Our Spiritual Eyeglasses: What You See Is What You Get
Professor of Physical Education
July 28, 1998
Professor of Physical Education
July 28, 1998
I am so happy to be able to share some ideas with you today that I know have been directed by Heavenly Father. I pray that the Spirit of the Lord will help me communicate the thoughts I have received, according to the desire of the Lord. What a blessing this assignment has been to me.
I want to borrow a term I first heard at a workshop conducted by the Franklin Institute, now Franklin Covey. They introduced me to the concept of the belief window, which I have identified with ever since. I can still visualize a clear window suspended in front of the eyes of a cartoon face, illustrating the idea that we see the world through our belief window. The beliefs that we have are the lenses of reality for each of us. I would like to expand upon this idea and talk about your spiritual eyeglasses and leave you with the notion that what you see is what you get or what you see is what you are, as far as eternity is concerned. It is very important that gospel truths make up our belief window so that we can see the celestial kingdom clearly.
Let me illustrate. The world looks very different for me depending upon the lenses, or glasses, through which I look. For instance, this first pair of glasses I am putting on has very thick lenses, and they distort my view to the point that, if I wear them very long, I am frustrated and not able to clearly see the path before me. In fact, they give me a headache.
This next pair of glasses, with the eyeballs on springs, changes my view with each movement of the springs. Once again the path before me is distorted and even comical.
With this pair of sunglasses I am having a hard time seeing anything at all in this room. They shut out the light.
This next pair of glasses doesn’t aid my vision at all, but they glow in the dark and draw attention to me and my eyes in a dark room. I have used them for effect several times when I wanted to solicit a reaction from people. They are a fun icebreaker, but that’s all. They don’t aid my vision.
This final pair of glasses totally changes others’ perceptions of me. With these lenses I can create a fictitious image of who I am. I have created a distorted picture of myself and what my belief window contains. Thank goodness for my own prescription lenses.
Now I can see you as well as the printed words before me and, I hope, the path to the celestial kingdom. It really is very important that we wear the proper pair of glasses—or, in other words, that our belief window is correct.
The message that I am bringing today is that your beliefs are the lenses through which you see the world. What you believe determines your focus and in turn your actions. You are seeing things as you believe they are—not so much as things really are, but rather as you are. Our challenge is to “finally see as God sees,” as Ann Madsen prompts us (BYU Women’s Conference, May 1998). If your beliefs are based on gospel perspectives, your glasses or belief window will allow you to see eternity from a celestial kingdom perspective. On the other hand, if your belief lenses are made from a non-gospel or worldly prescription, you will see just the opposite and earn your place for eternity in one of the lower kingdoms. So, what you see is what you get—literally.
One of the children in the Edgemont Eleventh Ward Primary humorously illustrated my point. President Patty Shumway asked the children who the Book of Mormon prophet was who preached repentance standing on a wall. One child responded, “Humpty Dumpty.” The “wall” belief window of this child only included Humpty Dumpty. We hope that scriptural tales will sometime be part of this child’s belief window.
Today I would like to elaborate on three different beliefs that are part of our individual prescription lenses, or belief window, through which each of us views the world. I chose these three beliefs because I think comprehending them from a gospel perspective is vital in seeing and staying on the path to the tree of life and eventually returning to live with God and our own family. The three beliefs, or pairs of glasses, I’m going to explore are
1. individual worth;
2. the physical temple, or body; and
3. the Holy Ghost.
Barbara Lockhart and I have discussed many of these ideas to the point that they have been incorporated into the courses we teach at BYU. Those of you who are my students have heard many of these ideas before.
First, I want to discuss the concept of individual or intrinsic worth. I maintain that how we view ourselves and others determines how we behave, as well as how we treat those around us. It is vital that we are looking through a clear and true belief window concerning worth. It is also my conviction that the adversary has many of us believing that our worth is determined by how we look or what we have accomplished or how much money we have acquired or what others think of us or the positions of power that we hold.
