Thursday, December 30, 2021

Elder Quentin L. Cook on goals, self-discipline, and humor

Elder Quentin L. Cook (b. 1940) was called as a Seventy in 1996, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2007.
"I encourage everyone, young and old, to review goals and objectives and strive to exercise greater discipline. Our daily conduct and choices should be consistent with our goals. We need to rise above rationalizations and distractions. It is especially important to make choices consistent with our covenants to serve Jesus Christ in righteousness (see D&C 76:5). We must not take our eyes off or drop that ball for any reason.
"This life is the time to prepare to meet God (see Alma 34:32). We are a happy, joyous people. We appreciate a good sense of humor and treasure unstructured time with friends and family. But we need to recognize that there is a seriousness of purpose that must undergird our approach to life and all our choices. Distractions and rationalizations that limit progress are harmful enough, but when they diminish faith in Jesus Christ and His Church, they are tragic."
- Quentin L. Cook, "Choose Wisely," Ensign, November 2014, pp. 46-49
Click here to read or listen to the full article

It's interesting to consider the relationship between goals and covenants, as suggested by Elder Cook. There is power in having goals to set targets for our long-term achievement, and to make sure we are focusing appropriately on those worthy objectives with the discipline reflected in our daily conduct and choices. But covenants are a type of goal; they also set standards for ongoing behavior and choices that help us stay on an established course.

In consideration of desires for long-term success in spiritual matters, Elder Cook suggests that there should be a balance between good humor and "seriousness of purpose" to define the focus of our lives:

I hope we never forget to be "a happy, joyous people." With the right eternal perspective, that can always be possible.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
December 29, 2016

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