Tuesday, March 24, 2015

David O. McKay on mortality and spirituality

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.
"Man's earthly existence is but a test, whether he will concentrate his efforts, his mind, his soul upon things which contribute to his comfort and gratification of his physical instincts and passions, or whether he will make as his life's purpose and aim the acquisition of spiritual qualities. 
"The spiritual road has Christ as its ideal, not the gratification of the physical, for he that would save his life, yielding to that present gratification of a seeming need, will lose his life. 
"If he would seek the real purpose of life, the individual must live for some thing higher than self. He hears the Savior's voice saying: 'I am the way, the truth, and the life' (John 14:6). Following that voice, he soon learns that there is no one great thing which he can do to attain happiness or eternal life. He learns that 'life is made up not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things in which smiles and kindness and small obligations given habitually are what win and preserve the heart and secure comfort.' 
"Spirituality, our true aim, is the consciousness of victory over self and of communion with the Infinite. Spirituality impels one to conquer difficulties and acquire more and more strength. To feel one's faculties unfolding and truth expanding the soul is one of life's sublimest experiences. Would that all might so live as to experience that ecstasy!" 
- David O. McKay, "Spirituality, the Goal in Life," Conference Report, October 1956, pp. 4-8
Click here to read the full talk

"Spirituality" was a favorite theme for President McKay, one he addressed on a number of occasions. We might well ask how we are doing in the fundamental test of earthly existence; where are our efforts and soul, our purpose and aim, really concentrated?

There is a vast difference between what Pres. McKay calls a physical focus to life, and a spiritual one. In the spiritual path, we work on the little things, including "smiles and kindness and small obligations given habitually" — along with the more serious ones such as self-discipline and our relationship with Divinity. These steps all lead to the acquisition of true spirituality, "one of life's sublimest experiences."

No comments:

Post a Comment

// Customization to close archive widget on first view - DK 3/15