- My counsel tonight is to rise above any rationalizations that prevent us from making righteous decisions, especially with respect to serving Jesus Christ.
Elder Cook says that we need to make and keep covenants and become men that will never compromise those covenants we have made. He shares
- We need unequivocal commitment to the commandments and strict adherence to sacred covenants. When we allow rationalizations to prevent us from temple endowments, worthy missions, and temple marriage, they are particularly harmful. It is heartbreaking when we profess belief in these goals yet neglect the everyday conduct required to achieve them.
He speaks with the young men who are not pursuing or are not concerned about marriage and making this sacred covenant.
- Some young people profess their goal is to be married in the temple but do not date temple-worthy individuals. To be honest, some don’t even date, period! Some postpone marriage until education is complete and a job obtained. While widely accepted in the world, this reasoning does not demonstrate faith, does not comply with counsel of modern prophets, and is not compatible with sound doctrine.
He shares that he is less concerned about the big sins we make in our lives as most can stay away from these but is concerned about the small sins that seem to have little consequence.
- My concern is not only about the big tipping-point decisions but also the middle ground—the workaday world and seemingly ordinary decisions where we spend most of our time.
Elder Cook warns us about things that are taking up our time. He is concerned about things like social media that waste time and don't bring us closer to our eternal goals.
- Sometimes it feels like we are drowning in frivolous foolishness, nonsensical noise, and continuous contention. When we turn down the volume and examine the substance, there is very little that will assist us in our eternal quest toward righteous goals. One father wisely responds to his children with their numerous requests to participate in these distractions. He simply asks them, “Will this make you a better person?”
He talks about Elder Oaks talk "Good, Better, Best" and shares that good decisions are not always the right ones that we need to make.
- Even worthwhile endeavors need evaluation in order to determine if they have become distractions from the best goals.
He shares encouragement for all of us to make the right choices in our lives.
- 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. We must not take our eyes off or drop that ball for any reason.
- 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.
I have been thinking about this issues a lot lately. I have been trying to make sure that the things I have in my life are ones that are bringing me closer to my ultimate goals. For me, that would mean I have been thinking about things in my life and if they bring me closer to Christ or farther away. My ultimate goal is to have things in my life that strengthen my testimony, bring me closer to the savior, and help me get back to my Father in Heaven. I need to stay away from the foolish things in life that waste my time and reduce my efforts to stay focused on the ultimate goal.