Monday, January 29, 2018

President Dallin H. Oaks on staying spiritually nourished

President Dallin H. Oaks (born August 12, 1932) served as president of BYU from 1971-1980.  He was then appointed as a justice of the Utah Supreme Court, and resigned when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1984. He became President of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles and also 1st Counselor in the First Presidency in January 2018.
"What causes hearers to 'have no root in themselves' (see Mark 4:5-6)? This is the circumstance of new members who are merely converted to the missionaries or to the many attractive characteristics of the Church or to the many great fruits of Church membership. Not being rooted in the word, they can be scorched and wither away when opposition arises. But even those raised in the Church—long-term members—can slip into a condition where they have no root in themselves. I have known some of these—members without firm and lasting conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. If we are not rooted in the teachings of the gospel and regular in its practices, any one of us can develop a stony heart, which is stony ground for spiritual seeds.
"Spiritual food is necessary for spiritual survival, especially in a world that is moving away from belief in God and the absolutes of right and wrong. In an age dominated by the Internet, which magnifies messages that menace faith, we must increase our exposure to spiritual truth in order to strengthen our faith and stay rooted in the gospel."
- Dallin H. Oaks, "The Parable of the Sower," General Conference April 2015
Click here to read or listen to the full article

Having "root in ourselves" is more and more important in our world. Knowing where to find true nourishment and sustenance becomes critical when the world seeks to distract us from that effort. So as President Oaks encourages, we should make sure that our roots are accessing the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ; and then maintain them through regularly practicing and implementing the teachings. We must learn to continually seek the spiritual food that will keep us strong and healthy:

President Oaks mentions the challenge of the Internet, which can "magnify" the kind of message that distracts and destroys faith. He encourages us to counteract that influence by making careful efforts to "increase our exposure to spiritual truth." We must let in more light to fight against the darkness!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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