When I was young I went on two long backpacking trips with my father and some varsity scouts. On both excursions we relied heavily on spring water to get through the hike. When there were no springs we had to purify our water, by filtering, boiling, or by using iodine tablets. The water from streams and rivers needed purification due to the various microorganisms in it, especially giardia, which is a bacteria that attaches itself onto the inside of intestines and stays there for an extended time. If we had not purified our water, the results would have been drastic and long-lasting.
We preferred the spring water because it did not take as much effort to process as did filtering or boiling water, nor did it have the taste of iodine. When we were able to get water from springs we did, because this water was naturally purified by the ground. It was water that we did not work hard to procure but still reaped its benefits and blessings – we were like the Savior’s disciples who were told: “I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labor” (John 4:38). Even though the spring water was naturally pure, we still tried to fill our bottles as close to the source as possible, to avoid the impurities that enter once the water leaves its subterranean origin. As water is to our body, so are thoughts to our spirits. Without filtration and purification of our thoughts, our spirits will sicken and languish. Like spring water, there is a pure source for thoughts; the scriptures and the prophets teach in purity and the Spirit helps us keep our thoughts pure. However, since much of that around us is not from a pure source, we must filter and cleanse our thoughts.
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