Thursday, December 31, 2015

M. Russell Ballard on covenants, goals, and progress

Elder M. Russell Ballard (1928- ) was called as a Seventy in 1976, and has served as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles since 1985.
"A periodic review of the covenants we have made with the Lord will help us with our priorities and with balance in our lives. This review will help us see where we need to repent and change our lives to ensure that we are worthy of the promises that accompany our covenants and sacred ordinances. Working out our own salvation requires good planning and a deliberate, valiant effort....
"Set short-term goals that you can reach. Set goals that are well balanced—not too many nor too few, and not too high nor too low. Write down your attainable goals and work on them according to their importance. Pray for divine guidance in your goal setting....
"Not long ago, one of my children said, 'Dad, sometimes I wonder if I will ever make it.' The answer I gave to her is the same as I would give to you if you have had similar feelings. Just do the very best you can each day. Do the basic things and, before you realize it, your life will be full of spiritual understanding that will confirm to you that your Heavenly Father loves you. When a person knows this, then life will be full of purpose and meaning, making balance easier to maintain."
- M. Russell Ballard, "Keeping Life's Demands in Balance," Ensign, May 1987, pp. 13-15
Click here to read the full talk

What a worthwhile consideration: to make a "periodic review" of our covenants and priorities. As we think of "new year resolutions," it would be especially appropriate to consider the things of greatest import in our lives and evaluate our standing and progress. A resolution can be a form of repentance, if done well and properly. In particular, as we "work out our own salvation" we would be wise to engage in such a review frequently—much more than once a year!

Elder Ballard gives encouragement on the process of self-review and progress:

The other valuable counsel Elder Ballard offers in this excerpt is to not be discouraged by the seeming magnitude of the task. One day at a time, doing our best with the tasks at hand—that's all we can do. But the promise is wonderful: as we do those basic things, life soon becomes "full of spiritual understanding" and we feel the depth of our Heavenly Father's love. That gives us "purpose and meaning" and helps us maintain balance and perspective.

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