The Appetizer And The Main Course

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TheDiscipleMD

A few years ago I had the pleasure of attending church with my Father. The instructor for Gospel Doctrine made a statement at the end of class that caught my attention. In summation of her lesson, which came from the scriptures, she said:

“What we have touched upon today is only the appetizer. Please go home and read these chapters on your own time.”

I was so struck by the simple but profound nature of that statement that I pulled out my pen and wrote the quote down verbatim. So, what did this good teacher mean. The definition of appetizer is:

1 : a food or drink that stimulates the appetite and is usually served before a meal

2 : something that stimulates a desire for more. ( Webster’s Dictionary).

All of us understand the first definition and have had appetizers at our meals. The appetizer is meant to accomplish the second definition, that is, stimulating a desire for more. In a meal’s case, more food. Imagine if all we ever did was eat the appetizer, but never the main dish. Although the appetizer would supply some nourishment to our bodies, soon we would begin to lose weight and energy. Perhaps we would even become sick over an extended period of time for lack of the proper nutrition. None of us would be so foolish as to do something like this to our physical bodies.

Then what of our spiritual bodies? Sometimes we as members of the church are faithfully attending our church meetings. Inspired men and women are called and set apart to teach and instruct in those meetings. Then we go home, inspired and uplifted. The appetizer has been served and enjoyed. The desire for more spiritual nourishment has been stimulated. Alas, our spiritual bodies are not quite as demanding as the physical. While the physical cries out with the powerful unpleasant sensation called hunger, the spiritual body sends only a quiet message through the spirit that more nourishment is needed. Agency however is a wonderful gift that the Lord has given to us all. More times than not, we can put off or ignore the subtle whispering of the spirit of the Lord.

Week after week the appetizer is served at church and we enjoy it! Then we go home where the main course of reading and praying is to be consumed and enjoyed ,but so often there are things to do and places to go so the main course remains uneaten from the table of life.  There is great temptation to go through life eating the appetizer but never the meal! After a time, the spiritual man becomes weakened and has a lack of energy to serve. Let us not fall into the trap of only consuming the appetizer of the gospel! Lets dig in and eat the full course! Let us not deprive ourselves of the free spiritual nourishment which comes when we devour the scriptures and when we take time to communicate with deity through prayer. Let us take the time to be a connoisseur of the gospel. The meal of the Lord is delightful.  It will leave us feeling full, but miraculously still hungry for more!

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