Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Gérald Caussé told BYU students the key to happiness is harmony of the body and spirit in his devotional address Oct. 13.
Caussé explained to students how to build harmony between bodies and spirits and how harmony allows individuals to discover happiness in this life and the life to come.
“Please remember that one of the essential objectives of our earthly existence is for our spirits to take control of the physical elements of our lives so both can work in harmony to serve higher and eternal purposes. It is one of the conditions we must fulfill to find true happiness in this life and inherit eternal glory,” he said.
Caussé shared a few principles to understand the relationship between physical and spiritual natures, how they influence each other and how harmony can be built between the two.
1. Spiritual strength influences physical well-being
“In our journey through life, we must be careful not to give in to the norms the world wants to impose upon us. True beauty is the result of a subtle alchemy and a delicate balance, which in large part comes from our personal inner light, rather than from esthetic or physical criteria alone,” Caussé said.
He encouraged students to notice the beauty radiated from being good and remember by having a pure and charitable heart, people will be drawn to them.
2. Physical appearance impacts spirituality
Caussé referenced the standards for missionaries and the principles outlined in “For Strength of Youth,” which cover dress, appearance, language, music and physical health for missionaries and youth. He encouraged students to remember these principles so the Holy Ghost may be with them.
“To glorify God in our bodies is to put our external appearance and behavior in tune with our highest spiritual desires. By so doing, we allow the Spirit of God to reside in us. The Spirit enlightens us, and we become lights for others,” he said.
3. The Lord recognizes the importance of both temporal and spiritual principles
Caussé reminded students of the variety of commandments they are encouraged to follow. These include the Word of Wisdom, the need for education, tithing and many others which are based upon spiritual and temporal principles.
He emphasized two important gospel principles that are rooted in the respect of bodies. “These principles can have a huge impact on our mortal well-being and eternal destiny,” he said.
First, he encouraged students to take care of their health. He said he does not mean to simply lift 20 extra pounds at the gym or lose a little bit of fat but, in reference to the church handbook, to eat nutritious foods and get requisite sleep.
“The goal is to feel better and to find a temporal and spiritual equilibrium. This will give you the best chance to have a lifetime of good health, which in turn will bring you joy and confidence in your mortal abilities and a better awareness of your eternal potential,” he said.
Second, he told students to be sexually pure and expressed the blessing it is to give life. He recognized the struggle students face today but assured them that “no immediate pleasure warrants jeopardizing the eternal promises you hold so dear; no fleeting satisfaction is worth compromising the trust placed in you by your Heavenly Father and by your current or future spouse.”
“In choosing virtue as the standard by which you bring into harmony your physical and spiritual inheritances, you will qualify yourselves to one day become kings and queens in the eternal kingdom prepared by our Father in Heaven,” Caussé said.