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The Five Safeguards to spirituality — The Five T’s

Old fashioned radios had several ‘tubes’ that allowed them to function properly.  It was essential that all of the tubes were functioning and in good condition.  Following are five spiritual ‘tubes’, all of which start with the letter T:

  1. Trust – Proverbs 3:5. We can place trust in many things, other than the Lord, when that trust bolsters our trust in the Lord, Good! (Wife, leaders, doctrine). When we trust anyone or anything to the exclusion of the Lord, or if it lessens trust in the Lord, BAD!  Nehor or Korihor said that men get on in this life according to their own work or effort (reference?)  Come on bishop, who would knowingly or willingly place trust somewhere else?  Often they don’t, but by neglect or ambivalence or lack of commitment they place their trust, by default, on things of the world.  It is often a slow, insidious process.  Often in the bishops office I have had a young person tell me, through tears and heartache, that they simply didn’t know how they arrived at the deplorable situation they were in.  Never in one large giant step.  Series of small, poor choices, which taken individually seemed so unimportant or trivial or inconsequential.  Satan’s grasp on transgressors is referred to as the chains of hell in the BOM.  What a sobering analogy.  Chains are made of individual links.  Each poor or unrighteous choice forges a new link.  Early in this process, the chain is very small and almost unnoticeable.  Sure, I feel a little weight around my ankles and wrists, but it is very manageable.  I could break this band at any time.  Left unchecked, the person becomes accustomed to the extra weight, might even congratulate himself on being able to carry extra weight with ease.  This occurs by putting trust in the arm of flesh, the arm of man.  In time, the weight becomes excessive, the constriction unbearable, but now our ability to rid ourselves of the chains is severely limited and compromised.  What things might we have placed our trust in that led to heartache or captivity?  Perhaps a boyfriend or girlfriend with impure motives?  Perhaps friends or peers with standards or lifestyles at variance with the standards of the gospel?  Perhaps even trusting solely in ourselves and our own capability to navigate the storms of life alone?  How about Hollywood, or sports idols, or other bastions of worldliness.  “Why halt ye between two opinions?”  “You cannot serve God and Mammon” Do something.  Take a stand.  Rise up.  Be men and women of Christ.  Alma gives Helaman the best possible counsel on how to do this.  Alma 37:36.
  1. Truth – ground yourself in truth. I am the way, the truth, and the life. There are 4 or 5 truths that I hope everyone understands.  a) wickedness never was happiness, and the rest of that scripture.  One can never be happy outside the commandments of God.  You might experience fleeting or temporary excitement, exhilaration, thrills, perhaps contentment, but never happiness as God knows it.  Come on, there are millions of people happy and content.  I am talking about us, those of us that know the will of the Lord and the standards of the Lord embraced by His gospel.  Never.  A very cheap imitation.  b) The most important thing you do will be to marry the right person, right place, by right authority.  Who the right person is is a topic for another day, but the right place is in the house of the Lord, in a temple.  My prayer is that you will never put yourself in a position where you might contemplate marrying anywhere else.  What is the right authority?  The sealing power of the holy priesthood of God, accessible only in the temples.  But haven’t there been successful marriages outside the temple that eventually led to a later sealing?  Yes.  Haven’t nonmembers been brought to the gospel by such marriages?  Yes, and the Lord be praised because of such successes.  But I say again, why run the risk?  You are in complete and total control now.  Set your goal on a temple marriage, associate with those who have the same goal, settle for nothing less c) Sexual sin between unmarried young people is abominable in the sight of the Lord, and never brings happiness, only regret and heartache.  All sexual improprieties between unmarried young people must be confessed to the Lord and to a priesthood leader in order for true repentance to take place.  These indiscretions cannot be resolved by a quick prayer to Heavenly Father, asking for mercy.  d) We can succeed! They that be with us are more than they that be with them. Helaman 5 – cannot fail.  Section 6: cannot prevail.

3. TEMPLE – every member should have a TR.  Two reasons why you wouldn’t have one – negligence of unworthiness.  Both reasons are readily fixable.  Negligence – come in.  Not terribly important at this time of your life?  No more important time.  You are establishing habits now that you will carry into your marriage.  Limited use, full use.  Not worthy – Change, repent, take a stand.  Every day without a recommend or attendance is a day very much less than it could have and should have been.  It is the House of the Lord!  If we received an invitation to the White House or the Governors Mansion or even President Hinckley’s apartment, we would scurry and prepare and fuss about this marvelous opportunity.  We are invited into the House of the Lord every single day!  Shouldn’t we scurry and fuss and prepare and take advantage?  The three great benefits of the temple:  1) everything associated with the temple points to the Savior, directly or indirectly.  The angel Moroni – announces the restoration of the gospel and the coming forth of the BOM, the spire – points our gaze heavenward, the ordinances the covenants, the endowment of power – everything draws us to the Lord.   2)  the service we render – holy service, exalting service, great missionary service  3) recommend – standards of worthiness for all, limited or full, no great blessing than to be able to answer those questions, I thrill every time I ask them or hear them.   If you have one USE it, if you have been negligent, come in,  if you are unworthy, change your life NOW!

4. Testimony – the strength of our testimony is a barometer of our spirituality.  No one needs to tell us how strong our testimony is, we know.  Roaring fire like Ammon who said Oh that I were an angel or Joseph Smith “and this is the testimony last of all which we give of Him, that he Lives!”  For some, due to neglect or sin, their testimony is the most feeble of flickers in a remote corner of their soul. Neglected, ignored, overlooked. Perhaps even “past feeling” like Laman and Lemuel.  Most of us would fall somewhere between those two extremes.  The shelf life of a testimony is very brief. (find the quote).  There is no neutrality with testimonies.  Every day, our testimony is either stronger or weaker.  Strengthening a testimony takes daily effort and work.  If we do nothing, the testimony by definition weakens.  We all know what we need to do.  Have you thought about the two forms of the word bear that apply to testimonies?  BEAR means to carry, to lift, to feel the weight of.  This is important, it means our testimony is part of our being, it dictates our actions, we are always aware that we are bearing this wonderful weight.  Our daily lives are a reflection of the strength of the testimony.  We bear it with pride and gratitude, or we bear it not at all.  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for I know that it is the power of god unto salvation!  BARE means to make known, to open for examination, to reveal, to put on display. To bare a testimony is to make a public, open heartfelt presentation of that which we hold dear and cherish about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Our words declare it, our lives declare it.  Is there any question of Brian Gunn’s or Paul Schneider’s or President Francom’s testimony?  Their countenances BARE their testimonies?  How about the rest of us?  What do our countenances reveal about our testimonies?  What do they BARE?  Testimonies are strengthened with baring.  I have realized that about half of you, I have never heard your testimonies.  Open your mouths.  Proclaim your devotion and loyalty to the Savior.  This is a sweet opportunity not to be neglected.  If you feel weak or unworthy or unprepared, do something.  Make the changes necessary.

5. TITHING-  principle with a promise.  One of the few commandments that we can literally live 100% and know it.  No temple recommend without tithing.  No callings without tithing.  How much does it have to do with money, in our lives?  Nothing.  How much does it have to do with love and obedience and discipleship?  Everything.  How ironic is it that we consider it a great sacrifice to pay the 10%, when the 10% isn’t ours in the first place.  The 90% remaining is not ours either!  The earth is mine and the fullness thereof, saith the Lord.  I could aske for all, but I won’t.  Enjoy a wonderful life with the 90%, but let me use 10% of what I have given you to foster the work of my gospel.  Oh and by the way, if you are wiling to do that I WILL OPEN THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN AND pour you out a blessing such that there will not be room to receive it!


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