The scriptures, however, don’t support this view. In Jacob 2:21 we are taught that “one being is as precious in his sight as the other.” Doctrine and Covenants 18:10 states, “The worth of souls is great in the sight of God,” and Doctrine and Covenants 109:43 declares from the Kirtland Temple dedication prayer, “Souls are precious before thee.” I gather from these scriptures that all souls are equal in the sight of God and that our worth is a given and always in place for each of us. It isn’t to be earned or proven, and it doesn’t change. If we believe the scriptures I just quoted, we know we are all born into this world precious and with great worth. I find that far too many of us do not fully comprehend and internalize this principle. I was sprouting gray hairs before I really understood this absolute truth, and sometimes, even now, I have to remind myself that my worth is a given.
It is only when we make a distinction between worth and behavior (two different things) that this concept becomes clear, and it is imperative that we do this. Worth is constant and comes from God. Behavior changes and is a result of our actions. It comes from the world. Our worth is great. Our behavior can be good or bad. Our worth doesn’t change. Our behaviors are variable and do change. If we get these two concepts confused, we will have a distorted picture of ourselves. It is often hard for people to accept what I have been saying because the world usually doesn’t portray this view. The media tells us that we are more worthwhile if we use a certain toothpaste or drive a certain car or smoke a certain cigarette or express emotions in a certain way. The view of the world is often in direct opposition to that of the gospel. If we try and harmonize with the world, our identity becomes confused.
Let me illustrate what I am saying. I think all of you have experienced holding a newborn baby or puppy or kitten. What is it that makes you want to cuddle or kiss the newborn? The newborn has done nothing with the purpose of enticing these feelings of love or the desires to cuddle it. It just came that way, emulating love and warmth. We would all agree the newborn’s worth is great, else why would we have these desires? Now envision this young babe as it grows. It starts making messes, literally: writing on the walls and maybe even throwing a tantrum, especially as a teenager. Has the worth of the young one changed, or is it the behavior that has changed? Of course it is the behavior. Remember, worth is a given and is constant.
If behaviors remain questionable or unwholesome, patterns develop that are hard to change. When this happens we often put a false sense of worth, for ourselves and others, into our belief window. We believe individuals are not worthwhile because they exhibit behaviors that are unacceptable. Sometimes we feel the behaviors of others are not acceptable because they are different from our own, and therefore these persons are not of worth. If others do not think or behave as we do, it is easy to put them down and discredit them. In this frame of mind, it becomes hard to separate worth from behavior.
I work closely with athletes as they prepare to be coaches and teachers. I find that some of them associate their worth with their behavior in the athletic arena. I remember a young track star who blew out her knee in a pickup basketball game during the off-season. Her world was shattered, and her identity was that of a good-for-nothing—useless. She was depressed and unproductive for several months because she felt her worth was dependent on her accomplishments, and she felt she would not be able to accomplish much now that she was injured. She worked very hard at her rehabilitation to get back to her earlier running form, and this story does have a happy ending. She did return to athletic glory. At that point in time, for her, her worth was determined by her athletic abilities. When I saw her with her young child several years later and asked her about her running, she remarked that wasn’t the focus of her life anymore. Perhaps love for her baby had helped her to understand that worth is not determined by accomplishments or talents or possessions or power or appearance. It’s a given from God and is always there. Remember what 1 Samuel 16:7 states: “For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart“—or, as I would add, our inherent worth.
If our own belief window reflects our worth as inherent, we will be able to overcome the trials and tribulations that are impossible to escape. In John 16:33 Christ declared, “In the world ye shall have tribulation.” If we internalize this absolute truth concerning worth, we will love ourselves and others even when behaviors don’t warrant such. We will know that we are all capable of changing behavior but that our worth is constant and great. We will also know that we are okay when others doubt our worth and let us know they don’t approve of our behaviors. Confucius said, “The orchid that grows in the deep gorges does not withhold its fragrance because of lack of appreciation.” I have done several things in my life that seemed very strange to those around me, but I knew they were directions the Lord had outlined, and I followed the promptings.
