Tag Archives: time

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The things that matter most

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Life is full of things.  Those things that are good.  Those things that are better; and those things that are best.  Which are we filling our life with?  I know that as I study the scriptures and as I am working to deepen my relationship with others, I am doing those things that matter most.

 

Family

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The things that matter most in this life are often related to our families. Are we doing the things that matter most? Are we doing those things that are best? Or are we filling our time with those things that are good or better, but not best?

Time

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Spend your time with the moments that matter most. These are the most precious moments of your life. I love playing with my nieces. They bring me so much joy. I am sure you love spending time with your family as well. I love this quote from President Thomas S. Monson:

“Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.”

Put Away other gods and Serve the Lord

Put Away Other gods and Serve the Lord

As I have been studying in Joshua this week, I have been pondering on his counsel to the Israelites to serve the Lord and put away other gods.  What are some gods that we have a hard time ‘putting away’ in our lives?  Keeping in mind that anything that takes precedence over the Lord for us is a ‘other god.’

So what are some of the ones that you have a hard time putting away?  I think of of some such as education, prominence, wealth, food, and even more smaller things like exercise, reading, and entertainment.  We have been counseled to live in moderation.  The Lord wants us to be happy and we are able to do this as we follow Him and serve Him.

The Lord helped and blessed the Israelites so many times by helping them to overcome and battle those who were in opposition to them.  He helped them reach the promised land.  He made the ‘sun to stand still’ to lengthen the day so that the Israelites were able to prevail and win out against their enemies.

We are to cleave unto the Lord and serve Him with sincerity and truth.  When we do not do this, we cannot expect good things:  we cannot expect blessings.  I love these verses in Joshua 24: 14-15 that sum out so clearly what we are to do and how we each have a choice in what we end up doing:

 “14 ¶Now therefore afear the Lord, and serve him in bsincerity and in truth: and put away the cgods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.

15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, achoose youbthis day whom ye will cserve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and mydhouse, we will eserve the Lord.”

A wise use of time

Much of what I want to share today comes from Ian Ardern’s talk, “A Time to Prepare:”

“Time is never for sale; time is a commodity that cannot, try as you may, be bought at any store for any price. Yet when time is wisely used, its value is immeasurable. On any given day we are all allocated, without cost, the same number of minutes and hours to use, and we soon learn, as the familiar hymn so carefully teaches, “Time flies on wings of lightning; we cannot call it back” (“Improve the Shining Moments,” Hymns, no. 226). What time we have we must use wisely. President Brigham Young said, “We are all indebted to God for the ability to use time to advantage, and he will require of us a strict account of [its] disposition” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young [1997], 286).

With the demands made of us, we must learn to prioritize our choices to match our goals or risk being exposed to the winds of procrastination and being blown from one time-wasting activity to another. We are well taught about priorities by the Master Teacher when He declared in His Sermon on the Mount, “Wherefore, seek not the things of this world but seek ye first to build up the kingdom of God, and to establish his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33, footnote a; from Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 6:38).

Alma spoke of priorities when he taught that “this life became a probationary state; a time to prepare to meet God” (Alma 12:24). How to best use the rich heritage of time to prepare to meet God may require some guidance, but surely we would place the Lord and our families at the top of the list. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf reminded us that “in family relationships love is really spelled t-i-m-e” (“Of Things That Matter Most,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2010, 22). I testify that when help is prayerfully and sincerely sought, our Heavenly Father will help us to give emphasis to that which deserves our time above something else.

The poor use of time is a close cousin of idleness. As we follow the command to “cease to be idle” (D&C 88:124), we must be sure that being busy also equates to being productive. For example, it is wonderful to have the means of instant communication quite literally at our fingertips, but let us be sure that we do not become compulsive fingertip communicators. I sense that some are trapped in a new time-consuming addiction—one that enslaves us to be constantly checking and sending social messages and thus giving the false impression of being busy and productive.

There is much that is good with our easy access to communication and information. I have found it helpful to access research articles, conference talks, and ancestral records, and to receive e-mails, Facebook reminders, tweets, and texts. As good as these things are, we cannot allow them to push to one side those things of greatest importance. How sad it would be if the phone and computer, with all their sophistication, drowned out the simplicity of sincere prayer to a loving Father in Heaven. Let us be as quick to kneel as we are to text.

