June 25, 2019
Writer: Jaime Strobel

Spiritual maturity was a concept Max Checketts, former BYU-Idaho academic vice-president and today’s devotional speaker said he embraced when he became a mission president.

 “That’s probably the best characterization of being mature, if you have all the attributes of the Savior,” he said.

In his devotional talk, he wanted to share ideas that can help people understand their role in life while trying to return to live with God.

He suggested eight ideas for people to ponder and think about:

  1. A mature person is able to keep long-term commitments
  2. A mature person possesses a spirit of humility
  3. A mature person expresses gratitude consistently
  4. A mature person’s decisions are based on character not feelings
  5. A mature person is unshaken by flattery or criticism
  6. A mature person knows how to prioritize others before themselves
  7. A mature person seeks wisdom before acting
  8. A mature person knows that success comes as a result of work (usually hard work).

He gave them a scale to measure their progress in each of the eight areas. Never (1), sometimes (2), and mostly always (3). If you got over 20, that is very good, he said.

“I really believe that people who are happy, are people who are trying to progress, and they sense in their selves that their growing, and usually when people are sad, it’s usually because they feel like they’re going nowhere,” he said in his interview with BYU-Idaho Radio.

He hopes when we experience this spiritual growth of becoming closer to God and becoming like Him, that we’ll be able to help others experience this process too.

“As I’ve come to understand how to progress and to grow in spiritual maturity, it has become increasingly obvious that growth only comes when we serve others,” he said.

In the devotional talk he showed a video clip of Elder David A. Bednar, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a former BYU-Idaho president, that illustrates three elements of faith that help us grow spiritually. Those three elements are assurance, action and evidence.

Elder Bednar said, “As we again turn and face forward toward an uncertain future, assurance leads to action and produces evidence, which further increases assurance.”

“That process is literally how we grow, and especially our spirits,” Checketts said.

He shared different accounts from The Book of Mormon where assurances, actions and evidences are found in people’s lives. This exercise of identifying these three elements of faith can help people recognize God’s hand in their lives and help them grow spiritually.

In his interview, he cautioned students not to compare themselves with other people. We are all on different paths, he said, and we all need to set our own individual goals.

He is grateful for BYU-Idaho, it has helped him grow spiritually.