I read an article about an intriguing study of college valedictorians in a recent Parade magazine (see Michael Ryan, “Do Valedictorians Succeed Big in Life?”Parade, 17 May 1998, pp. 14–16). It was reported that these valedictorians at graduation were the hardest working, but they were not always the students with the highest ACT scores. They were popular, not the stereotypical misfits who studied all the time. It was interesting to me that some of the very brightest students didn’t become valedictorians, and some valedictorians had not progressed as far as their potential predicted. Those in the group who did not fulfill their potential included first-generation college graduates, women, and minorities. I wondered as I read this what a study of how they viewed their intrinsic worth would reveal about motivation. I can only speculate upon that.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell tells us that with the restoration of the gospel came a clear understanding of our true identity (see Men and Women of Christ [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1991], p. 40). Further, one of the great but under-appreciated blessings of the restored gospel is that it richly assures us of our intrinsic value and our eternal and ultimate worth. In my mind it is vital that we live our lives with this perspective of worth and view ourselves, and others, as God views us. If we do this, we will always know that we are loved. Elder Holland has told us:
The first and great commandment on earth is for us to love God with all our heart, might, mind, and strength (see D&C 59:5; Matt. 22:37) because surely the first and great promise in heaven is that he will always love us that way. [“Look to God and Live,” Ensign, November 1993, p. 14]
And I emphasize always love us.
I believe that if we know our worth we will repent when we get off the straight and narrow because we know behavior can be changed. The Savior suffered on the cross to ensure this great blessing. If we know our worth we will want to return to live with God the Father and Christ the Savior because we know they love us very much. We will strive to keep the commandments to ensure that reunion. We will want our family and friends there with us, and our love and encouragement will help them live better lives.
If you don’t know that you are of great worth, I encourage you to do what I did after I began to grasp this absolute truth. I was in my 40s. (But don’t wait as long as I did to do this.) As it says in Moroni 10:4, I asked God “with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ” if he really loved me and if I had worth, even after some of the crazy things I had done. The experience I had after that prayerful encounter is what keeps me going whenever I doubt. I felt his love encircle me completely and with incredible warmth and compassion. I have never forgotten that feeling. For some of you, asking God these questions will be a leap of faith because you only know what the world has told you. You may feel you are not of worth and that you are beyond help. You may have settled into pleasurable or addictive behaviors that you’d rather not or think you cannot change. It will have to be for you, as Malcolm Muggeridge tells us, “faith that bridges the chasm between what our minds can know and what our souls aspire after” (Jesus: The Man Who Lives [New York: Harper and Row, 1975], p. 20). I encourage all of you to take that leap of faith and ask our Heavenly Father. He loves each of us enough to catch and steady our jump.
I would like to complete our discussion of the belief window of individual worth with some advice from Marc Gellman, who wrote “Always Wear Clean Underwear”: And Other Ways Parents Say “I Love You.” He said:
When you are told to stand up straight, your parents are really trying to teach you this: Show everyone that you believe in yourself. Standing up straight makes you look like you have confidence. . . . Standing up straight sends the message that no matter how many people give up on you, you won’t give up on yourself.
Slouching is your body’s way of showing that you are feeling low, just like smiling is your body’s way of showing that you are feeling happy. It’s strange how the way you look on the outside can show just exactly how you’re feeling on the inside. . . .
. . . It’s good to stand up straight, because even on your worst days, you’re still terrific. You’re a good person with a bright future, and people love you and believe in you and want you to be the very best you can be. All those people who love you can’t be wrong! They must see something in you that on your bad days you can’t even see in yourself.
. . . Lots of things in your life will try to squash you. There is just no good reason to squash yourself. [Marc Gellman, “Always Wear Clean Underwear”: And Other Ways Parents Say “I Love You” [New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1997], pp. 73–74; emphasis in original]
In the chapter titled “If You Can’t Say Anything Nice, Don’t Say Anything at All,” Gellman said:
When nobody is saying anything nice about you here on earth, God and the angels may be talking about you in heaven. Maybe they are talking about how special you are and about all the blessings you have and will bring to others. Maybe when nobody is cheering for you here, everybody is cheering for you there.[“Always Wear Clean Underwear,” p. 57]
I know that they are cheering for you because you are all worth cheering for. I’ve just expounded on all the reasons why that is true. You need to know your worth so you believe in yourself and so your belief window will project this positive view of yourself and others at all times. As Anonymous once said, “How can I help myself if I am not on my side?”
