Choices

With my friends Daniel and Meagan I am studying one General Conference talk given by President Nelson per day throughout the Lenten season.

I generally make it a practice to listen to a General Conference talk each evening while I load the dishes and my husband bathes our children. Typically, unless I have a reason for listening to a specific talk, I cycle through the talks from the past two general conferences. While this is a peaceful daily ritual, I wouldn’t say I’m incredibly committed, and often I forget or am mentally distracted by other goings-on in my home.

But for this project I have committed myself to increased focus and diligence, and I immediately felt a difference. After the first two days, I thought, “I am enjoying this so much, maybe I’ll add an Elder Maxwell talk in each day as well.” The next day I thought, “I think I’ll include a daily talk from a sister leader as well.” By day five, I was thinking that perhaps I should just start listening to an entire session of conference every day.

Now I don’t think that’s a remotely realistic goal for me at this busy time in my life, but what I was reminded by that experience is that good choices beget good desires, which, in turn, beget more good choices. Rarely does one stop to pick up a couple of quarter pounders on the way home from a good workout, or waste long-saved money on meaningless trinkets, or turn off Bach’s Cello Suites to listen to the Trolls 2 soundtrack.

Which leads me to one of the talks I studied, which was President Nelson’s talk from October 1990 entitled “Choices.” In the talk, he suggested three questions to ask when we are faced with an important choice:

  1. Who am I?
  2. Why am I here?
  3. Where am I going?

My goal for the week, in addition to studying one talk from President Nelson daily, is to think about how I am using my time and mental energy each day, and use these questions to guide those choices. In this, I hope to find some of the same enthusiasm for my daily rituals as I have felt for studying the words of President Nelson.

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