A dear friend shared this video with me as part of our joint mentoring experience. We are focusing on studying consecration this week and this talk delves deeply into that conversation. He poses two questions near the end of his message that were revealed to him as essential for his spiritual growth. He was already keeping all of the commandments, attending the temple regularly, reading daily scripture alone and as a family, holding family home evening and doing all things he could identify as required for righteousness. And yet the Lord required more….
The two questions, that were revealed to him as essential to more fully consecrate himself and progress spiritually, were:
- What am I now doing that I should stop?
- What am I not doing that I should start?
Such simple questions that had a vast impact on his course (and his wives and theirs together) when he asked and applied the answers that came. He made significant changes to his schedule, their media intake and many other areas of life. Abundant blessings flowed thereafter.
I had a similar experience a few years ago when I inquired of the Lord for specific direction as to how I might attain greater spiritual heights. I wanted to learn how to consecrate my mind and to train my thoughts. I know that in training our thoughts, we invite a literal conduit to be created between our brain and God.
One Sabbath morning as I prepared myself and my family for sacrament meeting, I tried to focus my thoughts on Christ and sacred things, sincerely preparing my mind for partaking of the sacrament. My heart and mind were prepared to receive and I posed a question.
“What should be my next area of focus? How can I best draw near unto Thee?
Please give me something identifiable and specific.”
I continued that prayer as best I could in a continual fashion and ongoing conversation with God as I headed off to church and throughout the meeting, restating my prayer once again just prior to taking the sacrament. Literally, as I partook of the sacrament, these words came to my mind.
“Eliminate. Elevate. Educate.”
I have found a pattern to receiving revelation. It is most often accompanied by a spiritual confirmation or physically spiritual witness, as well as an immediate interpretation and understanding of the revelation. This time was no exception, and I had both a spiritual confirmation and instant interpretation.
I understood that these word were a guide to improve and focus upon my thoughts. It was time for a “mental fine tuning.” Mastering my mind would take me to a higher spiritual level and launch me from my current plateau.
- Eliminate the negative things (distractions, media, negativity, sarcasm, etc.)
- Elevate the positive things (fill the new space created with great content – beautifully uplifting music, content that is thought-provoking and intelligent, memorizing, etc.)
- Educate to expand the mind (study, read, write, teach, be intentional – create an educational plan, etc.)
In order to rise to the spiritual sphere that I felt I should be regularly operating from, a close evaluation of how I am spending my time and thinking is required. I made a careful, critical and ongoing analysis of my thoughts and thinking habits. Each of the three areas identified must be improved continually.
The two questions posed above, begin with our thoughts and then we must act upon them to make appropriate change in our lives. By so doing, we take steps toward the goal of “being true and faithful in all things”.