“Mom! I’m hungry!”
David, drenched in sweat, ran towards the kitchen looking for his mom. He was starving after playing outside with his friends. It was a perfect sunny day to play. However, David felt the need to go home when his stomach grumbled.
He found his mom in the kitchen preparing his favorite meal. He had smelled it from the front door. Sinigang! — a Filipino pork dish with veggies in tamarind soup.
His stomach grumbled again, loud enough that his mom heard it from the kitchen.
“David, it’s already past lunchtime, that’s why your tummy is grumbling like a giant,” His mom said wiping away his sweat and setting the table for both of them.
There were only the two of them since David’s dad had passed away when he was a baby.
David was halfway done with lunch when he remembered something he wanted to ask his mother.
“Mom, what is spiritual hunger? My friend’s dad told us that our spirits get hungry too. He made us read some scriptures earlier and told us that it was food for our spirit. How does our spirit get hungry when it doesn’t have a stomach?”
David’s mom smiled at how fast he was eating his food, and at how innocent his question was.
“Yes, our spirits get hungry too even though they don’t have stomachs. They get hungry when we are not feeding them, because we also need to feed our spirits. Do you want to know what food they like?”
David beamed with joy and excitement. “Yes, mom! Can I feed my spirit? I want to feed my spirit! He must be hungry too! Does he also like sinigang?”
He and his mom cleaned up the table and got a bowl, a plate, and a basket ready on the table. His mom asked him to get his crayons, art paper, scissors, and markers. Then he saw his mom get the scriptures and hymn book.
“I have a plate, a bowl, and a basket here. We will fill this with food for our souls. Listen carefully as I explain, then you can draw on your art paper and cut your drawings out so we can put them in the plate, bowl, and basket.”
David stared at his mom waiting to draw on his art paper.
“Today, we’ll talk about three foods that we can feed our soul.
First, a plate of crispy and juicy scripture verses. I have some of your favorite scripture verses here. Now, go ahead and draw some fried chicken, then in the middle, let’s write the scripture verses. Every day, let’s eat one or two of these fried chicken scripture verses or as many as you’d like! Reading the scriptures will feed our souls because the scriptures contain the word of God, and our souls love them. These will make our spirits strong and healthy! The scriptures say, we should feast upon the words of Christ, for the words of Christ will tell us all the things that we should do.
Second, the bowl of love and service, full of warm hugs from our family and loved ones. You can draw and cut out some pork cuts and veggies from your art paper, and on every one of them, write the names of the people you love and care about. You can also write the names of the people you see often, like Mrs. Lopez from the school cafeteria, or Mr. Cruz, the street sweeper in our neighborhood. Every day, take as many names as you’d like and give them warm hugs.
Giving love to other people helps our spirits feel God’s love too. These warm hugs can give you the warmth you feel when you eat your favorite sinigang. It doesn’t have to be hugs, you can also help and serve others to feel this warmth in your heart, which is one way to tell your spirit is feeling it too. You can also do this when you are feeling down or upset. As Gordon B. Hinckley said, “The best medicine for despair is SERVICE.”
Third, a basket of tender prayers glazed with sweet music. Remember the turon you love so much? Draw as many turon as you like on your art paper, then write down the blessings that you enjoy each day, and titles of songs or hymns that make you feel happy and closer to God. Each day when you wake up, take as many turons as you’d like from the basket, pray and thank our Heavenly Father for the blessings you receive each day, then sing or hum the songs that you picked. You can do this any time you want. Our spirits love prayers and uplifting music, too! Uplifting music is like a prayer to God, and listening to uplifting songs and praying gives our spirit more energy for the day.”
David used up all his art paper to fill the plate of crispy and juicy scripture verses, the bowl of love and service, and the basket of tender prayers and music. He was so excited to feed his spirit that he took one of each food.
“Mom, I’m feeding my spirit now!”
His mom smiled with great happiness as she looked at how he was enjoying feeding his spirit in these simple ways.
These three foods are not only for David but for all of us and our spirits. We feast upon these foods for the soul because they open the door to revelation and show us what we need to do and become.
Our spiritual health is equally important as our physical health, if not more. If we keep our souls healthy, we can be stronger, and more ready to face our everyday challenges in life. Keeping our souls healthy can also help us keep our physical bodies healthy. Then we can be more receptive to the inspiration and promptings of the Holy Ghost that will lead to safety and everlasting happiness.
These may seem simple and small steps to nurture and strengthen our spiritual health, and we may have forgotten the importance of it, but as Russell M. Nelson said, “What we choose to do here will determine the kind of life we have throughout all eternity. We are never living just for today.”
For other tips on how you can achieve spiritual nourishment, you can read 3 Ways To Improve Your Spiritual Health.