Electronic games and cyber acquaintances are no lasting substitute for real friends who can give an encouraging hug, who can pray for us and seek after our best interest. How grateful I have been to see quorum, class, and Relief Society members rally to the support of one another. On such occasions I have better understood what the Apostle Paul meant when he said, “Ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints” (Ephesians 2:19).

I know our greatest happiness comes as we tune in to the Lord (see Alma 37:37) and to those things which bring a lasting reward, rather than mindlessly tuning in to countless hours of status updates, Internet farming, and catapulting angry birds at concrete walls. I urge each of us to take those things which rob us of precious time and determine to be their master, rather than allowing them through their addictive nature to be the master of us.

To have the peace the Savior speaks of (see John 14:27), we must devote our time to the things that matter most, and the things of God matter most. As we engage with God in sincere prayer, read and study each day from the scriptures, ponder on what we have read and felt, and then apply and live the lessons learned, we draw nearer to Him. God’s promise is that as we seek diligently from the best books, “[He] shall give unto [us] knowledge by his Holy Spirit” (D&C 121:26; see also D&C 109:14–15).

Satan will tempt us to misuse our time through disguised distractions. Although temptations will come, Elder Quentin L. Cook taught that “Saints who respond to the Savior’s message will not be led astray by distracting and destructive pursuits” (“Are You a Saint?” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2003, 96). Hiram Page, one of the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, taught us a valuable lesson about distractions. He had a certain stone and through it recorded what he thought were revelations for the Church (see D&C 28). On Hiram’s being corrected, an account says the stone was taken and ground into powder so it would never again be a distraction.1 I invite us to identify the time-wasting distractions in our lives that may need to be figuratively ground into dust. We will need to be wise in our judgment to ensure that the scales of time are correctly balanced to include the Lord, family, work, and wholesome recreational activities. As many have already discovered, there is an increase of happiness in life as we use our time to seek after those things which are “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy” (Articles of Faith 1:13).

Time marches swiftly forward to the tick of the clock. Today would be a good day, while the clock of mortality ticks, to review what we are doing to prepare to meet God. I testify that there are great rewards for those who take time in mortality to prepare for immortality and eternal life. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

 

Entertainment and Media

How are you spending your time?

Entertainment and Media

There is much good that comes from the entertainment, electronics, and the media.  Although this is true, Satan has become exceedingly more prevalent in entertainment, electronics, and media through inappropriate material, etc.  Satan wishes to ensnare each of us in a web of flaxen cord.  He does so a little at a time.  We must ever be careful with what type of entertainment and media we allow into our lives.  We also must be careful of how we spend our time using electronics.  Are we using them for good or evil purposes?

In the pamphlet “For the Strength of Youth,” under the topic “Entertainment and Media” it says:

“Whatever you read, listen to, or look at has an effect on you. Therefore, choose only entertainment and media that uplift you. Good entertainment will help you to have good thoughts and make righteous choices. It will allow you to enjoy yourself without losing the Spirit of the Lord.

While much entertainment is good, some of it can lead you away from righteous living. Offensive material is often found in web sites, concerts, movies, music, videocassettes, DVDs, books, magazines, pictures, and other media. Satan uses such entertainment to deceive you by making what is wrong and evil look normal and exciting. It can mislead you into thinking that everyone is doing things that are wrong.

Do not attend, view, or participate in entertainment that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way. Do not participate in entertainment that in any way presents immorality or violent behavior as acceptable.

Pornography in all its forms is especially dangerous and addictive. What may begin as a curious indulgence can become a destructive habit that takes control of your life. It can lead you to sexual transgression and even criminal behavior. Pornography is a poison that weakens your self-control, changes the way you see others, causes you to lose the guidance of the Spirit, and can even affect your ability to have a normal relationship with your future spouse. If you encounter pornography, turn away from it immediately.

Depictions of violence often glamorize vicious behavior. They offend the Spirit and make you less able to respond to others in a sensitive, caring way. They contradict the Savior’s message of love for one another.

Have the courage to walk out of a movie or video party, turn off a computer or television, change a radio station, or put down a magazine if what is being presented does not meet Heavenly Father’s standards. Do these things even if others do not. Let your friends and family know that you are committed to keeping God’s standards. You have the gift of the Holy Ghost, which will give you strength and help you make good choices.”

I know that as I choose entertainment and media that is virtuous and uplifting and does not contain immoral or inappropriate material, it is easier for me to feel happy and live my life as the Lord would have me live it.  I know this can be true for you as well.  It may be hard at first, but Heavenly Father will help.  He will help us to see things as they really are.