Friday, September 8, 2017

Elder Quentin L. Cook on spiritual nourishment and commitment

Elder Quentin L. Cook (b. September 8, 1940) was called as a Seventy in 1996, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2007.
"Many who are in a spiritual drought and lack commitment have not necessarily been involved in major sins or transgressions, but they have made unwise choices. Some are casual in their observance of sacred covenants. Others spend most of their time giving first-class devotion to lesser causes. Some allow intense cultural or political views to weaken their allegiance to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some have immersed themselves in Internet materials that magnify, exaggerate, and, in some cases, invent shortcomings of early Church leaders. Then they draw incorrect conclusions that can affect testimony. Any who have made these choices can repent and be spiritually renewed.
"Immersion in the scriptures is essential for spiritual nourishment (see John 5:39; Amos 8:11). The word of God inspires commitment and acts as a healing balm for hurt feelings, anger, or disillusionment (see Alma 31:5). When our commitment is diminished for any reason, part of the solution is repentance (see Alma 36:23–26). Commitment and repentance are closely intertwined."
- Quentin L. Cook, "Can Ye Feel So Now?," General Conference, October 2012; see Ensign, November 2012, pp. 6-9
Click here to read or listen to the full article

The concept of "spiritual drought" is an interesting one. In the physical sense, drought is a period of water shortage due to lessened rainfall; spiritually, if we have a lack of inspiration and presence of the spirit, the condition of stunted growth and related challenges is a good analogy. Elder Cook suggests that we can those spiritual droughts on ourselves through sin or unwise choices, but also through "casual observance of sacred covenants" or mis-focused priorities. We can be distracted by material or philosophy that impairs our receptivity to spiritual influence.

The key to overcoming spiritual drought is usually to "repent and be spiritually renewed." Elder Cook suggests another important ingredient:

Particularly in times of "spiritual drought" we should seek renewal from the fount of "living water" (John 4:10). That will aid us in our efforts to strengthen our commitment and draw nearer to the source of strength and forgiveness.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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