The second belief window I want to explore is the one through which we view our physical body, or temple. I teach about the body almost every day and have come to reverence its sacredness. Some of you may believe that because your body has a big nose or protruding ears or excess fat or malfunctioning parts or any other such attributes, your worth is less than others. Some of you may not identify with your body for these reasons. I used to believe some of these ideas myself. As I studied and prayed, I discovered wonderful truths about my body that have totally changed my perception of myself. Our body should be esteemed. It is sacred. First of all, we are literal offspring of heavenly parents. We are created in the image of God. We have a body of flesh and bones, just as he does, even though what flows in our veins is different from what flows in his. President Hinckley told us in general conference in October 1989 that God “is our Creator. We are made in His image. These remarkable and wonderful bodies are His handiwork” (“The Scourge of Illicit Drugs,” Ensign, November 1989, p. 50). We are told in 1 Thessalonians 4:4 that we “should know how to possess [this] vessel in sanctification and honour.” Stephen L Richards declared:
The human body is sacred, the veritable tabernacle of the divine spirit which inhabits it and . . . it is a solemn duty of humankind to protect and preserve it from pollution and unnecessary wastage and weakness. [Where Is Wisdom? (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1955), p. 208]
Those words greet you as you walk into the Richards Building right here on campus.
Doctrine and Covenants 88:15 helps us to further understand the sacredness of the body: “The spirit and the body are the soul of man.”
James E. Talmage told us, “Nowhere, outside of the Church of Jesus Christ, is the solemn and eternal truth taught that the soul of man is the body and the spirit combined” (CR, October 1913, p. 117). The importance of this declaration comes from the Prophet Joseph Smith. He stated:
We came to this earth that we might have a body and present it pure before God in the celestial kingdom. The great principle of happiness consists in having a body. The devil has no body, and herein is his punishment. . . .
All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not. [Teachings, p. 181]
President Joseph Fielding Smith told us:
The greatest punishment ever given was proclaimed against Lucifer and his angels. To be denied the privilege of mortal bodies forever is the greatest curse of all. These spirits have no progression, no hope of resurrection and eternal life! Doomed are they to eternal misery. [CR, October 1965, p. 28]
Are you starting to get a feel for the wonderfulness of your mortal body? All of us probably have something about our body we wish we could change, and some of you have impairments that will be changed in the next life. Nevertheless, this magnificent creation, our body, is vital to our progression and should be cherished.
Further enlightenment about the body is offered by Elder Boyd K. Packer, who told us that the body “is the instrument of your mind and [the] foundation of your character” (“The Word of Wisdom: The Principle and the Promises,” Ensign, May 1996, p. 18). As I read these words, I don’t envision either the spirit or the body being more important but rather them being in a partnership in which both parts are vital. Both have different functions and are probably in different stages of progression, but both are necessary to the integrity of the other. As Elder Rex D. Pinegar explained:
The soul has expanded capacity in this mortal life because of the expanded nature of being, which includes spirit and body. These expanded capacities and joys are most evident when there is a harmony of body and spirit, and harmony with eternal commandments. [Personal notes]
For there to be harmony, I envision a complete and happy union. I don’t picture the body as a building protecting the more important spirit that is housed inside. Rather, I see it as stated in 1 Corinthians 3:16–17:
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
This scripture tells us that a harmony of body and spirit creates a sacred temple in which the Holy Ghost can dwell.
It takes time to achieve this harmony. Elder Pinegar explained why this is so:
The spirit is able to remain on the level of understanding achieved in the spirit world [the premortal existence], but the body functions at a telestial level, having more recently come into existence. Hence the flesh is weak until directed to use the truth of its creation at a celestial level by the spirit within. [Personal notes]
In other words, the spirit controls the body until the body catches up. I believe our challenge is to get the body and spirit functioning together in harmony—eventually both at a celestial level. To do this, we must value each as sacred. Truman G. Madsen explained that “only when the spirit and body are ‘inseparably connected’ or resurrected, in a celestial condition, will we receive a fullness of glory and thus a fullness of joy” (Eternal Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1970], p. 48).
Modern science has now documented the partnership of the body and spirit. Candace B. Pert, in her book Molecules of Emotion, authenticates the discovery of receptors in all cells of the body sensitive to neurotransmitters that carry information from the brain to the cells (see Molecules of Emotion: Why You Feel the Way You Feel [New York: Scribner, 1997], p. 61). What we are thinking and feeling in the brain is being transformed into peptide substances there, and through a chain of chemicals and receptors the brain and nervous system are in communication with the body. This means we have intellect in every cell.
