Steven Shumway, professor in the Technology and Engineering Studies program, spoke at Tuesday’s BYU Devotional about keeping our spiritual lifeblood flowing through ministering to others.
Shumway began his remarks with a story from his childhood on a ranch in Wyoming. Every spring, Shumway’s father would take their cattle, including the new calves, up to a pasture in the mountains. One spring, there was a late-season snow and the cows had to be brought back down to a warmer and safer place. Shumway went with his father to retrieve the animals.
As the snowstorm continued on their journey down the mountain, Shumway’s father told him they had to get off their horses and walk. Though he did not understand why, he reluctantly followed his father’s guidance and realized that his feet had started to freeze—the blood had slowed down and needed to recirculate.
“The thing I wanted to do the least was actually the thing I needed to do the most to save myself from harm,” said Shumway. Shumway had to trust his father’s direction and keep the blood flowing in his feet in order to get home safely.
So, asked Shumway, “How can we keep our spiritual lifeblood flowing so that we will have the strength and the ability to continue our journey to return again to be with the Savior and our Heavenly Father?”
The answer Shumway provided was ministering. Serving others like the Savior would is one of the best ways to spiritually strengthen ourselves and our communities. To serve like the Savior we must focus on others, include spiritual components to our service, and continue serving even when it is inconvenient or difficult.
Like walking in the snow to help the blood circulate in our feet, “sometimes when we perceive that we are too busy or feel that we are not ready or that we do not want to be involved in service to others, this is in fact the time when we need to do these things the most.”
Shumway also acknowledged that we have busy lives and should prayerfully consider where and when we should serve. “Each of us needs to maintain a careful balance in the amount of ministering and service that we give. How much we serve or what we do to serve others can be best determined through personal inspiration and revelation that we receive from the Savior,” he said.
He concluded by recognizing that there are still times we become spiritually frozen. In those cases, we must remember that nothing is impossible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
“The miracle is that even though we might be spiritually frozen, as children of a loving Heavenly Father, we are still allowed to partake in the influence of Holy Spirit to help us come back to the Savior. He never gives up on us. If we listen to the Spirit, repent and allow Him to become part of our lives through the power of the Atonement—if we get off the horse and we walk for awhile—the circulation of the Spirit will once again begin to flow,” he said.
Next Devotional: Denise Stephens, professor of Astronomy
Denise Stephens, professor of Astronomy, will deliver the next BYU Devotional on Tuesday, July 3, at 11:05 a.m. in the de Jong Concert Hall.