1 And now it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had read these things which were engraven upon the plates of brass, my brethren came unto me and said unto me: What meaneth these things which ye have read? Behold, are they to be understood according to things which are spiritual, which shall come to pass according to the spirit and not the flesh?
(1 Nephi 22:1-3)
Notice the difference in paradigm between Nephi and his brothers. The brothers wanted to know if these prophecies related to temporal (worldly, temporary) things or if they were spiritual in nature, as though spiritual realities were somehow disconnected from their everyday experience. Nephi was not interested in making that distinction. Nephi’s statement that they were “both temporal and spiritual” echoes the words of the Lord to Joseph Smith that “all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal.” (D&C 29:34)
It seems clear that this life is fundamentally spiritual in nature. The small decisions we make from moment to moment, the everyday interactions we have with other people, the mundane tasks that we complete: these are the scaffolding and they are temporary. But what we build through these simple activities is eternal: divine attributes, strong relationships with others, our Heavenly Father’s trust. Temporal things will end, but they will have played a critical role in molding the spiritual things that endure.