Well, another four years starts today. President Barrack Obama was re-elected and Mitt Romney was defeated last night.
Yes, I feel disappointed but I don’t feel the world is going to end.
That’s about all I’m going to say about the presidential stuff…
My days lately haven’t been as great as I’d like: I have some pent up resentment towards B, I’ve been more stressed about work for whatever reason, and I’ve felt more lonely than normal. I think ultimately I’ve been a bit more SELFISH too.
The talk I read today was by President Uchtdorf. He is becoming one of my favorite General Authorities: his talks always seem to hit home and be very direct answers to my day to day issues.
Here are some of the highlights I got from his talk:
…the older we get, the more we tend to look back and marvel at how short that road [of life] 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 remember in High School I wrote on my baseball hat “No Regrets!”. Can I feel this way now? Am I doing all I can do and being all I can be? Am I enjoying the journey of life, spending the best time with my family and those I love, and being happy and grateful for what I have been blessed with?
A nurse who cares for the terminally ill says that she has often asked a simple question of her patients as they prepared to depart this life.
“Do you have any regrets?” she would ask.2
Being so close to that final day of mortality often gives clarity to thought and provides insight and perspective. So when these people were asked about their regrets, they opened their hearts. They reflected about what they would change if only they could turn back the clock.
As I considered what they had said, it struck me how the foundational principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ can affect our life’s direction for good, if only we will apply them. (bold added for emphasis)
This is true. This is right. This is simple!
It’s like Dad has shared with me:
The burdens of life are lighter and easier to bear, the enjoyments of life are greater and easier to appreciate, for those who believe in God and His Son, Jesus Christ, and try to keep Their commandments than for those who do not. – Dave M.
President Uchtdorf goes on to say:
There is nothing mysterious about the principles of the gospel. We have studied them in the scriptures, we have discussed them in Sunday School, and we have heard them from the pulpit many times. These divine principles and values are straightforward and clear; they are beautiful, profound, and powerful; and they can definitely help us to avoid future regrets.
The three main regrets the terminally ill shared were very straight forward:
I Wish I Had Spent More Time with the People I Love
I Wish I Had Lived Up to My Potential
I Wish I Had Let Myself Be Happier
President Uchtdorf challenges us to resolve to do (and become) the following:
- 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.
So how am I doing on these things?
I feel I do ok with the time – although I can be better at controlling my temper and having more patience with the kids when I do spend time with them. I also feel the time I spend with B can be more meaningful and well thought out. Can I schedule more creative dates? Can I be more giving of my time to her? Instead of zoning on the TV together, are there other more special things we can do together?
Living up to my potential – how am I doing with this?
I feel pretty good about my business potential. Sure, there is always more I can do, but I feel blessed to be where I am doing what I am doing. As far as spiritual potential I feel I can do the following better:
- Consistent study of the gospel – I do this sometimes but want to make it a daily habit that I can’t live without.
- Personal prayer – morning, evening, and throughout the day – I want to have a better ongoing relationship with my Heavenly Father.
- Working the steps of the program (ie. USING the Atonement every day) – I feel it’s time to have another sponsor or something, someone I can be accountable to, someone who is where I want to be with their progress in the steps of recovery. I’ll be thinking about this and looking for an opportunity to reach out to someone from the meeting.
- Increased patience and understanding – this is for both my wife, my kids, and others I work with and interact with. Ultimately this boils down to CHARITY. I need to pray for it, I need to seek it, and I need to have it in my life more. I feel charity will help me overcome my selfishness and self-centered mind set. I feel these qualities are what often lead me to relapse and regret.
From the talk:
One day we will take that unavoidable step and cross from this mortal sphere into the next estate. One day we will look back at our lives and wonder if we could have been better, made better decisions, or used our time more wisely.
To avoid some of the deepest regrets of life, it would be wise to make some resolutions today…
It is my testimony that many of the deepest regrets of tomorrow can be prevented by following the Savior today. If we have sinned or made mistakes—if we have made choices that we now regret—there is the precious gift of Christ’s Atonement, through which we can be forgiven. We cannot go back in time and change the past, but we can repent. The Savior can wipe away our tears of regret11 and remove the burden of our sins.12 His Atonement allows us to leave the past behind and move forward with clean hands, a pure heart,13 and a determination to do better and especially to become better.
I’m grateful to have read this article and written out my thoughts today.
I’m prayerful that I won’t have any regrets today – that I will live my life today how Heavenly Father would want me to live it – that I will do the things He would want me to do if He were here next to me.
I’m grateful for the blessings I’ve been given and I pray that I will never take them for granted.