Tuesday, May 2, 2017

President Howard W. Hunter on developing spirituality

President Howard W. Hunter (1907-1995) was called to the Quorum of Twelve in 1959.  He served as Church President for only nine months, from June 5, 1994 to his death on March 3, 1995.
"Developing spirituality and attuning ourselves to the highest influences of godliness is not an easy matter. It takes time and frequently involves a struggle. It will not happen by chance, but is accomplished only through deliberate effort and by calling upon God and keeping his commandments....
"None of us has attained perfection or the zenith of spiritual growth that is possible in mortality. Every person can and must make spiritual progress. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the divine plan for that spiritual growth eternally. It is more than a code of ethics. It is more than an ideal social order. It is more than positive thinking about self-improvement and determination. The gospel is the saving power of the Lord Jesus Christ with his priesthood and sustenance and with the Holy Spirit. With faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and obedience to his gospel, a step at a time improving as we go, pleading for strength, improving our attitudes and our ambitions, we will find ourselves successfully in the fold of the Good Shepherd. That will require discipline and training and exertion and strength. But as the Apostle Paul said, 'I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.' (Philip. 4:13)."
- Howard W. Hunter, "Developing Spirituality," Ensign, May 1979, p. 24-26
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

According to President Hunter, "developing spirituality" is not an easy or effortless undertaking. It requires time, and it requires struggle. It comes only with "deliberate effort and by calling upon God and keeping his commandments." However, anyone who is willing to pay that price will see the results!

He then points out that all of us have fallen short of our potential in this area; there is more that could be done:

The gospel of Jesus Christ is not just a nice moral philosophy; it is a powerful agent of change. Once we grasp that face, and fully immerse ourselves in its precepts and practices, we will see the dramatic results more fully. And though the journey is hard at times, Paul's promise has always inspired me:  "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philip. 4:13).

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