The following is an exercise that only requires your journal, a pen, your scriptures and a little bit of time. I had my Young Women ponder and write about these questions during a quiet hour at camp one year. I wanted the girls and their leaders to feel as though we were sitting on the couch in my family room having a conversation. My hope is that the simplicity of this interchange might be helpful.
Every so often I ask a person how they’re doing and they tell me they feel empty inside. I’m pretty sure they’re not saying they skipped breakfast or it’s time for dinner. So what are they talking about?”
This is a Primary level question, but it’s important. Our souls are made up of two parts. See Doctrine and Covenants 88:15. What are the two parts of our souls?
Both parts need to be feed or filled. I’ve discovered that the empty feeling I sometimes have inside when I feel like screaming or crying or when I feel just plain nothing is my spiritual tummy saying, “Please feed me!” Do you ever feel the discomfort of being spiritually hungry or empty inside?
How does it feel and what do you usually do about this feeling?
Sometimes we feel spiritually empty and don’t recognize it for what it is, and don’t know what to do about it. Often we try to fill ourselves with things or activities that feel good. The trouble is that the good feeling we get doesn’t last. It’s very temporary. In today’s world, often what people use to try and make them feel better is very destructive. Try writing down some of the things other people do or use to make them feel better.
Some of the common things people do are actually good things done in excess like watching TV, playing computer games, texting, surfing the web, over eating, excess shopping, exercise, and work. Others find temporary pleasure in tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea, and drugs (prescription and illegal), and behaviors that become compulsive and addictive such as gambling, viewing pornography, inappropriate sexual behavior, anger, lying, violence, and disorders associated with eating.
Can you identify any substance or behavior (serious or seeming innocent) you use to make yourself feel better that may be causing problems in your life?
How is your behavior affecting your life?
What do you think your spirit likes to feast on?
Let’s see what it says in the scriptures. Look up 2 Nephi 32:3. What is your spirit hungry for?
Look up 2 Nephi 9:51. What are the qualities of spiritual food?
Our spirits love to feast on the words of Christ. Where do we find the His word to us?
So if I don’t study or feast on the word of God I’ll be spiritually hungry or empty and nothing else is really going to satisfy my hunger.
In 1 Nephi 11 we read about the dream of the Prophet Lehi. In that dream we are taught that there is a special blessing awaiting those people who continually hold fast to or feast on the word of God. They are led to a special tree called the Tree of Life.
The Tree of Life is a symbol. Look up 1 Nephi 11:22. What is it a symbol of?
In Jacob 3:2 we are taught that our Spirits are hungry for something else. What?
So if I feast on the word of God I will be led to the love of God
Lehi’s Tree of Life has fruit on it. Look up 1 Nephi 8:11-12.
What does Lehi say about the fruit? How did it make him feel when he ate it? How did it taste?
When you think of the love of God what picture comes to your mind?
The picture that comes to my mind is the picture of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross atoning for my sins. This was the greatest sign of the love of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father for us.
What is the fruit of this tree?
One of the meanings of the word “fruit” is “result” The fruit or the result of Jesus’ loving atonement is His ability to prepare us in every way to return to our Heavenly Father. His ability to give us direction through the Holy Ghost and the power to do what is right are results or fruits of His Atonement. The people in Lehi’s Dream who are eating the fruit of the Tree of Life are partaking of the blessings that come to us because of the Atonement.
So how can you and I partake of the Atonement today and fill our spiritual selves?
If I study or feast on the word of God I will be led to and be able to feast from the “Love of God Tree” and partake of all the fruits or blessings that result from the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Not only will I be spiritually full, I will receive all that my Savior desired to bless me with.
When the Bishop asks us if we are praying, reading our scriptures, writing our thoughts and impressions in our journals, and attending our meetings he’s not being nosey or judgmental. He is really trying to find out if we are full or if we’re starving spiritually. It’s kind of like having a doctor ask us if we are getting enough sleep, exercise, and good nutritious food.
So how is your spiritual tummy today? Are you full or are you running on empty?
If you are hungry what can you do about it?
The commandment to pray and read and write and attend our meetings is an invitation by God to you and I to feast upon His word. Feasting upon His word will lead us to the feast upon the love and the loving gifts He can give you because of His Atonement. This is the feast of all feasts and the kitchen is always open.
By Nannette W.
Posted Monday February 16, 2009
Copyright 2008 by Nannette W. All rights reserved. Making or sending copies is permitted if the page is not changed in any way and the material is not used for profit. This notice must be included on each copy made or sent.