Sunday, February 4, 2018

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf on following spiritual landmarks

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf (born November 6, 1940) served as a Seventy from 1994-2004, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve.  He served as second counselor in the First Presidency from 2008 to 2018.
"Spiritual landmarks are indispensable for keeping us on the straight and narrow path. They give clear direction as to the way we should travel—but only if we recognize them and walk toward them.
"If we refuse to be guided by these landmarks, they become meaningless, decorative masses that have no purpose but to break up the flatness of the horizon.
"It’s not enough to go solely by our instincts.
"It’s not enough to have the best of intentions.
"It won’t do to rely only on our natural senses.
"Even when we think we are following a straight spiritual path, without true landmarks to guide us—without the guidance of the Spirit—we will tend to wander.
"Let us, therefore, open our eyes and see the landmarks our benevolent God has provided to His children. Let us read, hear, and apply the word of God. Let us pray with real intent and listen to and follow the promptings of the Spirit. Once we have recognized the supernal landmarks offered by our loving Heavenly Father, we should set our course by them. We should also make regular course corrections as we orient ourselves toward spiritual landmarks.
"In this way, we will not wander in circles but walk with confidence and certainty toward that great heavenly blessing that is the birthright of all who walk in the straight and narrow way of Christ’s discipleship."
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Walking in Circles," Ensign, June 2013, pp. 4-5
Click here to read or listen to the full article

I love to hike in the mountains, and can appreciate the message Elder Uchtdorf shared about how we navigate in various circumstances. He cited studies that show that people tend to walk in circles when there are no visible landmarks. In order to attain a goal using only visual references, it's critical to use landmarks; being guided by our instincts or good intentions is not sufficient. And the same applies to spiritual "navigation" of the challenges of life; the "landmarks" provided by God for that journey become crucial. Elder Uchtdorf mentioned landmarks of scriptures and counsel from inspired leaders as examples.

An important point, though, is that the landmarks are useful "only if we recognize them and walk toward them." It requires noticing and responding in order to obtain benefit.

Learning, studying, listening, applying—great tools to help us discover and use the spiritual landmarks that are provided for our mortal journal. But perhaps the spiritual promptings from the Comforter are most important in helping us know what course to follow. All of those things help us make the "regular course corrections" that can keep us moving towards the right goals in life.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment

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