Sunday’s are a perfect time to review how we have been doing in our progression, if our lives are balanced, and focus on where we can improve. I love setting weekly goals for myself (and now couple goals as well) on where I fall short in my life and also reflect on how wisely (or foolishly) I am spending my free time. How we choose to spend our “free time” shows the Lord how eager we are to progress. I feel very blessed to be married to Skyler who is equally anxious to improve, set goals, and reflect weekly on our strengths and weaknesses that perhaps need more attention. Here are a few of my favorite quotes that often ignite a desire to improve and help motivate me to give more attention to my weaknesses in my free time:
“So many honorable individuals in the world do so much without what we, as members, call gospel fullness, while some of us, unfortunately, do so little with so much.” -Elder Neal A. Maxwell
“Sin is waste. It is doing one thing when you should be doing other and better things for which you have the capacity.” – Hugh Nibley
“Fear not; only believe. This is a time to make resolutions that will be binding upon you. This is a season to set standards that will hold you to the right course and make you happy now and in the years that follow.” -Gordon B. Hinckley
“Man’s chief concern in life should not be the acquiring gold, or of fame, or of material possessions. It should not be the development of physical prowess, nor of intellectual strength, but his aim, the highest in life, should be development of a Christlike character.” – David O McKay
“Thus the enabling power of the Atonement strengthens us to do good and be good and serve beyond our own individual desire and natural capacity.” – David A. Bednar
“The Lord desires, through His Atonement and by the power of the Holy Ghost, to live in us – not only to direct us, but also to empower us.” – David A. Bednar
“Help from the Savior is available for the entire journey of mortality – from bad to good to better – and to change our very nature.” – David A. Bednar
“Our weaknesses are like dogs, you see. If we walk toward them, they will run away from us. But if we run away from them they’ll chase us.” – Hugh Nibley
How often do we hide from our weaknesses instead of facing them and deciding to work on them and improve? While discussing some of these ideas with Skyler, he shared with me this blog post that he wrote over a year ago. There is a bridge between improving our weaknesses and how we spend our free time. Satan tries SO HARD to distract us or pull us in to less important, yet addictive, behaviors that keep us from progressing in life and growing closer to the Lord. We are here to reach our full potential and become God-like, yet we all too often waste away our precious time in unimportant activities, addictive tv-shows, or time-wasting habits such as social media scrolling. The following 3 scriptures highlight the idea of wasting time and in contrast, how to use that time to better ourselves.
“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” – James 4:17
“…men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will (or in their own free time), and bring to pass much righteousness.” – D&C 58:27
“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” – 3 Nephi 12:6
My purpose in writing this post was to serve as a reminder for myself, and for all of us, that our learning, growing and progression are never complete. We have been given much responsibility (where much is given, much is required) to further the work in ourselves, our families, our communities, our nation, and we will never succeed in our mission and for-ordained assignments if we waste so much of our precious time doing things that get us nowhere.
Skyler and I have a saved document on our phones that we review during the Sacrament each week. It is a series of questions he came up with (and I added to it) that help us reflect each week on where we need to repent and improve, and also where to focus our goals and time on in the following week. I love the way it makes me feel, how it has strengthened my testimony of the Atonement, and also the many spiritual conversations and prayers it has sparked with me as I review it weekly.
Sunday Interview Questions
- How hard did I work on my own imperfections this week?
- How did I react to the imperfections and potentially offensive acts of others?
- In what ways did I rely on the strength of the Lord this week?
- How was I delivered from a “prison” this week?
- Am I seeking to build God’s kingdom or my kingdom?
- How did I share the gospel this week?
- Is there a balance between spiritual and temporal needs being met…?
- How did I influence my family or friends for good this week or bring them closer to the savior?
- How could I do better?
- How did I seek to climb up the spiritual truth ladder this week?
- In what ways did I act as a Christ figure this week?
- What did I do wrong this week?
- What am I doing that I need to stop doing?
- What am I not doing that I need to start doing?
- Were my prayers this week a substitute for service or a spur thereto?
- Have I pridefully withheld any comments or encouragement that might have lifted another?
- Whom can I serve this week?
- Am I aligning my priorities correctly?
- Am I spending my time the way God intends me to do?
- Am I allowing faith to carry me through trials or getting stuck in the valley of fear?
- Am I focusing on my weaknesses and turning to the Lord to strengthen them?
- Am I using the Atonement to allow Christ to carry others burdens or trying to carry them myself?
- Am I exercising my faith regardless on if the Lord answers my prayers the way I want?
May we all strive each day to be a little better, to strengthen our relationship with the Lord, and ask him daily what more He would have us do. I often pray for him to expose my weaknesses and though that is often painful, it is how I grow in humility and see where I can focus my efforts to become closer and closer to being like my Heavenly Father.