Tuesday, January 1, 2019

President Russell M. Nelson on great goals and greater goals

President Russell M. Nelson (born Sept 9, 1924) was an internationally-renowned heart surgeon when he was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1984. He became president of that quorum on July 15, 2015. Following the death of President Monson, he was set apart as president of the Church on January 14, 2018.
"We launch into the future from a firm foundation. Our span of life has increased significantly. Transportation, communication, and education have improved. We have learned how to set high goals and work toward their achievement. First we dream, then persevere with laborious duty, bolstered by unwavering faith in our cause and ability to achieve.
"One by one, we do our tasks. We earn educational degrees and take certifying and qualifying examination. We jump over hurdles of expectation as imposed by others. But eventually, we recognize the daring difference in striving to do what we do—compared to striving to become whom we ought to be.
"Thus our goals are great and greater. Great goals I relate to temporal attainments. Greater goals I relate to attributes of personal character. Goals to do can be incremental; goals to be can be monumental. Such attributes of character are worthy of our attention as we strive to be whom we ought to be."
- Russell M. Nelson, “Goals Great and Greater,” Rebild Festival, Denmark, July 4, 2000; see Teachings of Russell M. Nelson  pp. 44-45

There are a lot of interesting insights in this excerpt from President Nelson. He recognizes the blessings we have in our time of advanced technology and new opportunities. In this environment, building on this framework, "First we dream..." — we can imagine and project into the future the possibilities we have, individually and collectively. But the realization of those dreams requires that we "persevere with laborious duty, bolstered by unwavering faith." What a great description of progress!

But then as we grow and progress, we begin to recognize that there are two kinds of development and accomplishment: what we do and what we are.

While the temporal achievements are valuable and important, what we become—the character we develop—is far more significant. We should remember that, and focus the greatest efforts on the things of greatest value and importance!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2019)

1 comment:

  1. President Nelson, a heart surgeon and Prophet, these are what I love so much. Presidents views on goal setting has inspired me to make my own goals, one of them is "Temple work" I'll do a SMART goal and will do more SMART goals this year. Thank you President Nelson and Church Leaders. Faithfully Whare Dewes.


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