Thursday, September 11, 2014

Educating Our Desires

Last month our bishop sent out an email inviting the ward members to study one of the talks from April General Conference each day until the October sessions began, as we had as many days left as talks at that point. I took up the challenge, but find as I go I am getting ahead, because once I actually sit down and read or listen, I just want to soak up more! I can see how I am being prepared to receive more in the coming weeks, and I am thankful for that inspired counsel. Today I studied President Ridd's talk entitled, "The Choice Generation," and I loved this quote from Elder Maxwell that he shared:

What we insistently desire, over time, is eventually what we will become and what we will receive in eternity...

Only by educating and training our desires can they become allies instead of our enemies!

-Neal A. Maxwell, "According to the Desire of [Our] Hearts," October 1996 General Conference.

I then had to read that Maxwell talk because he is my favorite (well, I don't really have favorites I suppose, but I love him!), and it is one for the books.

I love the idea of educating our desires. I feel like I have worked on doing this with my choices in food and how my tastes have changed. A comment from Reed Nibley that I heard during a documentary on his life and career always sticks with me--that when he found he couldn't continue living on the kind of diet he had been accustomed to, he had to "refine his tastes" in order to enjoy healthy foods.

Looking back at my young adult life (now officially over according to the Church Handbook, since I am 31), I can see how experiences, changes, and acts of repentance have educated and refined my desires so that I am not as drawn to the damaging substances or empty calories of life. I more naturally crave and desire the deep and fulfilling spiritual nourishment that comes from study, communion, and obedience. And yet still I know that my desires need yet to be educated and refined, and so many things in my daily diet of choices could be done away with in favor of more healthy options. I hope that being more conscious about that process will enable me to more effectively move forward, to feel comfortable that the desires of my heart are in tune with the desires of my Father for me.

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