Thursday, March 26, 2015

Joseph B. Wirthlin on the dangers of busy lives

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin (1917-2008) served as a Seventy from 1976 to 1986, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles from 1986 until his passing in 2008 at age 91.
"I do not know of another period in the history of the world that has been so filled with such a variety of entangling nets. Our lives are so easily filled with appointments, meetings, and tasks. It is so easy to get caught in a multitude of nets that sometimes even a suggestion of breaking free of them can be threatening and even frightening to us. 
"Sometimes we feel that the busier we are, the more important we are—as though our busyness defines our worth. Brothers and sisters, we can spend a lifetime whirling about at a feverish pace, checking off list after list of things that in the end really don't matter. 
"That we do a lot may not be so important. That we focus the energy of our minds, our hearts, and our souls on those things of eternal significance—that is essential. 
"As the clatter and clamor of life bustle about us, we hear shouting to 'come here' and to 'go there.' In the midst of the noise and seductive voices that compete for our time and interest, a solitary figure stands on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, calling quietly to us, 'Follow me.'" 
- Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Follow Me," General Conference, April 2002; Ensign, May 2002, pp. 15-18
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I love this message from Elder Wirthlin; it's good to review it periodically.

We have to be very careful about the expectations set by society or culture in our time; they may be subtly inappropriate in ways that can lead us to undesirable results. Getting caught in those "entangling nets" that fill our lives with too many things of lesser importance is a real danger of our day. This is very wise counsel:

How wise to discern that it's not how much we do that matters; it's making absolutely sure that we "focus the energy of our minds, our hearts, and our souls on those things of eternal significance."

And I think this last phrase is one of the most beautiful statements of recent years—truly profound and wise:

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