Nephi 9:39) What does it mean to be “spiritually minded?” Being spiritually minded is about learning and living of God. Man is spiritually minded when he puts off the natural man and when he comes to know God and Jesus Christ.

Jacob stated that life eternal is to be spiritually minded. Christ also described life eternal in His great intercessory prayer. He stated “and this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3) Therefore to be spiritually minded is to come to know God and Jesus Christ. The first step in this process is to have faith in Jesus Christ. (AoF 1:4) Alma taught that “if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.” (Alma 32:21) In the writings of Isaiah quoted by Jacob, Isaiah prophesied that the children of Israel who would “wait for [Christ]” (2 Nephi 6:7) would not be ashamed and would know that He is the Lord. Waiting and hoping are synonymous; therefore to have faith is to grow closer to a knowledge of the character of God and Christ.

In coming to know the character of God and the Savior, one must also live according to that knowledge. As Jacob admonished the Nephites to live righteously, he asked them “Would I harrow up your souls if your minds were pure?” (2 Nephi 9:47) Jacob taught that those who are righteous love the words of truth. (2 Nephi 9:40) Because the way of the Lord is righteousness, those who are righteous will love the Lord, because all truth is of Him. Jacob directed the people of Nephi “do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy.” (2 Nephi 9:31) Jacob was teaching the people to seek for that which is eternal, or life eternal. He was advising them to become spiritually minded by working for “treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20) and spending their time and efforts on things of eternal significance. Jacob counseled them to “wait for Christ” and believe in Him, feasting on the words of Christ. The words of Christ are eternal and constant, and feasting upon them is one of the most profitable ways to learn of His character.

Learning to live righteously by feasting on the words of Christ and following His commandments allow mankind to grow closer to God and Christ and allow them to come to know the character of God. Hoping for and living for Christ will bring a man closer to Him and will aid in the purpose of becoming spiritually minded. Then, man may attain “life eternal,” or exaltation to know God and Jesus Christ for eternity, for being spiritually minded is life eternal.

What does it mean to you to be “spiritually minded”?

1 comment:

  1. SMILE is what I think of with that scripture--Spiritually Minded Is Life Eternal. It reminds me that to be spiritually minded is to be happy, to have peace even among the difficult trials of life, because we have perspective. To be spiritually minded is to be focused on what really matters. As a missionary, this was easy because I only had one focus--there was nothing else I was supposed to worry about. Now, I have to worry about feeding and clothing the hungry and naked in my house, teaching life skills and work ethic in addition to teaching the gospel. But, when I am focused, when I am spiritually minded I can better see that things really aren't all that different--to feed the hungry and clothe the naked is an admonition throughout the scriptures. It is an essential part of practicing charity. It is no less important, no less spiritual, just because they are my children. Teaching my family to work is also an important gospel principle. We are called to labor in the vineyard more than once by God's prophets. How will my children be able to work for the Lord if they don't know how to do anything difficult?

    There is nothing that God asks us to do that isn't really spiritual at its core. Finding and remembering the spiritual purpose to even the most mundane and temporal-seeming tasks is the essence of being spiritually minded and of finding happiness--because with a clear purpose, I am happy.


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