Randal Wright: Learning and Improving through Life
Years ago, while sitting alone in a hospital waiting room as his wife had an emergency C-section, Randal Wright made a commitment to God as he called upon the powers of heaven to help his wife safely deliver their newborn child. In that commitment, he promised that for the rest of his life he would look for important lessons. Not only would he look for those lessons, he would record them and share them. The Lord protected and preserved the lives of Randal's wife and child, and in return, Randal has kept his promise to God. On today’s episode, Randal reveals the power of sharing our experiences and learning from the experiences of others to inspire us to be better and live life to its fullest.
The first thing I say in the morning is ‘I’m alive.’
Before you were born, you made covenants with the Lord to accomplish specific tasks while on earth. But now that you re here, how do you know what those tasks are? And even if you can discover them, how will you accomplish them and live up to your end of the sacred promises you made? In Achieving Your Life Mission, Randal Wright guides you through the process of finding and fulfilling those unique tasks that are part of your personal life mission.
When it comes to the origin of the Book of Mormon, there are two possibilities: either Joseph Smith translated it or he wrote it — and either way would have taken a miracle. The Book of Mormon Miracle presents twenty-five compelling reasons why the miraculous translation was the only possibility and why that matters. Cement the Book of Mormon as the keystone of your testimony with this uplifting and informative volume.
- Facebook Group: The 3 Word Journal Facebook Group
- Randal's Website: Achieve Your Life Mission
- Conference talk with the story about taking care of silverware: "Eternal Marriage," Elder F. Burton Howard
- Randal's Ensign Article: “Filled with Life and Energy"
- Book: To Grow in Spirit, Joe J. Christensen
- Chris Pendleton reporting on Elder Oaks talk: "Elder Oaks makes surprise visit during Sister Oaks' keynote address at SVU"
“ Every youth should contemplate upon the character he wishes to form and diligently maintain through life and then work to that end. No intelligent person in youth or old age should merely drift along. Look the world squarely in the face, listen and learn and not pass along, in life, indifferently, for there are grand lessons before you every minute. Don’t let it be said of you that life has been a failure. The royal path of life has been marked out for you by Jesus Christ himself. He that walketh therein, builds upon the foundation that withstands the winds and floods” (Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends & Influence People).
"Integrity means to do what you say you will do; you keep promises to yourself" (Carol B. Thomas, "Integrity," General Conference, April 2000).
"One of the great tragedies we witness almost daily is the tragedy of men of high aim and low achievement. Their motives are noble. Their proclaimed ambition is praiseworthy. Their capacity is great. But their discipline is weak. They succumb to indolence. Appetite robs them of will" (President Gordon B. Hinckley, "And Peter Went Out and Wept Bitterly," General Conference, April 1979).
"In coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost" (President Russell M. Nelson, "Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives," General Conference, April 2018).
Stephen R. Covey said, "If we can overcome the pull of the flesh to arise early in the morning putting mind over mattress we will experience the first victory of the day. We can then move on to other things. For by small means are great things accomplished. Such an early morning victory gives a sense of conquering, of overcoming, of mastering and this sense propels us on to further conquer difficulties and clear hurdles throughout the day. Starting the day with a private victory over self is one good way to break old habits and make new ones."
3:21- Why Teach in Stories?
10:04- 3-Word Journal
18:24- Using Stories in Teaching Effectively
29:49- Integrity=Doing What You’ll Say You Can Do
39:05- Early to Bed, Early to Rise
59:49- What Does It Mean to Be “All In” the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Morgan Jones 0:00
Each year, if you want to get a seat in Randal Wright's Education Week class, you have to arrive early. If you arrive too late, you'll end up in the overflow—and sometimes, even that is full. If you've been in Randal's class, you love his Texas twang and his incredible stories. With Education Week not happening in person this year, I thought I would bring you one of my absolute favorite gospel teachers ever on this week's episode. I hope you enjoy it. Randal A. Wright received Bachelor's, Masters, and Ph.D. degrees in Family Studies. He taught in the religion department at BYU and was the institute director at the Austin Institute next to the University of Texas-Austin, where he still teaches Institute classes. In addition to Education Week, he worked with the Especially For Youth program for years. He is the author of several books, including "The Book of Mormon Miracle," "The Three Word Journal," "Making Every Day Meaningful" and "Achieving Your Life's Mission." He and his wife, Wendy, love to travel and have been to every temple in the United States, Canada, and England. They are the parents of five married children. Randal is a fifth-generation Texan.
This is All In, an LDS Living podcast where we ask the question, what does it really mean to be all in the gospel of Jesus Christ? I'm Morgan Jones, and I am so grateful to have my friend Randal Wright on the line with me today. Randal, welcome.
Randal Wright 1:33
Good to be here.
Morgan Jones 1:35
So I feel like I should give people a little bit of background about how I know Randal right off the bat so that you'll understand when we're talking, you'll be like, "They seem to be very good friends." And we are very good friends. Randal is one of my very favorite people in the world, and I first met him when I was working as an EFY Counselor. I think it was Illinois State, does that sound right, Randal?
