Bishop Gérald Caussé, Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, delivered Tuesday’s devotional address. He spoke about building harmony between our bodies and spirits, which Caussé said is key to finding true happiness both in our mortal existence and in the life to come.
In Beauty and the Beast, Belle is taken prisoner in an enchanted castle by a prince trapped in the body of a beast because of a curse. Belle does not judge the Beast and is able to separate his outer shell of rude manners and anger from his spirit within. Because of Belle’s love, the spell is broken and the prince returns to his original appearance.
“Each of us is made up of two elements – the physical body and the spirit,” Bishop Caussé said. “The Beast’s physical body, with which the prince had been encumbered, made him grumpy and asocial, but when his heart changed, and he was able to recover his joyful and sociable nature, his physical appearance also changed.”
Physical conditions can have a significant impact on spiritual wellness outside of fairytales as well, he explained.
“The beautiful harmony that can exist between our physical and spiritual natures is an important condition for finding true happiness in our mortal journey and in the eternities to come,” he said.
Bishop Caussé shared three principles to help explain the relationship between our physical and spiritual natures and their influence on each other.
1. Spiritual strength influences our physical well-being.
Inner thoughts, feelings and emotions can translate into physical sensations. Pure and charitable hearts reflect a countenance that draws others to them.
“True beauty is a result of a subtle alchemy and a delicate balance, which in large part comes from our personal inner lights, rather than from aesthetic or physical criteria alone,” Bishop Caussé said.
He told the story of a Jacques Lusseyran, who was blinded in an accident at 7 years old. He found that even though he couldn’t see in a traditional sense, over time he became aware of light. He was able to “see” people through the tone of their voices. This became a vital skill when he became the leader of an underground resistance to the Nazi regime in Paris in the 1940s. All who wished to join had to meet with “the blind man” – he would listen to their souls more than their words.
“Please do not allow perceived physical imperfections to define you,” Bishop Caussé said. “Strengthening your inner light should be your focus. By doing so you will develop an inward beauty that radiates in your outward appearance, improves your physical well-being, invigorates your natural senses and makes you a happier person.”
2. Physical appearance impacts spirituality of ourselves and those around us.
Outward appearance is not insignificant, said Caussé. Dress and behavior have an influence on our spirit. Because of this, missionaries for the Church have guidelines for the way they dress, the Honor Code is given to students representing the Church and guidelines such as For the Strength of Youth are given to members of the Church.
“I encourage you to pay careful attention to the physical image and appearance that you present to the world,” he said. “It may directly influence your spiritual life and the lives of those around you.”
3. The Lord recognizes the importance of both temporal and spiritual principles.
Many commandments are both spiritual and temporal, including the Word of Wisdom, the law of chastity, tithing and emergency preparedness. Bishop Caussé explained that taking care of your health is another important principle, which includes eating nutritious food, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep.
“The habits you establish now pertaining to your personal well-being will impact you both temporally and spiritually for the rest of your lives,” he said.
Remaining sexually pure is also a large part of remaining healthy, spiritually and temporally.
“In choosing virtue as the standard by which you bring into harmony your physical and spiritual inheritances, you will qualify yourselves to one day become kings and queens in the eternal kingdom prepared by our Father in Heaven and receive of His fulness and of His glory,” he said. “This is His greatest desire for you.”
Eboo Patel, founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core, will deliver the forum address at 11:05 a.m. on October 20, 2020.
His remarks will be broadcast on BYUtv, BYUtv.org, Classical 89 FM (89.1 FM) and BYUradio (107.9 FM).