Deepak Chopra substantiates in Quantum Healing how scientists are able to photograph the brain as it thinks or feels pain and actually track the formation of chemicals produced through this process to cells throughout the body (see Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine [New York: Bantam Books, 1989], pp. 64–65). This is exciting. If we are feeling the presence of the Holy Ghost or love or faith, this is felt in every cell of the body. On the other hand, if we are feeling depressed or angry or stressed, this is also evidenced throughout the body. According to Pert, these chemicals produced in the brain actually have the ability to bolster the immune system as well as keep disease organisms from entering cells (see Molecules, pp. 171–72, 190, 282). Feelings such as love, forgiveness, joy, and peace bolster the immune system. On the other hand, people who feel powerless, helpless, and out of control generally have compromised immunity. This phenomenon is explained in a gospel perspective by Parley P. Pratt:
The gift of the Holy Ghost . . . invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being. [Key to the Science of Theology (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1978), p. 61]
The body-mind-spirit connection that Pert and Chopra verify scientifically, members of the Church identify as the Holy Spirit. If you have realized your own individual worth and take joy in it, the effects are evidenced in your body.
A harmonious partnership of body and spirit is vital to your eternal progression. Elder Pinegar explains further:
We can learn truths by way of the spirit, but by the way of the body we learn to be like Heavenly Father. The body constantly reinforces truth and is a constant testimony of truth; truly when kept pure the body is filled with the Light of Christ. The body is a source of fullness for the spirit because through the body the spirit learns how to feel. [Personal notes; emphasis added]
Wow, I don’t completely understand this process, but it is exhilarating to realize the power that is possible from a partnership of body and spirit. This partnership is clearly evident at a viewing of a departed loved one. The spirit has left, and every cell of the body is empty and thus dead. Likewise the spirit in this life is mute without the body to act out its intentions.
A reverence for your body could mean increased health benefits for you. Researchers have substantiated that active Mormons who adhere to the Word of Wisdom and exercise moderately on a regular basis and get eight hours of sleep each night are healthier and will live longer—white males 11 years longer than others in the U.S. and females six years longer (see James E. Enstrom, “Health Practices and Cancer Mortality Among Active California Mormons,” Journal of the National Cancer Institute 81, no. 23 [6 December 1989], pp. 1807–14, and Elizabeth VanDenBerghe, “Religion and the Abundant Life,” Ensign, October 1994, pp. 32–45). The American College of Sports Medicine defines healthy exercise as 30 minutes of intermittent, moderate intensity activity each day. So walk to the store, mow your lawn, shovel the snow, climb the stairs to upper campus, and accumulate 30 minutes each day. That’s not too hard. Those of you whose bodies are presently impaired—they will be whole in the next life—do what you can.
The third belief window I want to briefly discuss pertains to the Holy Ghost. Elder Neuenschwander told us in his May 1998 devotional to rely on the Holy Spirit to avoid deception (see “Knowing What You Believe, Believing What You Know,” BYU 1997–98 Speeches [Provo: Brigham Young University, 1998]). How will you know if the ideas I have just presented to you, or other beliefs, are true? It is through personal revelation, directed by the Holy Ghost. Doctrine and Covenants 8:2–3 confirms this: “I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost. . . . Behold, this is the spirit of revelation.” In his bookFollowing the Light of Christ, John M. Pontius explains this in a way that makes perfect sense, but as I had never thought of it before. He defines the iron rod, or word of God, as personal revelation (see Following the Light of Christ into His Presence [Anchorage, Alaska: Daybreak Books, 1996], p. 28). This means that if we are hanging on to the iron rod, as spoken of in conjunction with the tree of life, one of the things that is happening to us regularly is personal revelation from God through the Holy Ghost.
We are also told in 2 Nephi 32:5, “If ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.” What more could we ask than that? Wouldn’t we all like to know all things that we should do? We wouldn’t make any of those dumb mistakes that we all make. President Monson told us at his devotional on March 10 of this year, “Never ever ignore a prompting.” No wonder Brigham Young stated, “I want to see men and women breathe the Holy Ghost in every breath of their lives, living constantly in the light of God’s countenance” (JD 9:288–89). Without the Holy Spirit our belief lenses do not correct for astigmatism nor for near- or farsightedness.
