Sunday, January 25, 2015

Richard L. Evans on wise choices in work and leisure

Elder Evans (1906-1971) served as a Seventy from 1938-1953, when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.  He died in 1971 at age 65.  He was known as "the voice of the Tabernacle Choir" from the beginning of its broadcasts in 1929 until his passing.
"There is both underdoing and overdoing in work.  Working too hard at work and working too hard at leisure, at playing--both could well become excessive.  There is also excessive haste, working swiftly and shoddily to get the work finished, regardless of quality, regardless of how well or how poorly....  Too much impatience in getting things done, and not enough enjoyment in doing may also be lack of moderation.
"Another extreme is that men sometimes become too specialized, too narrow, too busy for a balanced life; too busy to spend time with family and friends, with well-rounded sides of life.  Any person who becomes too busy to spend time with family, with home, with things of beauty, with things of the Spirit, with service beyond himself--too busy for time with his son, his daughter, too busy to keep close acquaintances with his loved ones, has pursued whatever he pursues to excess.
"'Honorable industry,' said Samuel Smiles, 'always travels the same road with enjoyment and duty.'
"'Enjoyment and duty' are indispensable elements in the balanced living of life--the enjoyment of work, the enjoyment of home and loved ones, and duty to both, are part of the balance of life and of labor.  Said Dean Charles R. Brown: 'We have too many people who live without working, and we have altogether too many who work without living.'"
- Richard L. Evans, "Music and the Spoken Word," April 28, 1963
Elder Evans points out the importance of balance in our decisions on how we allocate our time. It's so easy to be lured into excessive commitment—to work, to leisure, to recreation. I love the reminder of some of the things that ought to have their appropriate place in our time, first family and friends, but also "things of beauty," "things of the Spirit," and "service beyond himself." But nothing must come between us and the "close acquaintances and loved ones." It's a great reminder; we should regularly evaluate our busy lives to make sure the priorities are correct, and the balance is appropriate.

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