Devotional address: The ability to see spiritual truths


Jerry Johnson, associate professor of biology, challenged students to develop eyes to see the spiritual truths around them in his devotional address on Tuesday, July 8.

In his address, Johnson shared that as a biologist he has long been fascinated with collecting animals, but he pointed out the need to know what one is looking for, something he referred to as a “search image.”

Jerald B. Johnson gives the devotional on Tuesday July 8, 2014.
Jerald B. Johnson gives the Devotional on Tuesday, July 8, 2014.

Just as biologists must have eyes to see animals in their natural habitats, “each of us has been invited by our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ to develop spiritual eyes to see certain truths in our world so that we might help bring about God’s great purpose,” Johnson said.

What does it mean to have eyes to see?

Christ’s use of parables paved a way to both reveal and conceal. He gave His reasoning for this approach in Matt 13:11–12.

“…Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.”

Johnson likened this to humans, as sometimes humans choose to not receive what God has made available to them. Despite their access to modern revelation and spiritual truths people often fail to find it and must develop a spiritual search image.

How can we know if truth is intended for us?

Johnson recounted a story of a young Boy Scout who lost his father and struggled to make sense of it.

“You know, Heavenly Father didn’t have to make the world so beautiful, but he did,” the boy said. “So, I know he loves us. And I know that he loves me.”

Johnson learned that the beauty of earth didn’t just testify to this boy of powerful natural processes; it also became his evidence of a loving Savior. He had discovered what many prophets had taught: that we live in a world with a purpose.

Just as the prophets taught, all things are meant to bear record of Jesus Christ, and this allows people to live in a way that gives them the ability to see evidence of God in every aspect of their lives. He then counseled that no matter the situation in life, church members can find evidence that Jesus Christ is the creator and redeemer of the world

How do we develop eyes to see?

In order to obtain these “eyes to see,” Johnson explained that you must, first, desire it and, second, prepare for personal revelation. Through these things people can learn new truths and change their attitudes and behaviors. Johnson noted that he has personally witnessed that those with “eyes to see” develop a godly perspective and ability to see the world with a compassion to see others for who they truly are.

If church members could always have eyes to see as the Savior does, many of the tendencies of the natural man would fade and allow for charity to be the motivator, Johnson pointed out.

“Having eyes to see helps us maintain a godly perspective in an earthly existence,” Johnson said.

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