Saturday, April 23, 2022

Elder Ulisses Soares on developing spiritual awe

Elder Ulisses Soares (born October 2, 1958 in Brazil) has served as a Seventy since April 2005, and as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy since January 2013. He was sustained to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles on April 1, 2018.
"I have reflected on how much more spiritual wonder, so to speak, that we can and should feel for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the difference it can make in our discipleship and in our journey toward eternal life. The wonder I refer to is the sensation of emotion, awe, or amazement common to all who wholeheartedly center their lives on the Savior and His teachings and humbly recognize His presence in their lives. Such a feeling of wonder, inspired by the influence of the Holy Ghost, stimulates the enthusiasm to joyfully live the doctrine of Christ....

"My brothers and sisters, when we truly are in awe of Jesus Christ and His gospel, we are happier, we have more enthusiasm for God’s work, and we recognize the Lord’s hand in all things. Additionally, our study of God’s words is more meaningful; our prayers, more intentional; our worship, more reverent; our service in God’s kingdom, more diligent. All these actions contribute to the Holy Spirit’s influence being more frequent in our lives. Thus, our testimony of the Savior and His gospel will be strengthened, we will keep Christ alive in us (see Gal 2:20), and we will live our lives 'rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, … abounding therein with thanksgiving' (Colo 2:7). When we live in this way, we become more spiritually resilient and protected against falling into the trap of spiritual apathy."

- Ulisses Soares, "In Awe of Christ and His Gospel," General Conference April 2022, Sunday afternoon
Click here to read or listen to the full discourse

Elder Soares talked about some of my favorite words: awe, wonder, amazement. His premise was that a proper understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ brings us "spiritual wonder" that will change our entire approach to life, both mortal life and eternal life. It is a great key to discipleship!

I find it hard to believe that anyone who has truly made efforts to understand the gospel of Jesus Christ and particularly His Atonement, will feel anything but profound wonder and awe. They are such remarkable gifts to us! When we center our lives on the Savior and His teachings, our lives are deeply blessed. And we can "joyfully live" the gospel principles each day!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2022)

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