Thursday, April 28, 2016

David O. McKay on following correct spiritual priorities

President David O. McKay (1873-1970) was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1906.  He served as a counselor in the First Presidency to Heber J. Grant and George Albert Smith beginning in 1945, then then as the president of the Church from 1951 to his death in 1970 at age 96.
"On one occasion the Savior said: 'For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?' (Matt. 16:26.) In this text, Jesus refers to the dominant incentives prompting man's actions in daily life. If a man seek wealth, fame, pleasures, physical indulgences, and other things which riches and worldly honors can bestow, but neglects and leaves undeveloped the eternal riches of the soul, what is he profited? ....
"In those words the Lord emphasizes in a simple though majestic comparison the relative value of material things and spiritual possessions. It is gratifying to note how leading thinkers today, sincere philosophers and scientists are pleading for more spirituality. They may reason differently from us about the origin of man, but they all agree that now is the time that the spiritual part of man must be developed. Seeking to establish the kingdom of God and his righteousness is designated the paramount purpose of life."
- David O. McKay, Treasures of Life, p. 129-130

What are the "dominant incentives" or primary motivators that drive our actions? President McKay reiterates the Savior's warning about being motivated by "wealth, fame, pleasures, physical indulgences." This is a foundational principle of the Gospel. It is the motivation of the heart that truly matters, more than the outward actions we perform. But when our heart is in the right place, we are motivated to the proper kinds of Christlike actions.

We must always be cautions and remember "the relative value of material things and spiritual possessions."

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