- The tendency to focus on the insignificant at the expense of the profound happens not only to pilots but to everyone. We are all at risk.
- We know what matters most in life—the Light of Christ teaches this to everyone. We as faithful Latter-day Saints have the Holy Ghost as a “constant companion” to teach us the things of eternal value.
- Pause for a moment and check where your own heart and thoughts are. Are you focused on the things that matter most? How you spend your quiet time may provide a valuable clue. Where do your thoughts go when the pressure of deadlines is gone? Are your thoughts and heart focused on those short-lived fleeting things that matter only in the moment or on things that matter most?
He likens this story to our priesthood duty. We need to make sure we don't have distractions in our lives that keep us from focusing on the things that matter most to us.
- We cannot and we must not allow ourselves to get distracted from our sacred duty. We cannot and we must not lose focus on the things that matter most.
President Uchtdorf shares the story of Nehemiah who was tasked with rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and when his enemies plotted to hurt him by asking to meet with him outside the walls, he would respond that he had a great work and cannot come down.
- I am encouraged and inspired by the many faithful priesthood holders today who are of similar heart and mind. Like Nehemiah, you love the Lord and seek to magnify the priesthood you bear. The Lord loves you and is mindful of the purity of your hearts and the steadfastness of your resolve. He blesses you for your fidelity, guides your path, and uses your gifts and talents in building His kingdom on this earth.
He warns us though that we have room for improvement.
- There is room for improvement. What could be accomplished if we all “had a mind to work.” I wonder what could be accomplished if we “put away childish things” and gave ourselves, heart and soul, to becoming worthy priesthood bearers and true representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ. Think for a moment what could be accomplished in our personal lives, in our professional lives, in our families, in our wards and branches. Think of how the kingdom of God would progress throughout the earth. Imagine how the world itself could be transformed for good if every man who bears the priesthood of God were to gird up his loins and live up to his true potential, converted in the depth of his soul, a true and faithful priesthood man, committed to building the kingdom of God. Think of the power we would have as individuals and as a body of the priesthood if, in response to every temptation to lose focus or lower our standards—the standards of God, we responded, “I am doing a great work and cannot come down.”
We need to take our priesthood responsibilities more seriously. We need to have the same mindset as Nehemiah and not get distracted from what our purpose is.
- Our Heavenly Father seeks those who refuse to allow the trivial to hinder them in their pursuit of the eternal. He seeks those who will not allow the attraction of ease or the traps of the adversary to distract them from the work He has given them to perform. He seeks those whose actions conform to their words—those who say with conviction, “I am doing a great work and cannot come down.”
He concludes with words of encouragement about the type of priesthood holders he wishes we all are.
- We stand overlooking the horizon of our age. It is my fervent prayer that in spite of temptations, we will never lower our standards; that in spite of distractions, wherever they may come from, we will not lose focus on what matters most; that we will stand resolute and together, shoulder to shoulder, as we valiantly bear the banner of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I have always loved the story of Nehemiah. He had such focus and purpose. He saw the bigger picture of what his purpose was and didn't let anything distract him from the things he knew to be right. We would all benefit if we could have this same focus when it comes to our duties in the gospel. For me in my life, I am going to try to make sure don't focus on the things that are unimportant. I have people to encourage and bring the love of the Savior to. I need to make sure I prioritize my life to assure I set time aside to fulfill the responsibilities that I have been given. I need to make sure that I don't let the world distract me from accomplishing the tasks the Lord needs me to fulfill.