Randal Wright 1:59
Normal, Illinois. That's right.
Morgan Jones 2:01
And Randal was just such a great session director. We became friends, and we've been friends ever since. I consider him to be someone that I trust his opinion, he's helped me with multiple stories, and I just think he has a wealth of information. So I'm excited to share him with you all today.
Randal Wright 2:24
Well, good to be here. I looked this morning at what I wrote in my journal from Illinois State, and it says, "Wendy and I were session directors for EFY Illinois State in Normal, Illinois, June 2011." Do you remember when it was? 2011. "We were with some outstanding youth, exceptional counselors. My favorite counselor was Morgan Jones from North Carolina. We met her brother, Spencer, at EFY in Virginia 2008 and he was our favorite participant there." And I know you don't really have favorites because everyone's a winner, but that's what I wrote my journal. Straight out of it.
Morgan Jones 3:00
I'm honored to be here your favorite, Randal.
Randal Wright 3:04
Well, it wasn't just that year originally. With our EFY counselors, you know, everybody's winners.
Morgan Jones 3:12
Well, you are the best. So one thing that I really love, and I've always admired about you, Randal, is that you know a good story when you hear one. I think that we are both lovers of stories, and so my first question for you is, why, when you teach—so you have this long history of teaching and helping people, and many times you do it in the form of stories—so why do you like to teach in stories?
Randal Wright 3:41
Well, I'll give you one example. I got drafted in the Vietnam era, and it was two missionaries per ward per year, I wasn't one of them at 19. They said, "Greetings, you're now inducted." And it was a rough time. I remember that I thought a few times that one-third of the hosts to heaven-sent to timeout and they sent them to the army to be with me. But the drugs, immorality, the profanity, and I didn't have a testimony to go with it. So it was a dangerous time. A very dangerous time for me, and I was at a crossroads. So, do you have no friends? Do you go with this? And my mom sent me—I knew she was home praying for me—she sent me a book about Joseph Smith, and I read that and it just did something to me, and I finally read the Book of Mormon with real intent. Not 1 Nephi, chapter one, over and over. It was real intent, and I started to gain a testimony of that. Well, I got out of the military. You have a six-year commitment: two years active, four years of reserve. But I kind of didn't know who I was, I was starting to gain a testimony of the Church, and I saw this ad in a paper for a Dale Carnegie course. And I thought, "That's the last thing I want to do is take a public speaking thing," but it just wouldn't go away. I just kept having that feeling. I'm so I talked to the guy, he came out and saw me, told me how much it costs. It was very expensive, and I thought, "Well, I don't want to do it anyway, and now it's expensive." But for some reason, it just kept going, so I signed up for that. It was terrifying the first night because everybody in there was much older than me. There was only one guy there that was even close to me as far as confidence, and that was Calvin. Calvin was a bread truck driver. Everybody else was either CEOs, vice presidents, top salesmen—I mean, these guys were professionals already. They were just looking for a way to present better.
So the first night, I remember Calvin with his head down, "My name is Calvin," and he told his last name, and I thought, "Man, he's got as much confidence as me: zero." But anyway, time went on and the leader said, "If you want to give a good presentation, you have to give something you're an expert on and you're passionate about." Okay, I don't know, what am I an expert about? Nothing. And not real sure what I'm passionate about. He says, "So what you need to do is tell your personal experiences—you're an expert in that, and you're passionate about some of those experiences." And I thought, "Okay." So I watched it over time, we saw people get even more confidence, and Calvin started to come out of it a little bit. In our last talk, we had talked about anything we wanted to do—anything we wanted to—and I couldn't come up with anything. I was just totally blind. And that was our final presentation. A little voice said, "Why don't you talk about Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon? You're passionate about that now," and I go, "There is no way I would possibly talk about Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon to all these non-Latter-day Saint executives." There was a leading salesman of the largest beer and wine distributor in Southeast Texas and such. I just said, "There's no way." But nothing came, and the night of, I actually brought a case of copies of The Book of Mormon, just in case I had the nerve to get up there and do what I felt I should do. I had nothing else. I literally was trying to think of something else right up to the time, and I couldn't do that. I get out there, talk about Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon—passionately, for me. Anyway, I finished, and I thought, "I'm gonna get blasted for doing this. I know it's totally inappropriate to have done that I might get blasted." The next guy, of all people, was Jerry, the leading salesmen of the beer and wine company. Why him of all people? He gets up there and he says, "I had a talk prepared, but I'm not going to give it because the last talk reminded me that I'm not doing what I'm supposed to do. I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I haven't been active. I need to go back to Church and I just want to tell everybody, I'm going back." And he went and sat down. And I went, "Whoa." Long story short was, I gained a new testimony of following promptings.
