Gaining Strength to Journey through Mortality

Gaining Strength to Journey through Mortality

We have been taught by Amulek in the Book of Mormon that this life is the time for us to prepare to meet God and perform all our labours, including saving ordinances that qualify us for eternal life.[1] Our journey through mortality is more of a long distance race than a sprint. We sometimes see the admonition of the Saviour to be perfect[2] as something that must be accomplished in a rush or short time, requiring much exertion of energy. Though it is a very important race, and germane accomplishment that we must aim for, we should prepare carefully and learn the endurance strategies to run the race towards perfection, so as to win an incorruptible crown as admonished by the apostle Paul.[3]

Long distance races like a marathon require preparation, endurance techniques, discipline, routine practice, diet and some health rules for the runner to be able to effectively participate and complete the race. Such are requirements for the journey through mortality—receiving   line upon line, precept upon precept, and growing gradually until the perfect day.[4] As the marathoners learn from their endurance training, it is important to cover different distances to build strength and stamina, and to know the key milestones required in their preparation. Likewise, the journey through mortality requires understanding of the key milestones (ordinances) and faithfulness to the endurance disciplines (covenants). Our spiritual progression in mortality, preparatory to the blessings of eternal life, depend on understanding the requirements and faithfully partaking of the sacred, saving ordinances of baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost,[5] priesthood,[6]  endowment[7] and sealing.[8] These sacred ordinances, which are ceremonies or spiritual rites that are required for eternal life, bring upon us obligations to keep the covenants we have made through the ceremonies of the ordinances.

To help us prepare to receive these sacred ordinances, and remain faithful to the resultant covenants, it is important to maintain an attitude of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and to repent continually as required. Some simple guiding principles that help build our strength in the journey through mortality include, among others:

  1. Relying on the Spirit of God: The gift of the Holy Ghost brings upon us the blessing to be taught and guided by the still small voice. As we consistently hearken to the promptings of the Spirit of God, we shall remain on the strait and narrow path that leads to eternal life. As the spirit enlightens our mind, it leads us to do good and justly. [9]

  1. Regularly feasting on the words of God: Regular scripture study allows us to learn of the will, way and expectations of God. Our understanding of God, His nature, His plan of salvation and relationship with us helps us with the knowledge, courage and faith to live through our mortal sojourn. The Saviour admonished us to learn of Him.[10]  We learn line upon line, precept upon precept as we study the scriptures. We cannot claim to have read enough of the scriptures, for in them we find wisdom, strength, and courage, and we build testimonies.[11] To arrive at our destination, which is eternal life, it is important to remain on the strait path by staying steadfast as we feast upon the word of God and endure to the end.[12]

  1. Trust and abide in the Lord: The Saviour is the way, truth and light and there is no other way or name by which we can be saved except through Him. [13] As the branch derives nutrients and strength from the vine to bear fruits, so we can journey through mortality abiding in Jesus Christ, our vine. Without Him we can do nothing.[14]

  1. Make right choices: We have been given the knowledge to distinguish right from wrong, and to choose freedom or captivity. We should endeavour to pursue a good course, lay hold upon every good thing, and follow the spirit that persuades us to do good continually.[15] Right choices increase the light of Christ in our life and make our path shine more and more until the perfect day.[16] The Spirit of God resonates with us as we do the right things. As His light grows in us, it helps to chase darkness out of our life.[17]

  1. Patiently endure all things through steadfast faith in Christ: We learn, get stronger and grow in the image and stature of God as we endure all things that the Lord deems fit to make us bear. The grace of God that comes through the atonement of the Saviour Jesus Christ will help us as the enabling power which helps us to do what is beyond our strength or capacity. Just as a natural man cannot abide the presence of God, so we must overcome our carnal nature, patiently grow in the Lord until we no longer have the disposition to do evil. Then can we rightly be on the path to perfection.[18]

Beloved brothers and sisters, we move a step closer to becoming like our Heavenly Father each time we follow the prompting of the Spirit of God, learn of God, make a right choice, perform a service to mankind, help establish the work of righteousness, give succour to those in need of such, perform our duties in our assignments from God and His servants, and stay faithful to the covenant we have made with God even in the face of strong opposition. These attributes grow little by little in us like little drops of water that later become an ocean, and we begin to find it easier to please God and more difficult to please the world. If we are consistent in our efforts to draw closer to God, relying not on our own strength but the grace of God, then shall we be saved after all we can do.

May we learn wisdom, regularly yield to the enticing of the Spirit, following the counsel of the prophets and apostles and remain steadfast with an eye single to the glory of God.

[1] Alma 34:32

[2] 3 Nephi 12:48; Matthew 5:48

[3] I Corinthians 9:24-25

[4] D&C 98:11-12

[5] John 3:5

[6] D&C 84:19-24,33

[7] D&C 95:8

[8] D&C 49:15; 131:1-3; 132:4,7,18-19

[9] D&C 11:11-14

[10] Matthew 11:29

[11] 2 Nephi 28:29-30

[12] 2 Nephi 31:18-21

[13] John 14:6; 2 Nephi 31:21

[14] John 15:4-5

[15] Moroni 7:14, 16-17, 19-20; Psalm 97:11

[16] Proverbs 4:18; D&C 50:24

[17] D&C 11:11

[18] D&C 67:11-12