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Draw upon the ‘reservoir of spiritual treasures’ Christ provides, Elder Teixeira teaches

During an Ensign College devotional, Elder Teixeira of the Presidency of the Seventy invites listeners to prioritize eternal riches over earthly treasures

During an energy crisis and oil embargo in the Netherlands in 1970, Dutch researchers began to pay close attention to the country’s energy usage.

In a suburb near Amsterdam, researchers found that some homeowners used 30 percent less energy than their neighbors, despite the homes being nearly identical. Why the difference? In some homes, the electrical meters were located in the main hallway upstairs, while in other homes the meter was located in the basement.

“People changed their behavior when their energy use was obvious and easy to track,” explained Elder José A. Teixeira of the Presidency of the Seventy during an Ensign College devotional on Tuesday, Feb. 27.

Just like the homeowners in the neighborhood in Amsterdam, sometimes Latter-day Saints can have their “spiritual meters” out of sight, installed in a basement and distant from their thoughts and priorities, he said.

However, those who make concerted efforts to prioritize things of eternal value and consciously use their time to seek first the kingdom of God will be blessed with purpose. “Our choices either online or otherwise will be guided by the desire to live with meaning and joy,” Elder Teixeira promised.

Speaking to students and faculty gathered in the Conference Center Theater on Temple Square on Tuesday, Elder Teixeira was accompanied by his wife, Sister Filomena Teixeira, who also offered remarks.

Elder José A. Teixeira of the Presidency of the Seventy and his wife, Sister Filomena Teixeira, sit on the stand prior to speaking during an Ensign College devotional on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024.
Elder José A. Teixeira of the Presidency of the Seventy and his wife, Sister Filomena Teixeira, sit on the stand prior to speaking during an Ensign College devotional in the Conference Center Theater in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. | DANIEL LEMOS

The Church leader began by noting that Latter-day Saints strive to be like Jesus Christ and to reflect His love. Putting Jesus Christ first is a lifelong pursuit, as eternal life depends on faith in Him and His Atonement and obedience to His laws.

“The many choices we all make each day, including how we spend our time, are critical to our connection with what truly matters most,” Elder Teixeira said.

In the Sermon on the Mount, the Savior declared, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21).

Said Elder Teixeira, “In this particular context, Jesus is cautioning against the pursuit of earthly treasures such as wealth, or worldly acclaim, if they come at the expense of our spiritual well-being and our relationship with God.”

The Savior’s teachings encourage individuals to examine where they invest their time, energy and resources, as these choices reveal their true priorities and values.

“Jesus’s teachings suggest to me personally that true fulfillment and spiritual abundance come from aligning our hearts with the things that have lasting significance and eternal value rather than transient and fleeting possessions or worldly popular trends,” Elder Teixeira said.

Ensign College students take notes while listening to Elder José A. Teixeira of the Presidency of the Seventy and his wife, Sister Filomena Teixeira.
Students gather in the Conference Center Theater in Salt Lake City to hear remarks by Elder José A. Teixeira of the Presidency of the Seventy and his wife, Sister Filomena Teixeira, for the Ensign College weekly devotional on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. | DANIEL LEMOS

The Savior taught: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” (Matthew 6:19-20).

Material possessions are subject to decay, theft and loss. They are temporary and ultimately unsatisfying in the grand scheme of eternity, Elder Teixeira said. In contrast, spiritual treasures are eternal and cannot be taken away.

“Jesus encourages us to invest our time, resources and efforts in pursuits that align with God’s kingdom and that bring about spiritual growth and transformation. Certainly this includes acts of charity, love, compassion and service to family and others,” Elder Teixeira commented.

In his April 2015 general conference address, Elder Teixeira shared some simple habits for establishing healthy online activity. Today, almost 10 years later, the expansion and reach of these technologies has accelerated at an enormous speed.

The average American spends about six hours a day on their mobile devices and checking his or her phone about 96 times per day, or at least once every 10 minutes.

“A culture of instant gratification online may contribute to unrealistic expectations and impatience in other areas of life.,” Elder Teixeira said. “As we become accustomed to immediate feedback and rewards in our online interactions, this may diminish our ability to delay gratification and tolerate boredom or frustration, and more importantly, it may distance us from the necessary effort to listen to the whisperings of the Holy Ghost.”

The Church leader then encouraged listeners to embrace the Christlike attributes of virtue, integrity and patience “to fortify us and help us prioritize eternal riches over earthly treasures.”

Elder José A. Teixeira of the Presidency of the Seventy speaks from the pulpit in the Conference Center Theater.
Elder José A. Teixeira of the Presidency of the Seventy speaks during an Ensign College devotional held in the Conference Center Theater in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. | DANIEL LEMOS

Said Elder Teixeira, “Our mortal experiences will be replete with unexpected challenges. Still, when we are firmly anchored in Jesus Christ, we patiently work through our trials and tribulations and draw upon the strength and reservoir of spiritual treasures He provides us.”

In conclusion, Elder Teixeira noted that the Easter holiday is approaching. “Soon we will be commemorating Easter and His glorious resurrection. As we prepare for that event, may I extend an invitation to make a decision to follow the Lord first. … All other blessings will be ours because of that choice.”

In her remarks, Sister Teixeira spoke of wanting toast for breakfast and waiting at the toaster. It didn’t pop, and it didn’t pop. Finally, she realized she hadn’t put the bread in. A toaster, she said, is kind of like the grace of Jesus Christ. Sometimes, individuals can be waiting for a miracle, and it doesn’t come and it doesn’t come. “We may think His grace doesn’t work, but perhaps we just haven’t put anything in.”

Although the Lord does not require perfect faith, “He does ask us to believe,” Sister Teixeira said, inviting listeners to “start today to increase faith. Moving your mountains may require a miracle.”

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