Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Russell M. Nelson on finding inner peace by living with integrity

President Russell M. Nelson (b. Sept 9, 1924) was an internationally-renowned heart surgeon when he was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1984. He was set apart as president of the Quorum of Twelve on July 15, 2015.
"Many years ago a medical colleague chastised me for failing to separate my professional knowledge from my religious convictions. That startled me because I did not feel that truth should be fractionalized. Truth is indivisible.
"Danger lurks when we divide ourselves with expressions such as 'my private life,' 'my professional life,' or even 'my best behavior.' Living life in separate compartments can lead to internal conflict and exhausting tension. To escape that tension, many people unwisely resort to addicting substances, pleasure seeking, or self-indulgence, which in turn produce more tension, thus creating a vicious cycle.
"Inner peace comes only as we maintain the integrity of truth in all aspects of our lives. When we covenant to follow the Lord and obey His commandments, we accept His standards in every thought, action, and deed."
- Russell M. Nelson, "Living by Scriptural Guidance," Ensign, Nov. 2000, pp. 16-18
Click here to read the full talk

This concept has come up frequently in my personal study recently. There seems to be a tendency to separate our spiritual pursuits from temporal ones, as if we had different standards of behavior or morality in the separate pursuits. Elder Oaks calls this "fractionalizing" or "compartmentalizing" and warns of its impact.

A true disciple is always a disciple. Loving, obeying, and serving God is not only the highest priority, but it's the foundation of everything that a disciple does in life. You can't be a part-time disciple. You either love God with your whole "heart, mind, might, and strength," or else you fall short and are deprived of the blessings and power you might have. We're all trying to get closer to the ideal, and will be blessed as we follow prophetic counsel like this from Elder Nelson. "Inner peace comes only as we maintain the integrity of truth in all aspects of our lives."

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