Distractions can easily offset any Latter-day Saint trying to do the right thing. Our bright, frantic surroundings work hard to captivate and keep our attention. Focusing on what matters most requires a concentrated effort and, although hard, blesses you with clarity, confidence, and surety that God is aware of what you’re doing to follow Him. Below are nine quotes from Church leaders that aim to inspire and remind you why focusing on what matters most will lead to the true happiness we all seek.
1. “When we understand the great plan of happiness, we are gaining an eternal perspective, and the commandments, ordinances, covenants, and the experiences, trials, and tribulations can be seen in their true and eternal light.”
—Elder Jay E. Jensen, "Keep an Eternal Perspective"
2. "In our search to obtain relief from the stresses of life, may we earnestly seek ways to simplify our lives. May we comply with the inspired counsel and direction the Lord has given us in the great plan of happiness. May we be worthy to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost and follow the guidance of the Spirit as we navigate this mortal journey. May we prepare ourselves to accomplish the ultimate purpose of this mortal test—to return and live with our Heavenly Father."
—Elder L. Tom Perry, "Let Him Do It with Simplicity”
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—Elder Kyle S. McKay, “The Immediate Goodness of God”
4. "How do we find our way through the many things that matter? We simplify and purify our perspective. Some things are evil and must be avoided; some things are nice; some things are important; and some things are absolutely essential."
—Elder Neil L. Andersen, “It’s True, Isn’t It? Then What Else Matters?”
5. "I think most of us intuitively understand how important the fundamentals are. It is just that we sometimes get distracted by so many things that seem more enticing. . . . Yet amidst the multitude of voices and choices, the humble Man of Galilee stands with hands outstretched, waiting. His is a simple message: 'Come, follow me.'"
—Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Of Things That Matter Most”
6. "As we consider various choices, we should remember that it is not enough that something is good. Other choices are better, and still others are best."
—Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Good, Better, Best”
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7. "For those who are discouraged by their circumstances and are therefore tempted to feel they cannot serve the Lord this day, I make you [a promise]. Hard as things seem today, they will be better in the next day if you choose to serve the Lord this day with your whole heart."
—President Henry B. Eyring, “This Day”
8. "Unless we take the time to reflect, we may not realize the impact of this fast-paced environment on our daily lives and the choices we make. We may find our lives consumed with bursts of information packaged in memes, videos, and glaring headlines. Although interesting and entertaining, most of these have little to do with our eternal progress. . . . May I suggest that the best things in this life are centered on Jesus Christ.”
—Elder Jack N. Gerard, “Now Is the Time”
9. "In this fast-paced life, do we ever pause for moments of meditation—even thoughts of timeless truths? . . . Our Heavenly Father did not launch us on our eternal voyage without providing the means whereby we could receive from Him guidance to ensure our safe return. I speak of prayer. I speak too of the whisperings from that still, small voice; and I do not overlook the holy scriptures, which contain the word of the Lord and the words of the prophets—provided to us to help us successfully cross the finish line."
—President Thomas S. Monson, “The Race of Life”
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These quotes from friends of other faiths can add insight and help us put life in perspective.
1. "Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow."
2. "The direction of your focus is the direction your life will move. Let yourself move toward what is good, valuable, strong, and true."
3. "Energy is the essence of life. Every day you decide how you’re going to use it by knowing what you want and what it takes to reach that goal, and by maintaining focus."
4. "The only thing that can grow is the thing you give energy to."
—Ralph Waldo Emerson