Don’t forget the most important prep of all: spiritual prepping!
The Fractured Foundation of Morality
When one compares the 10 Commandments that God gave to Israel via Moses with the cultural reality of our day and time, it is clear to see that the foundation of commandments has been fractured. What does it mean to be self-reliant spiritually? I’ll answer that in a minute.
The commandments of God are there for our benefit. They might seem like a just bunch of rules, but when we understand that God’s intent is to make us truly happy, both now and forever, it becomes easier to understand that the commandments are more of the wisdom of a loving parent than the rules of a taskmaster.
When you boil away all the politics of our day, it becomes clear that we need God’s light and His love more today than ever. We need His help to endure the difficult times we live in.
God’s commandments are key to becoming spiritually self-reliant.
But, What Does it Mean to be Self-Reliant Spiritually?
If self-reliance is taking the necessary action to provide the necessities of life for self and family, then spiritual self-reliance can be defined as taking action to provide the necessities of spiritual strength for self and family.
But, why? What does it even matter?
Things that are neglected tend to atrophy. This is certainly true in the case of spiritual strength. The consequences of neglecting the spirit within us are serious. It results in a lesser desire to do good and a greater desire to do evil works. It causes us to forget who we are and why we are here. It makes it easy to get involved and carried away in things of little worth.
To be self-reliant spiritually, it is important to keep the ten commandments. Here is a ten commandment refresher:
The Ten Commandments are eternal gospel principles… The Lord revealed them to Moses in ancient times (see Exodus 20:1–17), and they are also referenced in whole or in part in other books of scripture (see Matthew 19:18–19; Romans 13:9; Mosiah 12:33–36; 13:13–24; D&C 42:18–29; 59:5–13; 63:61–62). The Ten Commandments are a vital part of the gospel. Obedience to these commandments paves the way for obedience to other gospel principles.
The following review of the Ten Commandments includes brief explanations of how they continue to apply in our lives today:
1. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). We should do “all things with an eye single to the glory of God” (D&C 82:19). We should love and serve the Lord with all our heart, might, mind, and strength (see Deuteronomy 6:5; D&C 59:5).
2. “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image” (Exodus 20:4). In this commandment, the Lord condemns the worship of idols. Idolatry may take many forms. Some people do not bow before graven images or statues but instead replace the living God with other idols, such as money, material possessions, ideas, or prestige. In their lives, “their treasure is their god”—a god that “shall perish with them” (2 Nephi 9:30).
3. “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain” (Exodus 20:7).
4. “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8).
5. “Honour thy father and thy mother” (Exodus 20:12). This commandment remains binding throughout our lives and can be understood in several ways: We should honor our fathers and our mothers who are our ancestors; we should be grateful to the father and mother who provided our earthly bodies; we should honor those who raised us in the knowledge of the truth. Above all, we should honor our Heavenly Parents. The way we honor all these fathers and mothers is by keeping the commandments.
6. “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13).
7. “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). In a latter-day revelation, the Lord condemned not only adultery, but “anything like unto it” (D&C 59:6). Fornication, homosexuality, and other sexual sins are violations of the seventh commandment.
8. “Thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15). Stealing is a form of dishonesty.
9. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Exodus 20:16). Bearing false witness is another form of dishonesty.
10. “Thou shalt not covet” (Exodus 20:17). Coveting, or envying something that belongs to another, is damaging to the soul. It can consume our thoughts and plague us with constant unhappiness and dissatisfaction. It often leads to other sins and to financial indebtedness.
Although most of the Ten Commandments list things we should not do, they also represent things we should do. The Savior summarized the Ten Commandments in two principles—love for the Lord and love for our fellow men: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:37–39). lds.org
Spiritual Self-Reliance = Strengthening our Spiritual Selves
Why is it important to strengthen our spiritual selves? Because not all wars and tribulations are physical in nature. We learn in the Bible that lucifer was cast out of heaven with his hosts into the earth. They dwell here and have the ability to tempt us. They, in fact, have made war on us and do everything they have power to do to inhibit our progression.
If lucifer is at war with you and me, it is necessary to strengthen ourselves in every way, including spiritually, to be able to withstand him. We do that through learning the truth, living by the truth and telling the truth. We eat healthy foods and exercise to strengthen our bodies. We study and learn to strengthen our minds. But, what are we doing to strengthen our spirits?
“Spirituality is essential to our temporal and eternal well-being. We all experience trials. Striving to increase our spirituality will help us face these trials well and give us hope for better days.” lds.org
How have you developed spiritual self-reliance in your own life? Please comment below.