- When we are young, it seems that we will live forever. We think there is a limitless supply of sunrises waiting just beyond the horizon, and the future looks to us like an unbroken road stretching endlessly before us. However, the older we get, the more we tend to look back and marvel at how short that road really is. We wonder how the years could have passed so quickly. And we begin to think about the choices we made and the things we have done. In the process, we remember many sweet moments that give warmth to our souls and joy to our hearts. But we also remember the regrets—the things we wish we could go back and change.
I Wish I Had Spent More Time with the People I Love
He uses the example of the Savior to discuss some characteristics of how we should prioritize our own lives.
- I think of our Lord and Exemplar, Jesus Christ, and His short life among the people of Galilee and Jerusalem. I have tried to imagine Him bustling between meetings or multitasking to get a list of urgent things accomplished. I can’t see it. Instead I see the compassionate and caring Son of God purposefully living each day. When He interacted with those around Him, they felt important and loved. He knew the infinite value of the people He met. He blessed them, ministered to them. He lifted them up, healed them. He gave them the precious gift of His time.
Failing to live our life like the Savior demonstrated will leave us with regrets at the end of our lives. It really is in the relationships with others that our greatest happiness occurs.
- If we fail to give our best personal self and undivided time to those who are truly important to us, one day we will regret it. Let us resolve to cherish those we love by spending meaningful time with them, doing things together, and cultivating treasured memories.
I Wish I Had Lived Up to My Potential
- Our Heavenly Father sees our real potential. He knows things about us that we do not know ourselves. He prompts us during our lifetime to fulfill the measure of our creation, to live a good life, and to return to His presence.
- Would it not be wiser for us to “lay up for [ourselves] treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal”? How do we do this? By following the example of the Savior, by incorporating His teachings in our daily lives, by truly loving God and our fellowman.
President Uchtdorf reminds us that wanting to live like the Savior is different from actually doing it. He then leads us through several examples of good things we can do in our lives and ways we can take it a step further and do something better.
- Good intentions are not enough. We must do. Even more important, we must become what Heavenly Father wants us to be. Declaring our testimony of the gospel is good, but being a living example of the restored gospel is better. Wishing to be more faithful to our covenants is good; actually being faithful to sacred covenants—including living a virtuous life, paying our tithes and offerings, keeping the Word of Wisdom, and serving those in need—is much better. Announcing that we will dedicate more time for family prayer, scripture study, and wholesome family activities is good; but actually doing all these things steadily will bring heavenly blessings to our lives.
He shares a great definition of discipleship. I started this blog with a desire to learn to be a better disciple of the Savior. This definition is a good way to gauge my progress.
- Discipleship is the pursuit of holiness and happiness. It is the path to our best and happiest self. Let us resolve to follow the Savior and work with diligence to become the person we were designed to become.
I Wish I Had Let Myself Be Happier
- The older we get, the more we look back and realize that external circumstances don’t really matter or determine our happiness. We do matter. We determine our happiness. You and I are ultimately in charge of our own happiness.
He discusses living in the moment rather than being focused on the outcome.
- Sometimes in life we become so focused on the finish line that we fail to find joy in the journey.
He gives some great examples of enjoying the moments we live in. He discusses that we listen to music to enjoy the song throughout rather that just the ending note. He also says that our prayers should focus on expressing our thanks and desires throughout our prayer instead of just focusing on ending them with amen.
- We shouldn’t wait to be happy until we reach some future point, only to discover that happiness was already available—all the time! Life is not meant to be appreciated only in retrospect.
- Let us resolve to be happy, regardless of our circumstances.
- To avoid some of the deepest regrets of life, it would be wise to make some resolutions today. Therefore, let us:
- Resolve to spend more time with those we love.
- Resolve to strive more earnestly to become the person God wants us to be.
- Resolve to find happiness, regardless of our circumstances.
- Resolve to spend more time with those we love.
He concludes with encouragement that we can find happiness through following the Savior today.
- Many of the deepest regrets of tomorrow can be prevented by following the Savior today. We cannot go back in time and change the past, but we can repent.
What a great message. I found myself looking at my life and wondering if I am doing the things that I need to in order to say I am following the Saviors example. I get so busy and so distracted with life that I forget where my true happiness comes from. I am going to take a look at the things I do and try to make changes that allow me to focus on key relationships and strengthening them. Those relationships are with my family and with a few close friends. I know that as I change by prioritizing my life, the greatest happiness will be found in living a life like the Savior and letting those people that are important to me, feel my love for the Savior through the way I treat them.