Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Marvin J. Ashton on finding happiness in becoming, not obtaining

Elder Marvin J. Ashton (1915-1994) served as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles from 1971 until his death in 1994 at age 78.
"True happiness is not made in getting something. True happiness is becoming something. This can be done by being committed to lofty goals. We cannot become something without commitment.
"Commitment as a word cannot stand alone. We must always ask, 'Committed to what?' As all of us blend into the programs of the Church, it behooves us to set goals for ourselves in order to reap the blessings of self-improvement and excellent performance in given assignments.
"'Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;
"'For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.
"'But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned.' (D&C 58:27-29.) ...
"In setting our own goals we need to examine our own needs and abilities. The direction in which we are moving is more important than where we are at the moment. Goal setting should cause us to stretch as we make our way."
- Marvin J. Ashton, "The Word is Commitment," Ensign, November 1983, pp. 61-63
Click here to read the full talk

This is perhaps one of the key messages of the gospel of Jesus Christ: true happiness comes not in "getting something," but in "becoming something." Possessions are superficial and temporary, but what we become is lasting and eternal.

And the key to becoming is to recognize where we are through examining our lives, our needs, our abilities. Then using our God-given agency to set the goals that will bring improvement and change as we "stretch" along the way.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post, Dave. This is good stuff for my priesthood lesson this week.


// Customization to close archive widget on first view - DK 3/15