We know that our physical bodies require certain nutrients to sustain life and to maintain physical and mental health. If we are deprived of those nutrients, our physical and mental vitality are impaired and we have a condition called malnutrition. Malnutrition produces such symptoms as reduced mental functions, digestive disorders, loss of physical strength, and impairment of vision. Good nutrition is especially important for children, whose growing bodies are easily impaired if they lack the nutrients necessary for normal growth.
Our spirits also require nourishment. Just as there is food for the body, there is food for the spirit. The consequences of spiritual malnutrition are just as hurtful to our spiritual lives as physical malnutrition is to our physical bodies. Symptoms of spiritual malnutrition include reduced ability to digest spiritual food, reduced spiritual strength, and impairment of spiritual vision.
There are some important principles that we should understand to help assure that we and our children will not suffer spiritual malnutrition.
We know the principal sources of spiritual food: prayer, studying the scriptures, attending inspirational meetings, singing the hymns of Zion, serving in our callings, fasting, partaking of the sacrament, and making other covenants, such as in the temple [emphasis added]. We also know that some experiences can interfere with the assimilation of spiritual food, just as certain poisons can interfere with obtaining needed physical nourishment from physical food. For example, anything that drives away the Spirit of the Lord, such as pornography, profanity, or anger, will prevent us from obtaining the spiritual nourishment we need from experiences that would normally be effective as spiritual food. Some physical substances, like those forbidden by the Word of Wisdom, are harmful to both body and spirit. We must make sure that our children have sufficient spiritual food and that they are protected from those influences that will prevent this food from being assimilated into spiritual nourishment. ("Nourishing the Spirit, Ensign, Dec. 1998, pp. 7-13)
"The just shall live by faith"(Romans 1:7), we are told in holy writ. I ask again, What is faith?
Faith exists when absolute confidence in that which we cannot see combines with action that is in absolute conformity to the will of our Heavenly Father. Without all three--first, absolute confidence; second, action; and third, absolute conformity--without these three all we have is a counterfeit, a weak and watered-down faith. ("Shall He Find Faith On the Earth," Ensign, Nov. 2002, pp. 82-84)
Repentance requires both turning away from evil and turning to God. (See Deut. 4:30; see also Bible Dictionary, s.v. "Repentance.") When "a mighty change" is required, full repentance involves a 180-degree turn, and without looking back! (Alma 5:12-13.) Initially, this turning reflects progress from telestial to terrestrial behavior, and later on to celestial behavior. As the sins of the telestial world are left behind, the focus falls ever more steadily upon the sins of omission, which often keep us from full consecration.
Real repentance involves not a mechanical checklist, but a checkreining of the natural self. Often overlapping and mutually reinforcing, each portion of the process of repentance is essential. This process rests on inner resolve but is much aided by external support. ("Repentance," Ensign, Nov. 1991, pp. 30-32)