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Intellect

A lesson in spiritual perception from a stealthy caterpillar

Associate Professor of Biology Jerry Johnson speaks about developing spirtual eyes at Devotional

Without a careful eye, you could just miss the expertly camouflaged fuzzy caterpillar disguised as a simple leaf. The key - both when studying biology and the spiritual aspects of life - is to know what you're looking for, said Associate Professor of Biology Jerry Johnson at the Devotional on Tuesday. 

Just as biologists train their eyes to identify the most adeptly disguised insects and animals, Johnson said we must train our spiritual eyes to see and understand certain truths.

Johnson mentioned two eye-opening methods:

Desire it - ask to see

"What we righteously desire, we usually get," Johnson said. "If we are to see spiritual truths in our lives, we must desire them and as simple as it sounds, we must ask to see them."

Prepare to receive personal revelation

"Ultimate understanding requires revelation," Johnson said. "For some, this will be manifest through occasional promptings from the Holy Spirit. For those who have entered into the covenant of baptism, we have a promise that we can have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost to help us perceive and understand truth."

As a result of our efforts, Johnson said, we will learn new truths, better understand Heavenly Father's plan and will for us, and begin to see others from the Savior's perspective.

"When we see each other as daughters and sons of our Heavenly Father, it changes us," Johnson said. "It takes us away from superficial thinking where we define ourselves as beautiful, or athletic, or intellectual, or popular, or not. Instead, we begin to see each other as brothers and sisters with singular purpose striving to become ready to return to live with our Heavenly Father."

If you missed Johnson's address, it can be streamed on demand at BYUtv.org and will be available on speeches.byu.edu

Next forum address
On Tuesday, July 15, Scott Sprenger, associate Dean of Humanities and professor of French Studies, will deliver a forum address at 11:05 a.m., in the de Jong Concert Hall.

Professor Sprenger's address is titled, "When Humanities Became the World." He will discuss the value of humanities skills and capacities for careers in the current global marketplace, strategies for all students to leverage humanities and foreign language coursework and how BYU is perhaps the best-positioned university in the country for the 21st century. 

In the fall, Sprenger will leave BYU to become the next provost of The American University of Paris. 

Writer: Paige Montgomery

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