May 14th, 2007

Spiritual Minus Temporal


photo credit: The lydiannacat

Yesterday in Sacrament meeting the assigned topic for the speakers was on preparation for the Millenium. Each speaker touched on the same basic elements—that spiritual preparation is necessary, that it cannot be shared (citing and reading the entire story of the wise/unwise virgins), and that we need to follow the Prophet.

Temporal preparation was left out.

Why is this? Is temporal preparation not important? Is it important, but of far less import than spiritual preparation? Are the two not intertwined or related? We know from the scriptures about such commandments:

…my commandments are spiritual; they are not natural nor temporal, neither carnal nor sensual. (D&C 29:35)

Does this scripture indicate that temporal commandments are not important or ever given? I don’t think so. Rather, I believe it teaches us that the temporal commandments that we are given are spiritual in nature.

For example, we are counseled to have a year’s supply of food, water, and supplies. However, the premise behind this commandment is a spiritual one—obedience to the prophet and preparation for what is to come. Tithing, fasting, wise financial management, clean music and movies—these are just a few of the “temporal” commandments we are given that have spiritual implications.

And so, I believe that in leaving out the “temporal” commandments, one cannot properly and fully be spiritually prepared. Like yesterday’s Sacrament meeting, I feel that more emphasis is placed on the absolutely spiritual elements (which are very important, mind you) without enough (or any) attention given to the temporal areas of preparedness.

Brother Brigham summed it up nicely:

I will tell you all that your faith, religion, and profession of religion, will never save one soul of you in heaven, unless you carry out just such principles as I am now teaching you. Go and bring in those people now on the plains, and attend strictly to those things which we call temporal, or temporal duties, otherwise your faith will be in vain; the preaching you have heard will be in vain to you, …unless you attend to the things we tell you. (Brigham Young, via Quoty)

Faith without works is dead. Likewise, spiritual preparation without its temporal components is fruitless and void.

9 Responses to “Spiritual Minus Temporal”

  1. Kelly Winterton
    May 14, 2007 at 8:22 am #

    Saints cannot nor will not undertake to prepare temporally until they first obtain a spiritual foundation.

    After obtaining a testimony of the truthfullness of the past commandments to prepare temporally, they can move to the next step of actually doing something about it.

    I suppose the speakers in your Sacrament Meeting had not personally done anything to store food, etc. and therefore did not feel comfortable talking about it.

    To try to prepare temporally WITHOUT the foundation of spititual preparation is equally as dangerous as preparing spiritually without the corresponding temporal preparation. I guess that last sentence, if read out of the scriptures, would read something like this: Faith without works is dead, even as works without faith is dead.

    It would be fair to address the new official policy of the Church on food storage, as found on providentliving.org. This new policy has superceeded the past policy on home production and food storage. A three-month’s supply of food is encouraged, and after that is aquired, it is hoped that Saints strive towards the full year’s supply. Storing only the basics is emphasized, and storing only foods that naturally store easily. I can now find nothing in official policy about doing the time-honored practices of gardening and sewing and canning.

    I assume this de-emphasis was necessary because such a low percentage of saints were actually trying to store and produce food anyway. (Most surveys I’ve read say only 5% to 15% of Saints currently have any kind of storage or production systems within their homes.) I think it was a kind of “lowering of the bar.”

    Equal emphasis on temporal planning now is placed on FINANCIAL frugality and family economic stability. Perhaps neglecting our wise use of money is now as dangerous as running out of food!

  2. Steve M.
    May 14, 2007 at 9:04 am #

    For what it’s worth, my stake presidency recently drafted a letter that was distributed to each member of the stake (most of whom reside in Wymount Terrace), informing us that as students, we are only expected to have a month’s supply of food.

  3. Chris
    May 14, 2007 at 9:15 am #

    What? You didn’t talk about mothers?

  4. Kelly Winterton
    May 14, 2007 at 10:00 am #

    Steve M.,
    The Church is a world church now, and must cater to many different situtations around the world. Some countries even have laws AGAINST the storage of food in such large quantities. Some demographic groups would have great difficulties storing food, such as students, apartment dwellers, singles, etc. Therefore, I believe that efforts of temporal preparedness should naturally be supervised more on a regional basis, instead of a church-wide basis. I therefore believe you should obey your regional Stake leader.

  5. Aaron
    May 14, 2007 at 10:10 am #

    Equal emphasis on temporal planning now is placed on FINANCIAL frugality and family economic stability. Perhaps neglecting our wise use of money is now as dangerous as running out of food!

    Kelly,
    You are right. Members, in general, are not responsible with their money. We spend what we don’t have.

    I don’t see the changed focus as “lowering the bar” as much as targetting the needs of the current members.

  6. May 14, 2007 at 11:00 am #

    Kelly,

    I’m totally fine with my stake president’s counsel. I think it’s wise and realistic. I just had to throw it out there, because Connor is pretty strong about the one-year food supply, even for students. I thought my stake president’s adjustment of the counsel was worth considering.

  7. May 14, 2007 at 5:38 pm #

    It is always amusing to me when I hear how so many of us work somewhat diligently towards finding greater latitude in being justifiably less prepared.

    I have also noticed that as things go spiritually, we seem to rely more and more upon the guidance of the world and the worldly. Perhaps it is just part of the transition of going from wheat to tares.

    Hopefully, far fewer of us will be left standing at the proverbial alter than I envision at the present time. Personally I am going to keep preparing both spiritually and temporally just as much as I am able to do while there is still oil to place in my lamp.

  8. May 14, 2007 at 6:46 pm #

    The more I learn about the gospel, the more I desire to be as self-reliant as possible. I don’t just want to get a certain amount of food storage based on what the current policy is… I want to have a self-reliant lifestyle, storing as much as possible and practible, and using it regularly as well. There is wisdom in doing all that you can to take care of yourself and your family, depending less on society for your welfare, survival, comfort, or even entertainment. I think the spirit can teach each of us this if we are willing to listen and desire to know.

  9. May 16, 2007 at 1:24 pm #

    Carissa you said,

    The more I learn about the gospel, the more I desire to be as self-reliant as possible. I don’t just want to get a certain amount of food storage based on what the current policy is… I want to have a self-reliant lifestyle, storing as much as possible and practible, and using it regularly as well. There is wisdom in doing all that you can to take care of yourself and your family, depending less on society for your welfare, survival, comfort, or even entertainment. I think the spirit can teach each of us this if we are willing to listen and desire to know.

    I totally agree with you on this issue. That is the kind of mind that will move us to a true zion like society and that is what I am all about when it comes to living in a society. Let’s face it we live in Babylon both spiritual and tempral. it’s everywhere. its in our dealings, worldly work ethics. it all about maken the money and that’s what was a bit pit fall for us saint past and now presesnt. I believe we have all fallen into it mostly by tradition because we grow up in it. That is no justification. We have the knowledge in the D&C. 104, 119, on how to live the principles of a zion society. We must learn this spiritually as well as temperally. Food storage for instance, there has been posts above that different people have different circomstances. It seem like we try and turn and twist the gospel and commandments to fit our lives in stead of turning and twisting our lives to fit the gospel and commandments. it is not a good thing if commandments have to be lowered. remember what happened to the Isrealites at Sioni. above all these post are all good and may god show us our folly.

    Aaron M.

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