Apr 20, 2014

Decisions for Eternity

Decisions for Eternity
by Elder Russell M. Nelson

"Each day is a day of decision . . . 'decisions determine destiny'.  The wise use of your freedom to make you own decisions is crucial to your spiritual growth, now and for eternity.  You are never too old to change. "

In his talk, Elder Nelson talks about our Human Body and our Human Spirit.  Each is important and they both affect each other.  He challenges us:

"Each time you look in the mirror, see your body as your temple.  That truth - refreshed gratefully each day - can positively influence your decisions about how you will care for your body and how you will use it.  And those decisions will determine your destiny.  How could this be?  Because your body is the temple for your spirit.  And how you use your body affects your spirit."

We have been commanded to keep both our body and our spirit healthy. 

- regular exercise
- healthy eating
- not partaking in drugs, alcohol, and other harmful substances (following the Word of Wisdom)
- drinking plenty of water

- daily scripture reading
- daily prayers
- meditation
- not partaking in entertainment, etc that is unrighteous and harmful to our spirit.

"Your Heavenly Father has known you for a very long time.  You, as His son or daughter, were chosen by Him to come to earth at this precise time, to be a leader in His great work on earth.  You were chosen NOT for your bodily characteristics but for your SPIRITUAL attributes, such as bravery, courage, integrity of heart, a thirst for truth, a hunger for wisdom, and a desire to serve others.  You developed some of these attributes premortally.  Others you can develop here on earth as you persistently seek them."

What are some of your spiritual attributes?  If you don't know, pray to find out.  

Elder Nelson reminds us of our freedom to choose.
"We are 'free to choose liberty and eternal life. . .or to choose captivity and death'.  When we choose the loftier path toward liberty and eternal life, that path includes marriage."

"Marriage between a man and a woman is fundamental to the Lord's doctrine and crucial to God's eternal plan.  Marriage between a man and a woman is God's pattern for a fullness of life on earth and in heaven.  God's marriage pattern CANNOT be abused, misunderstood, or misconstrued.  Not if you want true joy.  God's marriage pattern protects the sacred power of procreation and the joy of uniting as husband and wife."

Lately, governments and various other groups have been fighting to change the laws protecting God's pattern of marriage.  
"Regardless of what civil legislation may be enacted, the doctrine of the Lord regarding marriage and morality cannot be changed.  REMEMBER:  SIN, EVEN IF LEGALIZED BY MAN, IS STILL SIN IN THE EYES OF GOD! . . .we cannot change his doctrine, it is not ours to change."

Elder Nelson talks about the pivotal spiritual attribute of self-mastery

SELF- MASTERY= the strength to place reason over appetite.
"Self- Mastery builds strong conscience --> And your strong conscience determines your moral responses in difficult, tempting, and trying situations."

"God implanted strong appetites within us for the nourishment and love, vital for the human family to be perpetuated.  When we master our appetites within the bounds of God's laws, we can enjoy longer life, greater love, and consummate joy. . . Most temptations to stray from God's plan of happiness come through the misuse of those essential, God-given appetites.  Controlling our appetites is not always easy.  Mistakes happen.  Errors are made.  Sins are committed.  What can we do then?  We can learn from them.  And we can truly repent."

Elder Nelson reminds us that one of the reasons we obey the law of the fast is because "fasting helps your spirit to develop dominance over your physical appetites." 

"A strong human spirit with control over appetites of the flesh is master over emotions and passions and not a slave to them."
Self-mastery gives us freedom.

"The Lord's way is the only way for us to experience enduring happiness."

If you are currently living differently from the Lord's way, it's not too late.
"We can change our behavior.  Our very desires can change.  How?"  
"TRUE CHANGE - permanent change - can come only through the healing, cleansing, and enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. . . He allows you to access His power as you keep His commandments, eagerly, earnestly, and exactly."

Next Week's Talk:
by Elder Kevin S. Hamilton