It has been a revelation to me how these three belief windows I’ve been talking about are so intertwined with each other. Blaine Yorgason, in Spiritual Progression in the Last Days, discusses this link:
Because our spirits are housed in physical bodies, the effect of the Holy Ghost influencing our spirits and minds is almost always accompanied by at least some physical reaction; our bodies feel the workings of the Spirit. [Spiritual Progression in the Last Days (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1994), p. 184; emphasis added]
The opportunity to feel the influence of the Holy Ghost is a compelling reason to reverence our body and allow it to be as sensitive to the Spirit as possible. If it is dulled with drugs or overpowered with insatiable appetites, it is not likely that the Spirit can communicate effectively. Yorgason points out several ways the Holy Ghost affects our feelings and our physical bodies: (1) a burning in the bosom, (2) a quaking frame, (3) a still, small voice, (4) crying or weeping, (5) enlightened minds or sudden strokes of ideas, (6) peace in the mind and heart, (7) a constraining or impression not to say or do a specific thing, (8) a stupor of thought, and (9) comfort from distress or sorrow (Spiritual Progression, pp. 184–86). None of us will always respond to the Spirit in the same way, and we must become accustomed to our own personal physical witness so we can react when the communication comes. And it will come! President James E. Faust declared, “The voice of the Spirit is universally available to all. . . . The voice we must learn to heed is the voice of the Spirit” (“The Voice of the Spirit,”Ensign, April 1994, pp. 7, 8).
As I see it, our challenge today concerning the Holy Ghost is twofold. First, we must be worthy to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost. If we worthily partake of the sacrament to renew our pledge of obedience, this will be a reality. We covenant each Sunday, when we partake of the sacrament, to remember the Savior and keep his commandments, and he covenants with us that we will always have his Spirit to be with us if we do (see Moroni 4, 5). John Pontius counsels us, “Spend less energy and emotion trying to figure things out, and put that effort into developing faith and obedience” (Following the Light, p. 133). Second, once worthy, we must also be able to hear and recognize this voice. Elder Henry B. Eyring tells us that this voice “is so quiet that if you are noisy inside, you won’t hear it” (To Draw Closer to God [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1997], p. 18). The voices of the world and the adversary will be loud and persistent. However, Truman Madsen comforts us with this insight: “The devil is shrewd with the stratagems . . . , but one thing he cannot counterfeit is the witness and power of the Holy Ghost” (Joseph Smith the Prophet [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1989], p. 17).
What I am saying is especially important to you young students. President Faust told you:
The rising generation will be bombarded with evil and wickedness like no other generation. . . .
. . . In some ways it will be harder to be faithful in the future, perhaps even more challenging than pulling a handcart across the plains. [Faust, “The Voice of the Spirit,” p. 8]
You must have on the right glasses: know your worth and follow the direction of the Holy Ghost.
Finally, I would like to close with this counsel from President Faust. He sums up everything I have tried to say today:
[Following the voice of the Spirit] requires patience in a world that demands instant gratification. It is quiet, peaceful, and subtle in a world enamored by that which is loud, incessant, fast-paced, garish, and crude. It requires us to be contemplative while our peers seek physical titillation. . . .
. . . This solution of listening to and following the Spirit may not be popular; it may not get us gain or worldly power. . . .
We must learn to ponder the things of the Spirit and to respond to its promptings. We must filter out the static generated by Satan.
Hearkening to the “voice of the living God” (D&C 50:1) will give us “peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come” (D&C 59:23). . . .
I believe and testify that our spirits are special spirits and were reserved until this generation to stand strong against the evil winds that blow, and to stand straight and upright with the heavy burdens that will be placed on us. [Faust, “The Voice of the Spirit,” p. 10]
I pray that you will put on the glasses of which I have spoken and that we will all stand up straight declaring to the world our great and precious worth. I pray that we may esteem the sacredness of our body so that it may be an authentic receptacle for communications emanating from the Holy Ghost. As Brigham Young said, “Live [so you] can enjoy the light of the Holy Spirit, or [you] will have no confidence in [yourselves], in [your] religion, or in [your] God, and will sooner or later turn from the faith” (JD 8:65). I testify to you that these things are true in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
© Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.
Connie L. Blakemore was a BYU professor of physical education when this devotional address was given on 28 July 1998.