Monday, September 25, 2017

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf on finding joy in the journey of life

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (born November 6, 1940) served as a Seventy from 1994-2004, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve.  He has served as second counselor in the First Presidency since 2008.
"Sometimes in life we become so focused on the finish line that we fail to find joy in the journey. I don’t go cycling with my wife because I’m excited about finishing. I go because the experience of being with her is sweet and enjoyable.
"Doesn’t it seem foolish to spoil sweet and joyful experiences because we are constantly anticipating the moment when they will end?
"Do we listen to beautiful music waiting for the final note to fade before we allow ourselves to truly enjoy it? No. We listen and connect to the variations of melody, rhythm, and harmony throughout the composition.
"Do we say our prayers with only the 'amen' or the end in mind? Of course not. We pray to be close to our Heavenly Father, to receive His Spirit and feel His love.
"We shouldn’t wait to be happy until we reach some future point, only to discover that happiness was already available—all the time! Life is not meant to be appreciated only in retrospect. 'This is the day which the Lord hath made...,' the Psalmist wrote. 'Rejoice and be glad in it.' (Psalm 118:24.)
"Brothers and sisters, no matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish. There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it."
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Of Regrets and Resolutions," General Conference October 2012
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

Finding "joy in the journey" seems to be one of the great struggles so many face. President Uchtdorf implies that the challenge doesn't just apply to the times of challenge and difficulty, but also to the more positive times. If we are so focused on obtaining goals or reaching milestones that we forget about the joy of now, we're missing the point!

So the answer is finding "something in each day to embrace and cherish." One of the keys is gratitude for blessings given. As we focus on the good and positive, the learning and growth, the blessings—we will find there is, indeed, much joy in the journey.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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