Principles necessary to reach spiritual high ground were shared with young adults by Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve during the Church Educational System fireside Sunday, March 1, in the Marriott Center on the campus of BYU. The fireside was broadcast via satellite throughout North America and to other areas of the world.
Elder Hales told the young adults, "To seek spiritual high ground is to rise above the world and its temptations and to follow the Savior."
Reminding his listeners of the plight of Lehonti in the Book of Mormon, who was destroyed by Amalickiah after giving up just a little of the high ground (see Alma 47), Elder Hales said, "Like Amalickiah's treachery, the enticements of the adversary are always short lived — and poisonous. Whenever we leave the high ground, we succumb to spiritual illness."
Continuing, he stated, "We stay [on high ground] through obedience to the commandments, study and prayer, living principles of provident living and self-reliance, preparing for and honoring temple covenants, and building strong marriages and families."
Doing those things help cultivate "an atmosphere in which the Spirit can always abide with us," Elder Hales pointed out. Having the guidance, courage and strength that comes from the companionship of the Holy Ghost prevents a person from going far from the high ground.
To have the Spirit and resist Satan requires obedience to Christ's teachings, Elder Hales said, telling the young adults, "I want so much for you to understand that you do not want to live your life regretting poor decisions or disobedient actions."
But, he reminded, if there has been disobedience, the way back to high spiritual ground is through repentance.
Elder Hales continued, "Another important way we stay on the high ground is through faithful and thoughtful study and prayer."
He added another thought about staying on high ground, saying, "The Lord's storehouse is both spiritual and temporal." Provident living and self reliance "build temporal resources to meet our needs and serve others."
Provident living includes gaining education, living within one's means, avoiding debt and not coveting the things of the world, he said.
He counseled the young adults to develop a saving and spending plan. Of married couples, he said, "I have often felt that a companionship needs not only to hear the cherished three words, 'I love you,' but also the tender four words of caring: 'We can't afford it.' . . . If couples are not one in temporal and financial matters, I can assure you they are not going to be one in spiritual matters."
Continuing about finances, Elder Hales said, "The payment of tithing and fast offerings is an important element in establishing a provident living lifestyle. . . . It helps us to quench the selfish temporal thirst for the things of this world and turns our thoughts and actions to eternal objectives and a willingness to help others in need."
Turning his remarks to the temple, "the highest ground we can achieve in mortality," he said, "Temple covenants and worship are crucial to staying on high ground."
He said, "I have observed over the years many couples who have maintained strong and vital marriages as they have remained true to their temple covenants."
Elder Hales concluded by testifying "that those who make seeking and maintaining the high ground their life long quest will be blessed to one day stand on the highest ground — in the presence of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ."