Saturday, November 7, 2015

Richard G. Scott on distractions and priorities

Elder Richard G. Scott (November 7, 1928 – September 22, 2015) served as a Seventy from 1977-1988, when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.  He passed away in 2015 at the age of 86.
"Are there so many fascinating, exciting things to do, or so many challenges pressing upon you, that it is hard to keep focused on that which is essential? When things of the world crowd in, all too often the wrong things are allowed to take highest priority. Then it is easy to forget the fundamental purpose of life. Satan has a powerful tool to use against good people, those who are committed to a worthy, righteous life, who want to do good and intend to make the most of this life. His tool is distraction. He has an extensive array of undeniably good things that are used to keep us from doing the essential ones. Have you noticed that when you begin to focus on something truly important, something of eternal significance, there often come thoughts of other good things to distract you? Satan promotes distraction. He would have good people fill life with 'good things' so there is no room for the 'essential ones.' Have you unconsciously been caught in that trap?
"Remember that you are here on earth for a divine purpose. The purpose is not to be endlessly entertained or to be constantly in full pursuit of pleasure. You are here to be tried, to prove yourself so that you can receive the additional blessings God has for you."
- Richard G. Scott, "Finding Peace, Happiness, and Joy" [Deseret Book, 2007], pp. 10-11

Elder Scott identifies clearly what seems to be to be one of the great challenges of our day: "When things of the world crowd in, all too often the wrong things are allowed to take highest priority." How true that is! In the midst of the pressing "urgency" of so many demands for time and attention, it can be a significant challenge to sort out the things that truly matter most.

It is truly critical for us to be aware of the tendency to fall into this trap, so we can counteract the efforts being made to deceive us and listen to the correct promptings to lead us to good decisions. We must never forget the "divine purpose" of our mortality!

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