Fasten Your Seatbelt (No. 16)
From his talk, The Power of Spiritual Momentum
Part of the President Nelson Series
All blue quotes by President Russell M. Nelson (unless otherwise noted).
Spirituality Creates Momentum
Here is President Nelson’s definition of momentum:
Momentum is a powerful concept. We all have experienced it in one form or another—for example, in a vehicle that picks up speed or with a disagreement that suddenly turns into an argument.
So I ask, what can ignite spiritual momentum? We have seen examples of both positive and negative momentum. We know followers of Jesus Christ who became converted and grew in their faith. But we also know of once-committed believers who fell away. Momentum can swing either way.
Interestingly, he doesn’t ask what can create garden-variety spirituality. It seems we’ve arrived at a point where average spirituality isn’t enough.
The Speed of Evil
We have never needed positive spiritual momentum more than we do now, to counteract the speed with which evil and the darker signs of the times are intensifying.
momentum: energy, strength, driving power, steam, velocity, speed
We need a spirituality with energy, driving power, and speed today and in the future. In other words, our spirituality has to become elevated and noteworthy. That comes from setting aside time daily for spiritual activities. It means being proactive and intentional in creating spiritual experiences.
Positive spiritual momentum will keep us moving forward amid the fear and uncertainty created by pandemics, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and armed hostilities.
Fear encourages us to shut down our life and can even move us backward. What are we to do when all the calamity and chaos descends? Move forward. Keep building your life, learning, serving, and making wise choices.
Spiritual momentum can help us withstand the relentless, wicked attacks of the adversary and thwart his efforts to erode our personal spiritual foundation.
President Nelson takes evil seriously. It is a force; it is a power.
If Loser-fer can’t get you to outright, big-time sin, he is determined to neutralize your spirituality. He will discourage you from being effective, proactive, and focused with petty distractions. It helps me to stop and recognize those tactics.
Many actions can ignite positive spiritual momentum. Obedience, love, humility, service, and gratitude are but a few.
These might seem like Sunday School answers, but they’re not. Each one of these funnels spiritual power into our beings. Looking at this short list, I can see plenty of room to fit more of these actions and qualities into my life.
obedience: deference, duty, respect, compliance, willingness
love: affection, appreciation, friendship, care for, cherish, encourage
humility: a powerful trait that describes our Savior (meek and lowly of heart). It does not mean being timid or quiet. Captain Moroni was humble. It means knowing who God is and who you are – a child of the most High who recognizes where all good and powerful things come from. It means knowing your place but being brave about your life and what you do because you love God. It means you recognize there are more extraordinary things and more important causes than your wants and yourself. It means temperance and balance.
service: significant spiritual experiences are set in motion by service. The Holy Ghost loves us and visits us in our service. The Spirit of Christ loves us in our service, and Heavenly Father loves our service. The Heavens adhere to those who serve others and give of themselves.
President Nelson added a footnote about gratitude after publishing his conference talk. These are his bonus thoughts:
As the Apostle Paul said, “In every thing give thanks”. Gratitude is one of the surest antidotes for despair, discouragement, and spiritual lethargy. What are some things for which we can give thanks to God? Thank Him for the beauty of the earth, for the Restoration of the gospel, and for the countless ways He and His Son make Their power available to us here on this earth. Thank Him for the scriptures, for angels who respond to our pleas to God for help, for revelation, and for eternal families. And most of all, thank God for the gift of His Son and the Atonement of Jesus Christ, which makes it possible for us to fulfill the missions for which we have been sent to earth.
My heart swells when I include items from his prayer list in my own prayer. It is a wonderful feeling to be grateful and feel your heart react. Which item from his list has special meaning to you today? Maybe that belongs in your next prayer.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Our spirituality is a potential treasure of well-being and confidence. It gives life purpose and momentum. May you feel power and acceleration as the world declines—Godspeed.
Timshel (Hebrew for “thou mayest”)