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'Ennobling influences' help resist spiritual wind-down

Comparing spirituality to a clock that needs constant rewinding, Elder Dean L. Larsen counseled members of the Church Sunday morning in four ways to avoid spiritual lethargy.

"Just as with the clock that hangs on our kitchen wall," said Elder Larsen, a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, "unless there is a regular winding up of the mechanism, a spiritual sluggishness develops, the spiritual tone becomes off-key, and unless something is done to correct the winding-down process, the clock can stop."Borrowing a phrase that Elder Albert E. Bowen used in an address in the October 1949 conference, Elder Larsen said that Church members all require frequent "ennobling influences" in order to conquer temptations and to wind up spiritual clocks.

"Just as exercise, proper nourishment, and rest are essential to our physical well-being," explained Elder Larsen, "so are such things as regular prayer, scripture study, Sabbath worship and partaking of the sacrament, and service to others necessary for our spiritual vigor."

Elder Larsen further elaborated on the four suggestions:

  1. Prayer. "Amulek understood the importance of prayer as a spiritually rejuvenating influence," Elder Larsen said, referring to the Book of Mormon leader's injunction to the Zoramites in Alma 34. "Earnest, sincere prayer is an essential ingredient in maintaining spiritual tone."
  1. Scripture Study. Elder Larsen attested that, "there is a special power in the scriptures. Scripture study combined with daily purposeful prayer can provide much of the resolution that is necessary today to off-set the influences so prevalent in the world that lead us into forbidden ways."

He testified that Alma's analogy of the seed in Alma 32 is a valid one, for "one who regularly turns to the word of God for spiritual strength and enlightenment will find it good - delicious to the spiritual taste."

  1. Sabbath worship and partaking of the sacrament. "There is something essential," he said, "about joining together with other believers to worship, to sing, to pray, to learn of God's will for us, and to acknowledge His goodness to us." He added that "there should be no other place where the Spirit of the Lord is more welcome and more easily accessible than in our own homes."
  1. Service. Elder Larsen concluded by saying that Church members need the reinforcement to spiritual well-being that comes by unselfishly giving of oneself to another.

"When we cast our bread upon the water in this sense, it inevitably comes back to us in even greater abundance," he affirmed.

Elder Larsen quoted President Spencer W. Kimball, who often said, "We cannot have spirituality without service."

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