Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Elder Neil L. Andersen on the relationship between inner desires and choices

Elder Neil L. Andersen (born August 9, 1951) served as a Seventy beginning in 1993, and was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2009.
"A desire is a conscious, private longing for which each person is responsible. It is a powerful hope, a quiet, soul-felt anticipation originating from that sovereign territory we each possess. We are all influenced by our families [and] our culture, and yet I believe there is a place inside of us that we uniquely and individually control and create. These desires are being constructed or developed, fortified or weakened constantly, whether they are righteous or unrighteous....
“I have come to understand that before choices, come our desires. Our desires influence our choices. Because many of our thoughts are private, protected, and hidden from view, our actions for a time may not always reflect our inner desires. However, eventually, our inner desires are given life and they are seen in our choices and in our actions.”
- Neil L. Andersen, "Educate your Desires," BYU Investment Professionals Conference,September 2011
Click here to read a more complete report of the talk

How important are our desires, the quiet inner thoughts and yearnings of our hearts? Elder Andersen suggests that they are critically important. Though we may not always acknowledge it, they influence our choices and actions. We each have a quiet inner place, known only to us and God, where those desires live and where they grow and develop.

While we may temporarily, "for a time," have choices and actions that externally differ from the true nature and desires of our hearts, eventually the the real inner nature will also be expressed externally. It is so critical to be truly honest in our actions and deeds; and to cultivate the most pure and wholesome inner desires.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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