‘We, too, must rise above sea level in our spiritual journey,’ Elder José A. Teixeira tells BYU–Pathway students

Despite changing circumstances, individuals can improve their quality of life by increasing their spirituality

Quoting President Russell M. Nelson, Elder José A. Teixeira of the Presidency of the Seventy invited listeners to “make time for the Lord” and to “build a firm foundation that can stand the test of time,” while speaking at a BYU–Pathway devotional on Tuesday, Feb. 7.

Sharing his experience visiting the Panama Canal, Elder Teixeira said the canal’s lock system raises ships above sea level from one lock to another via gravity. As a result, the lock gates are able to swing open easily despite the enormous pressure from the water. 

Because of the ongoing maintenance, he said, the structures have sustained perfect conditions over 100 years, function properly and help connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Similarly, individuals can learn to maintain their spirituality in the midst of life’s changing circumstances.

Elder Jose A. Teixeira of the Presidency of the Seventy shares a photo of the locks of the Panama Canal during a BYU–Pathway Worldwide devotional broadcast on Tuesday, Feb. 7. 2023.
Elder Jose A. Teixeira of the Presidency of the Seventy shares a photo of the locks of the Panama Canal during a BYU–Pathway Worldwide devotional broadcast on Tuesday, Feb. 7. 2023. | Screenshot,

In spite of circumstances beyond one’s control, Elder Teixeira shared President Nelson’s counsel regarding what individuals do have control over:

“We set our own priorities and determine how we use our energy, time and means. We decide how we will treat each other. We choose those to whom we will turn for truth and guidance.”

Elder Teixeira said, ”We, too, must rise above ‘sea level’ in our spiritual journey to cross the oceans of life.” To navigate life’s challenges, he invited listeners to do three things to remain spiritually afloat: Study the gospel daily, partake of the sacrament weekly and follow the living prophet.

Daily gospel study

One must make an effort to strengthen their spirituality on a daily basis, striving to give adequate attention to spiritual needs, said Elder Teixeira. By performing simple tasks such as reading the “Come, Follow Me” manual, accompanied with prayer, individuals are able to withstand the pressures of life, similar to how ongoing maintenance allows the lock gates to withstand pressure from oncoming water.

Weekly sacrament

Elder Teixeira said by partaking of the sacrament and remembering what the Savior did for them, individuals will achieve the guidance of the Holy Spirit. By doing so, one will want to maintain the Spirit’s presence by making it a priority to attend sacrament meeting weekly. People also have the opportunity to support one another through attending in person, he added.

Heed the prophets

General conference allows individuals to receive counsel from living apostles, said Elder Teixeira, which when applied consistently throughout the year can bless their lives. Students can build a foundation of knowledge and spiritually, he shared, as BYU–Pathway provides opportunities to spiritually based degrees.

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