Thursday, October 28, 2021

President James E. Faust on making choices in life

President James E. Faust (1920 - 2007) was called as a Seventy in 1976, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve in 1978. He served as a counselor to President Hinckley from 1995 until his death in 2007 at age 87.
"In this life we have to make many choices. Some are very important choices. Some are not. Many of our choices are between good and evil. The choices we make, however, determine to a large extent our happiness or our unhappiness, because we have to live with the consequences of our choices. Making perfect choices all of the time is not possible. It just doesn't happen. But it is possible to make good choices we can live with and grow from. When God's children live worthy of divine guidance they can become 'free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon' (2 Ne. 2:26)....
"Some of our important choices have a time line. If we delay a decision, the opportunity is gone forever. Sometimes our doubts keep us from making a choice that involves change. Thus an opportunity may be missed. As someone once said, 'When you have to make a choice and don't make it, that in itself is a choice' (William James)....
"How do we make correct choices? A choice involves making a conscious decision. To make an intelligent decision we need to evaluate all available facts on both sides of an issue. But that isn't enough. Making correct decisions involves prayer and inspiration....
"As we look into the future, we are going to need to be stronger and more responsible for our choices in a world where people 'call evil good, and good evil' (2 Ne. 15:20). We do not choose wisely if we use our agency in opposition to God's will or to priesthood counsel. Tomorrow's blessings and opportunities depend on the choices we make today."
- James E. Faust, "Choices," General Conference April 2004
Click here to read the full talk

It's a good reminder to note that not one of us always makes only perfect choices. We do the best we can; and we always do better when we're worthy of "divine guidance" in those choices.

I liked this thought, of the importance of timely choices:

So then, learning to make correct choices, and make them in a prompt and timely way, is the challenge. "To make an intelligent decision we need to evaluate all available facts on both sides of an issue." That's hard to do; it's rare that we have the discipline to investigate so thoroughly. We are prone to rush to a decision. President Faust encourages more careful and deliberate consideration, followed by "prayer and inspiration."

King Benjamin taught that when we obey God, "he doth immediately bless you" (Mosi 2:24). Our blessings depend on our choices!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
August 25, 2015

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