In the spirit: A conversation about spirituality with Kyle S. Gillet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Kyle S. Gillett

Editor’s note: As part of Xpress’ In the Winter Spirit issue, we reached out to local poets, religious leaders, activists and soothsayers to share their thoughts on the topic of spirituality. Below is one in a series of conversations featured in this week’s issue. 

Kyle S. Gillett is the Asheville stake president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Xpress: What does spirituality mean to you, and how do you experience it in Western North Carolina? 

I define spirituality as “a connection with something greater than oneself.” Western North Carolina is a particularly special place to experience that connection because of all its natural beauty and good people. These things make it difficult to deny the existence of a supreme creator, whom I acknowledge as our heavenly Father. As I work and volunteer with God’s children in this region, I think of how he planned for us to be born on Earth and use agency to choose our own paths. When I see myself and other people in our community making imperfect choices, I feel grateful that God’s plan included a savior — his Son, Jesus Christ — who gave himself as an infinite sacrifice to heal our sins, illnesses and shortcomings.  Through this atonement, and by Christ’s grace, we can overcome sin and death, allowing us to experience God’s love now, and ultimately return to live with our Father in heaven following this mortal existence.

For those seeking to embrace a more spiritual life, what advice would you offer? 

For those seeking a more spiritual life, my advice would be to find a quiet place to pray vocally and ask God to lead them toward truth. He hears and answers the prayers of those who have a sincere heart and real intent.

What misconceptions exist about spirituality? 

One of the greatest misconceptions about spirituality is that spiritual people are always happy. God loves his children, and part of that love is allowing us to experience all the ups and downs of this mortal life. While God doesn’t cause suffering, where there is suffering, he provides an abundance of grace.


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