Feed the spiritually starving

In our hectic and hurried world today, we can give in to the rushing confusion, or take time to fortify ourselves against worldly distractions. How we manage the minor daily disruptions says a lot about how we manage the sacred things of God.

The Prophet Joseph Smith remarked in his history that when he was a young man, "There was in the place where we lived an unusual excitement on the subject of religion. . . . Indeed the whole district of country seemed affected by it, and great multitudes united themselves to the different religious parties, which created no small stir and division amongst the people. . . . " Then the Prophet noted that as converts to various sects began leaving for other sects, "it was seen that the seemingly good feelings of both the priests and converts were more pretended than real; for a scene of great confusion and bad feeling ensued — priest contending against priest, and convert against convert; so that all their good feelings one for another, if they ever had any, were entirely lost in a strife of words and a contest about opinions." (Joseph Smith History 1:5-6.)

What the Prophet Joseph so carefully chronicled in his personal history was what happens when religious fervor suppresses religious tolerance.

President Spencer W. Kimball said, "We can gauge the faithfulness and spirituality of men by the degree of intensity of the communication between them and God." (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 444.)

How can we become Christlike, if we berate others who aren't? Why do we wish to force others to bend to our will, when our effort should be directed toward giving ourselves to God's will?

The Savior told His disciples, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15.) Later, He added, "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33.) We should try to live so that we, also, overcome worldly passions and temporal appetites.

President David O. McKay said that the principal reason the Church was organized is "to make life sweet today, to give contentment to the heart today, to bring salvation today. . . . Some of us look forward to a time in the future — salvation and exaltation in the world to come — but today is part of eternity. What we are today will determine largely what we experience and what we are tomorrow, and will help to determine our position in the world to come." (Pathways to Happiness, p. 291-292.)

Our daily spiritual ritual should include prayer, both personal and family, scripture study and self-examination. We should also repent of those things that drag us down. We also can include other spiritual aspects in our daily routine: fasting for a purpose, taking time to attend the temple; keeping holy the Sabbath day; and, perhaps most important, rendering assistance to those around us. We may not be able to accomplish all we set out to do each day, but each day can be more meaningful — spiritually — if we look for opportunities to broaden ourselves through unselfish service to others.

In a conference address, President Gordon B. Hinckley, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, said, "The forces against which we labor are tremendous. We need more than our own strength to cope with them . . . . I should like to make a plea: In all you do, feed the spirit — nourish the soul . . . . I am satisfied that the world is starved for spiritual food." (Go Forward With Faith, p. 303.)

Our effort then, should be to help feed those starving spiritually, not removing spiritual food from their tables.