- Sometimes we need a personal crisis to reinforce in our minds what we really value and cherish. The scriptures are filled with examples of people facing crises before learning how to better serve God and others. Perhaps if you, too, search your hearts and courageously assess the priorities in your life, you may discover, as I did, that you need a better balance among your priorities.
Balance in our lives is necessary to feel peace and harmony. But getting the point where we feel balanced in our lives can be difficult.
- As most of you know, coping with the complex and diverse challenges of everyday life, which is not an easy task, can upset the balance and harmony we seek. Many good people who care a great deal are trying very hard to maintain balance, but they sometimes feel overwhelmed and defeated.
Elder Ballard points out that balance will come into our lives as we reflect on the covenants we have made. Focusing on covenants will bring a clear perspective on what matters most and give us the focus needed to place value on those covenants.
- A periodic review of the covenants we have made with the Lord will help us with our priorities and with balance in our lives. This review will help us see where we need to repent and change our lives to ensure that we are worthy of the promises that accompany our covenants and sacred ordinances. Working out our own salvation requires good planning and a deliberate, valiant effort.
Elder Ballard gives us 8 suggestions on how to find peace and balance in our lives. Each will help us focus on what matters most in our lives.
- First, think about your life and set your priorities. Find some quiet time regularly to think deeply about where you are going and what you will need to do to get there. Jesus, our exemplar, often “withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.” We need to do the same thing occasionally to rejuvenate ourselves spiritually as the Savior did. Write down the tasks you would like to accomplish each day. Keep foremost in mind the sacred covenants you have made with the Lord as you write down your daily schedules.
- Second, set short-term goals that you can reach. Set goals that are well balanced—not too many nor too few, and not too high nor too low. Write down your attainable goals and work on them according to their importance. Pray for divine guidance in your goal setting.
- Third, everyone faces financial challenges in life. Through wise budgeting, control your real needs and measure them carefully against your many wants in life. Far too many individuals and families have incurred too much debt. Be careful of the many attractive offers to borrow money. It is much easier to borrow money than it is to pay it back. There are no shortcuts to financial security. There are no get-rich-quick schemes that work. Perhaps none need the principle of balance in their lives more than those who are driven toward accumulating “things” in this world. We never will have balance in our lives unless our finances are securely under control.
- Fourth, stay close to your spouse, children, relatives, and friends. They will help you keep a balance in your life. In a recent study by the Church, adults in the United States were asked to identify a time when they were very happy and to describe the experience. They were also asked to describe a time when they were very unhappy. For most people, one thing that had made them the most happy or the most sad was their personal relationships with others. Much less important were their personal health, employment, money, and other material things. Build relationships with your family and friends through open and honest communication. A good marriage and good family relationships can be maintained through gentle, loving, thoughtful communication. Remember that often a glance, a wink, a nod, or a touch will say more than words. A sense of humor and good listening are also vital parts of good communication.
- Fifth, study the scriptures. They offer one of the best sources we have to keep in touch with the Spirit of the Lord.
- Sixth, many people, including me, have difficulty finding the time for sufficient rest, exercise, and relaxation. We must schedule time on our daily calendars for these activities if we are to enjoy a healthy and balanced life. Good physical appearance enhances our dignity and self-respect.
- Seventh, the prophets have taught repeatedly that families should teach one another the gospel, preferably in a weekly family home evening. This family practice, if we are not very careful, can slowly drift away from us. We must not lose this special opportunity to “teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom,” which will lead families to eternal life.
- My last suggestion is to pray often as individuals and as families. Parents need to exercise the discipline required to lead out and motivate children to join together for regular family prayers. Our youth can know the right decisions to make each day through constant, sincere prayer.
Elder Ballard shares a person observation about his own live and finding balance.
- When I am in tune spiritually, I find that I can balance everything in my life much more easily.
To conclude, he gives us advice on how to move forward in our everyday lives.
- Just do the very best you can each day. Do the basic things and, before you realize it, your life will be full of spiritual understanding that will confirm to you that your Heavenly Father loves you. When a person knows this, then life will be full of purpose and meaning, making balance easier to maintain.
We all like to talk about work/life balance when it comes to our jobs. We are all looking for a balance between work and play. We all want a balance between te demands of life and time with those we care most about. Elder Ballard reminds us to also seek a balance in our spiritual lives. Focusing on the covenants we have made and how those relate to our eternal lives will make the things of this world less important. We will recognize that we God is part of our lives and that he truly wants what is best for us. We will focus more on eternal principles increase of the cares of the world. We will care less about what people think of us and focus more about what God thinks of us. We will find peace and happiness while living in the chaotic world.