- Children of the Lord are first and foremost spiritual beings. The spiritual nature is the true nature of a person.
- In this life, individuals are faced with the challenge of overcoming their physical nature and choosing each day to prioritize the spiritual and eternal things in life.
- Repentance is an “indispensable weapon” in the battle over self and should be exercised daily to help prepare one to return to the presence of the Lord after death.
The “great plan of happiness” is a plan designed by a loving Heavenly Father that, at its center, holds the possibility of reuniting families for eternity.
Nobody escapes death in this life and, when thinking about what comes next, it is easy to question whether or not one is doing everything necessary to be reunited with their loved ones.
“Today, ‘living right’ can be a pretty confusing concept,” but members of the Church understand the gospel principles that help them to be better prepared when they die.
Some years ago, in a talk titled, “The Struggle for the Soul,” Elder Melvin J. Ballard stated, “The greatest conflict that any man or woman will ever have … will be the battle that is had with self, … between our divine and spiritual nature and the carnal natural man.”
One’s earthly existence is meant to test whether individuals will prioritize the things of a spiritual and eternal nature, or those of a temporal and earthly nature.
“It seems clear to me that one of the most important things we can learn in this life is how to emphasize our eternal spiritual nature and control our evil desires.”
In coming to earth from the premortal world, each person made the decision to accept Heavenly Father’s plan for their salvation. “Your are — first and foremost and always — a spiritual being. And so when one chooses to put our carnal nature ahead of our spiritual nature, we are choosing something that is contrary to our real, true, authentic, spiritual selves.”
Repentance, then, is an indispensable weapon in the battle over one’s self. Through daily repentance, individuals can remind their spirit to remind their bodies who is in charge.
“I encourage you to slow down a bit and think about where you are now in subjugating your carnal nature and empowering your divine, spiritual nature, so when the time comes, you may pass into the spirit world to a joyful reunion with your loved ones.”
In the news:
- President Ballard, along with Elder Gong, reinforced the importance of using the correct name of the Church in an interview with Boyd Matheson on KSL radio in August 2019.
- In August, President Ballard and Elder Rasband met with U.S. Vice President Michael R. Pence in Salt Lake City, Utah. During their meeting, they addressed the value of faith and religious freedom.
- Prior to Pioneer Day on July 24, President M. Russell Ballard dedicated the Pioneer Children’s Memorial at This is the Place Heritage Park. The memorial honored the 660 pioneer children who died while crossing the plains to the Salt Lake Valley.
- On the 175th anniversary of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, President Ballard reflected on the feelings he has concerning his great-great-great uncle, Joseph Smith, and great-great-grandfather, Hyrum Smith.
- Speaking at the 2019 Mission Leadership Seminar in June, President Ballard said gospel invitations — especially invitations to be baptized — should be led by the Spirit.
- President Ballard spoke to the Utah Valley University Institute of Religion on Sept. 23 and emphasized the important role the rising generation has in the gathering of Israel.
- President Ballard toured the Asia Area in May and visited the country of India for the first time.
- In a worldwide video presentation shown to wards and branches on Sept. 29, President Ballard explained the vision and principles for the new Church and Youth program to be implemented in January 2020.
About the speaker:
- President M. Russell Ballard has been a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles since 1985 and was set apart as acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on Jan. 14, 2018.
- President Ballard’s great-great-grandfather is Hyrum Smith, a brother of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
- President Ballard and his wife, Sister Barbara Ballard, are the parents of five daughters and two sons. Sister Ballard died on Oct. 1, 2018.
Recently on social:
- President Ballard shared how “Women have remarkable influence,” in a July 11 Instagram post
- After dedicating the new Pioneer Children’s Memorial at This is the Place Heritage Park on July 24, President Ballard shared how pioneers in the 19th and 21st centuries are “bound together,” in an Aug. 7 Instagram post.
- President Ballard encouraged others to “be a powerful and positive influence on those with whom you come in contact when you teach the true and simple gospel,” in a May 2 Twitter post.