“Many of our challenges are in the spiritual realm. They are societal issues we as individuals cannot necessarily resolve. Nevertheless, there are practical rewards we can achieve as individuals, even at a time when righteousness across the world is in decline.”
I am reading and loving this talk today given by Elder Quentin L. Cook, called “Reaping the Rewards of Righteousness” (this excerpt was written July 2015 from an original address on May 2, 2014). While I don’t have time today to give a lot of commentary on it, I will add some quotes that I find fascinating.
In talking about skeptics of living righteously, he stated,
“They evidence their diminished faith when, on many issues, they are more concerned with being on the wrong side of history than on the wrong side of God. There was a time when the vast majority of people understood that they would be judged by God’s commandments, not by the prevailing views or dominant philosophies of the day. Some are more concerned about being mocked by others than they are about being judged by God.”
Elder Cook talks about the reward of spirituality and posed the question, “How do I put material concerns in proper perspective as I attempt to achieve spiritual progress?”
“Could anything be more relevant to the issues of our own day than this message about humility, pride, envy, and persecution? The great debate across much of the world is about temporal day-to-day economic issues. Yet there is little discussion about returning to Christlike principles focused on preparation to meet God and on the condition of our spirits. We need to focus our lives and increase our emphasis on spiritual matters.”
He talks about successful families and raising successful children, and then talks about something that I think we, as parents, may worry about a lot –
“The scriptures are clear that living the commandments allows us to prosper in the land. But let me assure you that prospering in the land is not defined by the size of your bank account. It has a much fuller meaning than that.”
Then he went on to talk about having an abundance of the Spirit of the Lord in our lives and the peace that living the gospel gives us. That living the commandments provides for more than just physical wealth, there are also physical blessings, mental, social and of course spiritual blessings that come from keeping and living a righteous life (a life in harmony with God and His teachings as outlined in His scriptures and in the words of the living prophets). I can testify that this is true. As one who has been living on very little over the past few years, I have seen an abundance of God’s blessings in my life. The greatest blessing for me has been the peace of knowing that I have been living in the way that is acceptable to God.
King Benjamin states, “I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it” (Mosiah 2:41).
I hope that you are able to read the whole talk and that you will feel free to share your thoughts about it in the comments. Have a wonderful day!