Last Wednesday (my birthday), I decided to be a good boy and go to the
temple. I didn’t make reservations, because I was instructed by my
Elders Quorum President that I didn’t need to make reservations, “Just
show up.” So this is all your fault President Barlow! As I drove to the
temple, I was feeling quite good about myself—being all righteous and
stuff. I arrived early hoping that they would fit me into any type of
temple service. As I walked to the entrance I noticed a friend—
Brother Clark (former member of our ward) dressed in all white. The
sun was shining brightly, and he was literally glowing! I saw other
temple workers/angels dressed in white exiting the temple as it was the
end of their shift. I anticipated that the rest of the temple experience
would be just as uplifting! I opened the doors and noticed two temple
workers at the front desk clothed in white taking recommends from a
couple that was ahead of me. Suddenly, one of the workers looked up
and past the couple he was helping and directly at me and declared,
“Hello Sinner!” I was completely taken aback! I didn’t know this man! I
had never seen him before in my life! I thought, “Should I be offended
by this?” “Should I call him out?” “Is it okay to fight in the temple?” “He
must know something about me that I don’t know about myself,” “Do I
need to confess something to the Bishop?” “Perhaps he was inspired to
shame and embarrass me.” “Maybe he thought he knew me and was
making a joke!” I finally concluded that maybe he didn’t say what I
thought he said. He took my recommend and I entered past the front
desk and deeper into the temple. The first thing I noticed was a picture
to the left of me of the Savior holding a little lamb which appeared to
have been lost but was found by the Savior. I thought, “That lamb
could be me.” I looked to the right, and saw the baptismal font and
thought, “That is where sinners go to be washed clean through the
Atonement of Jesus Christ.” I then concluded, “Who am I to expect to
be called anything other than a sinner?” This is my relationship with
the Savior. I am a sinner. This is why I am here! And He is my Savior,
and he is mighty to save me!
In the October 2011 General Conference, Elder Carl B. Cook spoke
about a life changing event that took place in his life stating,
“At the end of a particularly tiring day toward the end of my first
week as a General Authority, my briefcase was overloaded and my
mind was preoccupied with the question “How can I possibly do this?”
I left the office of the Seventy and entered the elevator of the Church
Administration Building. As the elevator descended, my head was
down and I stared blankly at the floor.
The door opened and someone entered, but I didn’t look up. As the
door closed, I heard someone ask, “What are you looking at down
there?” I recognized that voice—it was President Thomas S. Monson.
I quickly looked up and responded, “Oh, nothing.”
But he had seen my subdued countenance and my heavy briefcase.
He smiled and lovingly suggested, while pointing heavenward, “It is
better to look up!” As we traveled down one more level, he
cheerfully explained that he was on his way to the temple. When he
bid me farewell, his parting glance spoke again to my heart, “Now,
remember, it is better to look up.”
Two suggestions from a Prophet of God
1) “Look up!” and
2) “Get to
In the April 2017 General Conference, Elder Yoon Hwan Choi of the
Seventy stated, One day, a few months after my baptism, I heard some members
criticizing each other in church. I was very disappointed. I went home
and told my father that maybe I should not go to church anymore. It
was difficult to see members criticize others like that. After listening,
my father taught me that the gospel had been restored and it is
perfect but members are not yet, neither himself nor me. He firmly
said, “Do not lose your faith because of the people around you, but
build a strong relationship with Jesus Christ. Don’t look around, look
Look up to Jesus Christ—the wise advice of my father—strengthens
my faith whenever I face challenges in life. He taught me how to apply
the teachings of Christ, as in these words: “Look unto me in every
thought; doubt not, fear not.” 4
Don’t look around, look up!
In the October 2020 General Conference, Our Current Prophet Russel
M. Nelson spoke about his granddaughter-in-law stating,
“Not long ago, the wife of one of our grandsons was struggling
spiritually. I will call her “Jill.” Despite fasting, prayer, and priesthood
blessings, Jill’s father was dying. She was gripped with fear that she
would lose both her dad and her testimony.
Late one evening, my wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, told me of Jill’s
situation. The next morning Wendy felt impressed to share with Jill
that my response to her spiritual wrestle was one word! The word
Jill later admitted to Wendy that initially she was devastated by my
response. She said, “I was hoping for Grandfather to promise me a
miracle for my dad. I kept wondering why the word myopic was the
one he felt compelled to say.”
