From Larry W. Tippets, his book ‘Receiving Personal Revelation:
Most of us are aware of the value of physical discipline and exercise. We understand the principle of gradually building our physical strength, flexibility, and endurance, Let’s apply these same principles to our spirit bodies. From an eternal perspective, the primary challenges of life are spiritual in nature, so their solutions are also spiritual. These practices, disciplines, or exercises are the heart of the scriptural message—doing those things which Christ and His prophets emphasized so we become more and more like the Master. Jesus said, “Follow me, and do the things which I do” (2 Nephi 31:12).
Three Foundational Spiritual Exercises
A spiritual exercise is something we have power to do today, tomorrow, and or next week that, if done consistently over time, will enable us to eventually accomplish what is beyond our capacity today (just as a systematic routine of physical exercise enables us to eventually accomplish physical tasks that are beyond our capability today). Spiritual exercises help us control our physical behavior, focus our thinking in productive ways and channel our emotions to serve eternal purposes. Spiritual exercises are ways to practice becoming more like our Savior. Spiritual disciplines enhance the workings of the Spirit in our lives—stretching us to new capabilities. What, then, are the most helpful spiritual exercises?
Whenever we obey a commandment of God or repent of a sin, we are exercising faith, and, in a sense, these are the greatest of the spiritual exercises. Two spiritual practices mentioned frequently in the scriptures and by living prophets are personal prayer and scripture study. The primary focus of this book is to emphasize a third foundational spiritual exercise—the power of writing to obtain the fruit of divine revelation and develop a Christlike character. Before addressing journal writing, scripture writing and prayer in more detail, I want to briefly outline a few other spiritual practices, which, if done regularly, will enable us to grow in spiritual strength and power:
- Sabbath observance (a weekly exercise)
- Partaking of the sacrament (a weekly exercise)
- Temple worship (a daily, weekly, monthly, or once-in-a-lifetime exercise, depending on your circumstances and proximity to a temple)
- Fasting (usually a monthly exercise for those who are able)
- Service to others (a daily exercise)
- Gratitude and giving (daily exercises)
- Simplicity and frugality (daily exercises)
- Pondering in solitude and silence (daily exercises)
- Singing, playing, or listening to hymns and other uplifting music (as often as desired)
Other routine activities can also be turned into spiritual exercises:
- Physical exercise (a daily exercise). Both motives and benefits of physical exercise can be spiritual. I (the author Larry W. Tippets) like to meditate while I exercise.
- Driving or commuting (daily for some). The commute can become a time of spiritual focus base on what we thing about or listen to. How we drive can be another way of demonstrating our spiritual maturity (or lack thereof).
- Hobbies and leisure activities (daily or weekly). For example, fishing, knitting, or working in the garden can be occasions for communing with God.
~Larry W. Tippetts, Receiving Personal Revelation (Salt Lake City: Covenant Communications, Inc., 2017), 45-47