Sunday, February 20, 2022

President Russell M. Nelson on becoming the right person

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.
"The end for which each of you should strive is to be the person that you can become—the person who God wants you to be. The day will come when your professional career will end. The career that you will have labored so hard to achieve—the work that will have supported you and your family—will one day be behind you.
"Then you will have learned this great lesson: much more important than what you do for a living is what kind of person you become. When you leave this frail existence, what you have become will matter most. Attributes such as 'faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, [and] diligence' (D&C 4:6) will all be weighed in the Lord's balance.
"From time to time, ask yourself these questions: 'Am I ready to meet my Maker?' 'Am I worthy of all the blessings He has in store for His faithful children?' 'Have I received my endowment and sealing ordinances of the temple?' 'Have I remained faithful to my covenants?' 'Have I qualified for the greatest of all God's blessings—the blessing of eternal life?' (see D&C 14:7)."
- Russell M. Nelson, "Neither Trust in the Arm of Flesh," BYU commencement address, April 23, 2009; see Ensign, March 2010, pp. 24-25
Click here to read the full talk

We spend a lot of time and energy "striving" for various things in our lives each day. Careers and professional activities consume significant portions as we work to sustain ourselves. Sometimes we lose the perspective on what matters most, and President Nelson reminds us that it's far more important to worry about the kind of person we become than what we do for a living. "The end for which each of you should strive is to be the person that you can become—the person who God wants you to be."

He provides this practical suggestion to help evaluate our progress in the things that matter most—a short personal interview of sorts:

Those questions truly help to identify "the things that matter most." We would be wise to ponder them carefully!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2022)
July 23, 2015

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