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 mortal career.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Mortal Career
"Jesus said unto her, 'I am the resurrection, and the life: He that believeth in me, though he
were dead; yet shall he live.'" John, Chapter 11, Verse 25.
He prepared well, and so he was well prepared.
Brothers and sisters, our mortal careers begin when we are born into the world. We begin preparing
for our careers (life career) by beginning the relatively long process of education. Beginning around
five years of age, we pass through several stages: first there is the kindergarten stage, where we first
begin to acquire the tools that will allow us to function as a productive citizen in society. In a modern
society there are certain essential requirements that must be mastered, and most states within the
United States require that its citizens go through this process for at least 16 years of age. During
these years, we are taught to read and write and are given instructions on the history of the society
in which we live. Those who go no further than the 16 years required by law can expect a career that
basically occurs at the bottom of society. Those who go on to complete the required training of about
18 years of age--those who complete high school--can expect a career that is average. For those who
go on to complete the college level of education--those whose intellectual training has been formally
completed--can expect a career that involves intricate problem solving.
The formal entry into a career usually begins during the early maturity of youth--that period when
physical and intellectual ability are at their prime. A person can expect a career that will span
anywhere from 30 to 40 years, sometimes reaching to 50 years or more. But this career has a
beginning, a period of relative peak function, and a period of declining function until the career is
finally terminated. The individual is then considered retired, no longer a serious member of the
workforce. The period of retirement is variable but is usually terminated by death.
There are many ups and downs during the career. As obstacles are overcome and skills are acquired,
the individual usually advances within his career, some achieving even the very top of their career
before retiring. But the meanings and values of the career considered from the nonspiritual
perspective are most uncertain. There are all kinds of barriers and handicaps that may be impossible
to overcome. There are the accidents of time, illnesses, injustices, and natural disasters that may limit
the achievement of a given individual, even short-circuit his career.
Even though cooperation is required to successfully negotiate a career, there are many who will not
cooperate because of ignorance of just plain selfishness. They are like crabs in a basket. Every time
one seeks to escape, those who are on the bottom pull the escaping one back down to the dead level
of stagnation, insuring failure. Some of them are so deficient in character development that they
undermine themselves. They lack the character resources to move forward in their careers. Some
have been so traumatized in their early development that though they have the intellectual ability to
succeed, they lack the confidence, the internal security to do so. And then there is that group just
below them who have given up all together, have become discouraged and have stopped trying.
There is no security in the material career. Most individuals try to ignore this inescapable fact and
are surprised when their career is abruptly terminated prematurely or handicapped. We know that
we are mortal. No matter how successful we might be, the time will arrive when we will be forced
to stop. Eventually death will terminate our efforts.
Such is a snapshot of the mortal career when viewed from the nonspiritual perspective. But from the
spiritual perspective, our mortal career takes on an entirely different meaning and value. The spiritual
perspective recognizes that the mortal career is the first stage of an endless spiritual career. Our
spiritual career begins with the birth of our souls. As you would imagine, education is also an
essential aspect of this spiritual career as well. Our souls must be educated, must be taught the values
of the spiritual world, and must learn them, must make them apart of our characters. And while the
handicaps of the material world can sidetrack a purely mortal career, no such handicaps exist that
can sidetrack the first stage of the spiritual career.
Only the moral free will of the individual can sidetrack him. The handicaps of the material world are
used to educate the soul in the values and meanings of the spiritual world. The frustrations,
disappointments, obstacles and barriers that stand in the way of pursuing spiritual values become the
very ladder by which these values are acquired. In an analogous way, the soul grows by overcoming
resistance. It becomes morally strong by making progressively difficult moral decisions. Every time
a soul makes a correct moral choice, it grows morally. The spirit serves as a guide and mentor for
the evolving souls. It teaches the values of the spirit to the soul which then obtains these values as
it seeks to acquire them, overcoming inherent deficiencies in the process.
The experience of temporal values with their temporary existence inspires the soul to grasp for
eternal values, values that will not perish but ever increase in meaning. The experience of temporal
love drives the soul on to the search and ultimate acquirement of eternal love. The experience of
disappointment spurs the soul on to those indestructible realities that know no disappointment. The
short experience of temporal joy propels the soul to accept its divine birthright. The temporal
isolation drives the soul on to divine worship, where it experiences the all-embracing presence of
its heavenly Father. From the spiritual perspective, the mortal life is the arena where essential
spiritual qualities are acquired in preparation for the next stage of the endless career. As Jesus said,
"in my Father's house there are many mansions."
What a journey! What an experience! What a privilege and joy to be given the gift of eternal life,
even while we traverse the mortal life! And what comfort to know that anything that was worthwhile
in our mortal life is preserved in the safe keeping of the Father's spirit for use in the next life. What
a comfort to know that nothing of spiritual value is lost. What an exhilarating happiness to know that
the handicaps of the mortal life are transcended within the spiritual life, to know that if anything that
is worthwhile is started in time, it will be finished in eternity! What an incomparable status to know
that we are the sons and daughters of the everlasting, eternal, absolute spiritual Father. And
furthermore that we are on our way to see our glorious Father, who loves us with an infinite, eternal
and absolute love.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of the mortal career. 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.