Friday, June 22, 2018

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

Elder 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 served as second counselor in the First Presidency from 2008 to 2018.
"So many people today are waiting for their own golden ticket—the ticket that they believe holds the key to the happiness they have always dreamed about. For some, the golden ticket may be a perfect marriage; for others, a magazine-cover home or perhaps freedom from stress or worry.
"There is nothing wrong with righteous yearnings—we hope and seek after things that are 'virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy.' (Articles of Faith 1:13.) The problem comes when we put our happiness on hold as we wait for some future event—our golden ticket—to appear....
"If we spend our days waiting for fabulous roses, we could miss the beauty and wonder of the tiny forget-me-nots that are all around us.
"This is not to say that we should abandon hope or temper our goals. Never stop striving for the best that is within you. Never stop hoping for all of the righteous desires of your heart. But don’t close your eyes and hearts to the simple and elegant beauties of each day’s ordinary moments that make up a rich, well-lived life."
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Forget Me Not," General Conference, October 2011
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

In this excerpt from his classic and memorable talk, President Uchtdorf reminded us to not forget the joy that can be found in the journey—and not just at the end of the road. This is not easy to do when we are struggling with disappointment, unrealized dreams, or righteous desires that continue unfulfilled. But the critical need is to continue to search for sources of joy, even in the midst of the challenges:

How do we learn to push back the sadness and disappointment, and to instead find "the simple and elegant beauties of each day’s ordinary moments"? I think a large part of the answer comes only through the grace of God. As we strive to look to Him, and learn to see as He sees, we will surely be blessed with the understanding of eternal perspective and will be able to see how much joy is available to us in other areas.

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

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