After Jill’s father passed on, the word myopic kept coming to her
mind. She opened her heart to understand even more deeply that
myopic meant “nearsighted.” And her thinking began to shift. Jill
then said, “Myopic caused me to stop, think, and heal. That word
now fills me with peace. It reminds me to expand my perspective and
seek the eternal. It reminds me that there is a divine plan and that
my dad still lives and loves and looks out for me. Myopic has led me
Here we have three Godly witnesses encouraging us to change the
focus of our lives, to broaden our lenses to an eternal perspective, and
Jesus had similar counsel for his disciples who were following him for
the wrong reason.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, a not because ye saw the
miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.
Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which
endureth unto everlasting life, which the b Son of man shall give unto
you: for him hath God the Father c sealed .
Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the
works of God?
Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that
ye a believe on him whom he hath sent.”
I believe King Benjamin gave us an excellent definition of what it means
to have eternal perspective when he said,
“Believe in a God ; believe that he is, and that he b created all things,
both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all c wisdom , and all
power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth
not d comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.
And again, believe that ye must a repent of your sins and forsake them,
and humble yourselves before God; and ask in b sincerity of heart that
he would c forgive you; and now, if you d believe all these things see
that ye e do them.
How do we do this?
YouTube Video Elder D Todd Christopherson stated, “I think it’s not by
chance God has created us in a way that we have to have daily
physical sustenance. The Children of Israel coming out of Egypt lived
for 40 years approximately on something called Manna. They couldn’t
have lived from hunting and their lifestyle was such that they couldn’t
be planting, so they really didn’t have an alternative. God was in
essence providing their daily sustenance. I think one of his purposes
was to teach them to remember him, to think of him, to look to him,
to have faith in him, that he was the source of their life. He did it in a
way of making it a daily thing. They couldn’t gather up and store
manna. It would only be good for one day. They couldn’t forget who
was the source of their blessings.”
In the comments section there was a comment that I thought applies
perfectly to our day.
“God gave the Israelites manna in the wilderness, but they had to go
collect it every day! We must do the same with our spiritual manna.
We must go get it every day!”
How do we find and gather this Spiritual Manna?
We focus on God and His Beloved Son by…
Sincere Prayer individually and as a family
Immersing ourselves in the Holy Scriptures
Holy=Sacred=”Connected with God”
o Old, New Testament Binds us with God
o Book of Mormon is ANOTHER Testament/Covenant of
Jesus Christ written for and applicable to us!
o JS, “A man will get nearer to God by…
Temple Attendance: “Holiness to the Lord” = “Connectedness to
the Lord. A place where we make covenants to further connect or
bind us together as families with the Lord.
Live the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Including keeping the
commandments and serving with all of our hearts… Jesus
countered Satan’s temptation to turn stones into bread by stating,
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that
proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
Wise and Foolish Man
What if we are Struggling Spiritually?
Seminary Teacher: Generation COVID.
We spent considerable time on what to do if we are someone we know
struggles Spiritually. We developed an ACRONYM to help us remember
the principles. KENTUKY FRIED ETERNITY (KFE)! Which standsfor
“Knowledge Faith and Eternal Perspective”
How to apply?
Hold on to the gospel knowledge that you have and don’t let it go!
For example, if you know that the Book of Mormon is true! Don’t
cast it aside because you learn that Joseph Smith said or did
something you may not agree with.
Seek knowledge from divinely approve recourses
Scriptures, General Conference talks, Priesthood leaders, and pray
to the Source of all truth. Be Patient with yourself, others and
God as you seek additional truth.
Continue to act in faith! Do the basics. But then exercise your
faith in the area that you may be struggling with. E.g., If you
struggle with tithing, pay it and see the outcome! Prove God!
Struggle to believe the Book of Mormon? Ready it, pondering over
it, and sincerely pray about it. Prove whether Moroni’s promise is
God’s ways and timing are perfect! But they don’t always align
with our desires. Trust Him! And wait patiently.
As Paul stated,
“Eye hath not seen, no ear heard, neither have entered into the
heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that
It is my prayer that we will each feast upon the words of God daily, that
we will eat our Spiritual Kentucky Fried Eternity because it is “Spirit
Liken Good!” and that we will always Look Up!
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.