As we align ourselves with Jesus Christ and His teachings, we can live an abundant life.
Elder Kevin W. Pearson, general authority seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, delivered Tuesday's devotional. He spoke on how to prioritize the Lord and truly live an abundant life.
Elder Pearson defined the abundant life as a spiritual one, as we are spiritual beings in a temporal situation. He said that without an eternal perspective it is impossible to live an abundant life.
“If one only looks through the lens of secularism, moral relativism and self-interest, one will not find abundance – only isolation and scarcity.”
In order to live the abundant life, one must understand who they are, as a child of God that has a great divine destiny. Elder Pearson said that God’s plan is for all to achieve immortality and eternal life.
“Each of us can transform our lives, and we must, if we desire the constant influence of the Holy Ghost and want to realize our divine potential. Therefore, the constant plea to repent daily is really a loving invitation to enjoy more abundance in our lives.”
Considering prophetic statements made by President Russell M. Nelson about the incredible potential God’s children have, Elder Pearson stated that it is disheartening to “watch some returning missionaries immediately jump into rush hour traffic towards the nearest large and spacious building, discarding along the way daily spiritual habits learned at breakneck speed, and guzzling the Kool-Aid of social media and secular culture instead of the living water of the gospel of Jesus Christ. After working so hard to become disciples who used to be someone else, they focus on becoming someone else who used to be a disciple of Jesus Christ."
“My young friends,” he added, “we are counting on you to stand up and stand out; not give in and give out. We need you to be leaders, a light unto the world, not spiritual casualties.”
Elder Pearson continued by reinforcing the idea that this is a pivotal time in the lives of the students, as they will make decisions that determine their destiny. He said that the most important decisions are those that encourage the making and keeping of sacred covenants.
“Your willingness to place the Savior and your sacred covenants at the center of your life is crucial. Who you marry and their commitment to their sacred covenants will largely determine whether you keep your own. Your willingness to always follow the living prophets? Your willingness to remain faithful and active in the Lord’s Church? These decisions will determine your destiny!”
Living during a time when many people seem to pick and choose what commandments are important, Elder Pearson emphasized how important it is to follow all of God’s counsel. He said that the Lord expects us to be all in, all the time.
“We are living in a time of sifting. The Lord needs more of us to place exclamation marks instead of question marks behind prophetic counsel. He needs more engaged participants in His work and fewer passive observers – more determined disciples and fewer drowning in disbelief and apathy.”
Elder Pearson shared four principles that are crucial to spiritual survival and will help all to live the abundant life: placing the Savior at the center of one's life, a willingness to make and keep sacred covenants, having the companionship of the Holy Ghost and living a life of service and gratitude.
1. Place the Savior at the Center of our Lives
If students focus on prioritizing Jesus Christ they will be able to live without fear, even amidst hardship, Elder Pearson said.
“Abundant living is a journey, not a destination. An abundant life is not a life without challenges, setbacks and even failures… If we are willing, adversity can draw us closer to the Savior and give us wisdom and understanding.”
2. Willingness to Make and Keep Sacred Covenants
Covenant keeping is critical to living an abundant life, Elder Pearson told the audience. He pleaded with the students to take their temple and baptismal covenants seriously, because they can bring safety in a tumultuous world.
“Covenant keeping has nothing to do with personal preference and convenience, and everything to do with commitment … It is through making and keeping sacred temple covenants that we qualify for immortality, eternal life and a fulness of joy!”
3. Abundant Life is Spiritual and Requires the Companionship of the Holy Ghost
Having the gift of the Holy Ghost will allow for more devoted discipleship, Elder Pearson noted. By aligning our lives with the Savior's teachings we will qualify for the guiding, comforting and healing power of the spirit.
“How would your life change if you constantly prayed each day to have the influence of the Holy Ghost and then lived worthy of it? How would it improve your ability to learn and master what you are studying?”
4. An Abundant Life Requires an Attitude of Gratitude and a Life of Service to Others
Serving others and building relationships with others will mean more than any other achievement throughout our lives. Elder Pearson said that his wife and children are the abundance of his life, and prioritizing them and the Savior has made all the difference.
“Serving is the essence of Christlike discipleship and abundant living, it is also the antidote to personal disappointment and discouragement.”