In his talk “The Things of My Soul“, Elder Rasband listed seven things that “prepare [one] to hear promptings, that lift[s] [one’s] sights beyond the ways of the world, that give purpose to [one’s] work in the gospel and to [one’s] very life . . . These things apply to all who seek to be true disciples of Jesus Christ.” He then invited each of us to find our 8, 9, and 10. Using his criteria above, what are my 8, 9, and 10?
Looking at the seven things (see the featured image) and the criteria Elder Rasband gave, it’s pretty comprehensive. Are there really three more things of my soul that can meet the requirements? The answer is yes. I came up with these after thinking and praying about them.
8. Study the Scriptures
During my missionary exit interview with President W. Craig Zwick, he said something I have never forgotten. He told me that if I “wanted to I could be a scriptorian.” I found that an odd statement, but it has always stuck with me. Now, this is probably because I didn’t follow up on this. I am not a scriptorian. However, I do know that when I study the scriptures, I understand things better. I also feel more prepared to hear the Spirit.
Saying I’m not a scriptorian doesn’t mean I’m not reading and studying the scriptures. I have a routine to make sure I at least listen to the scriptures every day. When I take my daily shower, I put on the scriptures and listen to them while I get ready. This routine allows me to listen to the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants at least once per year.
Recently I have felt that this isn’t enough. I need to be more immersed in the scriptures. Part of my new year’s resolutions will be to have a more concerted study of the scriptures. This will be needed as we are studying the Old Testament in Come Follow Me. I will need to schedule a time to study the scriptures and then follow through with my schedule.
9. Follow the Little Promptings
It’s pretty easy to recognize the big promptings or inspirations in our lives. It’s a little trickier to recognize and acknowledge the little ones. For me, one of those times is when I’m driving. As I start out, I always picture the “normal” route of getting to the place I’m going. Then, as I drive, I listen to see if there are any deviations. If I feel prompted to go a different way, I do. I never really know why I’m prompted to change the route, but I don’t question it either.
Obeying these little promptings shows that we are attentive to God. It shows that we want to follow His plan. It also builds trust in our relationship with God and allows Him to prompt us in other areas where we can do good in His name.
I’m going to admit something here. I’m terrible at fasting. I’ve never been that into it. So you might be wondering why I’m including it here. If we look at the criteria Elder Rasband has laid out where these things “prepare [one] to hear promptings, that lift[s] [one’s] sights beyond the ways of the world, that give purpose to [one’s] work in the gospel and to [one’s] very life” I feel that fasting is one way to improve myself.
Matthew 17:14 – 21, relates an episode where a man comes to Jesus asking Him to heal his son. The son was “lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.” Jesus heals the son and then is approached by his disciples and asked why they could not heal him. Jesus answered them first by citing a lack of faith and then telling them “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”
Along with studying the scriptures, part of my new year’s resolutions will be better at fasting. This means taking advantage of the first Sunday of the month that we dedicate to fasting. But it also means that I need to be sensitive to times where fasting can help me outside of the monthly fast. This then ties into the ninth thing of my soul by following the little promptings.
Revisiting #7 Follow God’s Living Prophet
In Primary we sing the song “Follow the Prophet” with the chorus:
Follow the prophet, follow the prophet,
Follow the prophet; don’t go astray,
Follow the prophet, follow the prophet,
Follow the prophet; he knows the way!Follow the Prophet
Following God’s living prophet brings us many blessings. He is the person called to be the mouthpiece of the Lord for our time. He works tirelessly to know what God wants us to know and do these days.
Cheryl and I have seen these blessings first hand. Soon after we were married, the counsel was given to not watch rated R movies. This is not something Cheryl and I had considered before. We knew there were movies that would make us feel unclean and those that would entertain us. However, we had not thought about the rating before this counsel. When it was given we had a choice, would we follow the counsel or not? We chose to follow the counsel. We don’t watch rated R movies, even if they look “clean”. I know we have been blessed in following that counsel.
The things of my soul help me to draw closer to God and Christ. My three added to Elder Rasband’s seven provide a way to bring the Spirit into my life more fully. It takes focus for this to happen and I know I have some work to do. I know that if I put in that effort that I will be blessed and that I will be able to help in God’s work. I invite you to take the time to come up with your own 8, 9, and 10, and if you’d like share them in the comments below.