Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we seek to understand the moral basis of spiritualization
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast we address the relationship between moral decisions and spiritualization.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Moral Basis for Spiritualization
"What is man, that thou art mindful of him and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou has made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor." Psalms, Chapter 8, Verses 4 and 5
Here is an interesting example of determining whether someone has a moral nature, whether they know right from wrong and can choose right over wrong. Sometimes when a person commits a crime, they maintain that they are not guilty by reason of being insane. But being insane by itself does not relieve the person of his responsibility for committing the crime. The person must demonstrate that he does not know right from wrong, that he cannot appreciate the difference. When a person cannot appreciate the difference between right and wrong, no planning enters into the act. There is no reflection prior to committing the act.
Now we know that sometimes in the fit of anger, a person may kill another person without planning. And the behavior after committing the crime shows that the person was aware of what he did. Either he will admit his guilt and show remorse, or he will try to cover it up, evidencing the presence of a moral nature. But when it comes to the individual who claims that he is not guilty by reason of insanity, the criteria of whether he knows right from wrong comes into play. If the person truly cannot appreciate the difference between right and wrong, he has no consciousness that he has done anything wrong. Therefore he makes no plan to try to cover up what he had done. The attempt to cover up what has been done, along with the element of planning a crime is the hallmark of knowing right from wrong. So even though the person may have chosen not to do the right thing, the very fact that he plans the crime and tries to cover it up proves that he is aware of the difference between the two levels of conduct.
When we think of making a moral choice, we gain insight into it by asking ourselves these questions: Is there ever a time when we interact with another person that moral issues do not arise? No. Interactions with other humans always require moral or ethical decisions because the interaction always involves some degree of conduct. Can a moral decision ever be selfish in nature? No, because these decisions involve our obligations to others. When making a moral decision, we must make the decision in favor of the other person. Much of the problems that we have in this society today are due to the failure of its citizens to make correct moral and ethical judgments. So when we are faced with a decision that involves other selves, we must choose between whether we will make the decision based on selfish criteria or unselfish criteria. We sponsor choices of self-interest, while the divine spirit sponsors the choice for other-interest. The conflict is inevitable because a choice must be made. If we decline to make the choice sponsored by the divine spirit, we automatically choose the decision sponsored by the self, and vice versa.
The soul comes into existence when the first moral decision is made (usually around age 5 or 6); a part of the Father comes to inhabit us then. This is the decision to choose good over evil and is the first truly unselfish act of the individual when confronted with the choice to be selfish. The heavenly Father has given us free will. Therefore, we must choose him. We choose him by distinguishing between good and evil (immaturity), and then choosing good over evil.
Being incomplete persons spiritually and materially, in order to choose good there must be a potential for evil, immaturity. If we were complete, we would not need this; we would automatically choose the good. Having recognized what goodness is, we must choose what is good (unselfishness) over what is not (selfishness). The divine spirit sponsors the values of good, the unselfish regard for others. Once the soul recognizes the good, then the free will chooses it and thus responds to the divine leading.
Every time, the soul makes a moral choice, the divine spirit invades the soul. And when the moral decision allows the divine spirit to invade the soul, thus initiating the spiritualization process of the soul, the divine spirit is able to reveal to the mind the associated spiritual meanings associated with this moral choice. This spiritualization process through by which the soul makes moral decisions is the only way that the divine spirit can spiritualize the soul, and thus we see that the soul is engaged in constantly making moral decisions. The spiritual character of the soul is the accumulation of the total of moral and spiritual decisions that have been made. When this process is completed, the soul will have acquired a character like the Father as revealed in His Son, Jesus. And when this process if finally completed, it will be impossible to distinguish the soul from the divine spirit, or to distinguish the divine spirit from the soul. This is the fusion of the soul and the spirit. The soul will have achieved maturity, and will always choose right over wrong.
Evil is a measure of immaturity. It is the unconscious violation of the Father’’s will. Is it possible for the soul while living in the flesh to choose good over evil all the time? Is it possible for the soul to gain that level of maturity where it can consistently discern the ever-increasing moral values selected by the divine spirit? How does the soul emerge from the moral arena into the spiritual arena? Yes, we can escape the shadow of evil. By entering the kingdom of heaven, we can bear the fruits of the spirit. By the power of the Spirit of Truth, the soul is given new endowments so that it can function in the spirit even while it still lives in the flesh. This is achieved when we make a wholehearted decision to do the Father’’s will. The soul of man is able then to transcend the duty requirements of human existence. He can live on the spiritual plane and make spiritual decisions. And spiritual decisions are still moral, but then the motive of ““duty”” has been replaced by the service motive. The soul now becomes dominated by love and mercy.
Here the specter of potential evil in the soul is swallowed up in the actual reality of divine goodness. The evil nature of the soul is forever submerged by the power presence of living love. If you love your fellows, you only want what is best for them, you only want to make their lives better. To accept the Spirit of Truth is to live the heavenly life while the soul treads the path of mortal living. The soul has become liberated. No more must it wear the ball and chain of moral slavery but is free to enjoy the beauty of truth, to exhilarate in the spiritual joy of serving a brother or sister, of loving others. Such a soul has achieved spiritual perfection in the Spirit of Truth now, and as long as he abides within the Father’’s will, he is one happy soul. The chains of the material life may bind him, but on the inside he is free, free from the slavery of the animal nature; free from the pains, sorrows and disappointments of selfishness.
This concludes today's message on understanding the moral basis for spiritualization. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.