Later, Jerry and I, with our wives at that point, lived next door to each other at BYU. He did quit his job, went back and got a Master's degree in Social Work, and we later served in a bishopric together. So I just thought of the Dale Carnegie course where something you're passionate about—you're passionate about experiences that you either observed or happened to you or really affected you. Then, we're married, I'm at BYU, my wife goes into labor with our first child. There's nobody there, no family and those kinds of things. She was in labor for 35 hours. Bottom line is, Doctor said she needed an emergency C-section. I wasn't really sure what a C-section was, but they asked if I wanted to get my wife a blessing. It was at Utah Valley Hospital in Provo. So I gave her a blessing, they wheeled her off and said, "Just go down to the waiting room and wait, I'll let you know." It seemed like forever. I can't remember how long it was, it was a late night, but in that room, let's just say you remember to pray in those situations. And so I prayed, and I remember promising—I don't even know where this came from, maybe the Dale Carnegie course was the only thing that hit me was—I promised the Lord that I would look for important lessons from life, and I would record them, and if I ever had a chance, I'd share them with other people. So that was the promise. I can say that my wife was okay and my son was okay, but I had a commitment and I've tried to keep that.
As I thought back, I'd read statements, and I've got a statement here by Harvey Cluff, Utah pioneer. He said, "No intelligent person, in youth or old age, should merely drift along. Look the world squarely in the face, listen, and learn, for there are grand lessons for you every minute." And I thought, "Wow, that's incredible." So then I started looking close, and I started writing those things down, and it didn't have to happen to me. If I observed it, if it was a Morgan Jones story, I would write it down. I didn't care who taught me the lesson. I thought, "This life is a university. We go to a university for a few years, don't learn that much, and then in life, we can learn." So I started recording them, and after a while, I started going backward. I started going back in my past and bringing them forward. Before long, I was just kind of a jumbled mess. I thought, "Ah, I'm getting confused now." And I thought, "I need to record something, I don't have time to record the whole thing." And that's when I came up with what I call "The Three Word Journal," where I just take three words that summarize the experience where I know exactly what it means. I could pass it on to my kids and they would have no idea what it means, but I would know what it meant. So I started doing that. It would take me eight to ten seconds to write it down. So maybe I'm in sacrament meeting—in fact, I remember sitting with Morgan Jones and Ellie Hall in Nauvoo, Illinois after that session of EFY, and said, "Okay, Morgan, there's one." It was very irreverent sacrament meeting because I was trying to teach you to look for those things that are right in front of us. And maybe you already did it, for all I know, but I just made that commitment that we're looking for lessons.
You can call them stories, you can call them whatever. But for example, maybe I'm at a meeting in Orem, Utah, and the speaker, his name is Nolan Butters, and he says that his son, Jared—I think Jared was seven years old at the time—was out playing with his little green turtle, that little small green turtle he bought. Not a big turtle at all, but he was playing with one of his little friends from the neighborhood. And his little friend said, "You sure are lucky to have a turtle." And then the father heard a little neighbor boy say, "All I have is a dog and a cat and a horse." And I went, "I love that." Immediately I'm writing that down. I'm going to three-word it, and it's going to be Jared (the son's name), lucky, turtle. I knew exactly what it is. And every time I'm envious, if somebody has a new boat or whatever, you sure are lucky to have a turtle, all I have is—boom. So I took a little story that someone else shared, and all of a sudden it became mine too because all I had to do is insert myself in the story. I was in the Orem Suncrest Stake, and Nolan Butters was giving a talk, and all of a sudden, it's mine, too. He shouldn't have shared it if he didn't want me to learn from it. So I'm just writing them down, and all of a sudden I have more and more. Let's see, Morgan, I'm going to ask you a question. I'm going to tell a story here. And first of all, I'm gonna say: Morgan, Tyler, Normal. Does anything come to mind?
Morgan Jones 12:42
I feel like... I don't remember. I remember that there was a kid named Tyler, and I remember there was some kind of significant experience with him, but I do not remember what it is.
Randal Wright 12:55
Okay, for all your listeners. I'm about to share one of Morgan's personal experiences here.
Morgan Jones 13:01
And he's gonna remind me of it.
Randal Wright 13:03
Okay, so during our Normal, Illinois session of EFY, there was a boy there named Tyler. He had a huge grin on his face, always so sweet. At the dance on the last night, he came up to Morgan to talk to her about his feet hurting. Morgan told him she was sorry. And with his big grin, he responded, "It's okay, I know why. Bad shoes." She told him, "Those are the worst." She then asked him if he had enjoyed the week. He said, "Yep. My least favorite part though is coming up." Morgan asked, "What part is that?" He said, "Leaving." Then after a pause, he added, "One week a year, I get to fit in." Morgan was quiet for a minute as she thought about what he had said, and then told him he was a good kid. He went off to dance, and then Morgan said, "It broke my heart to think that someone feels like they only fit in once a year, but I was so grateful that one moment was something I got to be a part of. To give kids like Tyler an opportunity to fit in, even if it was for one week." So Morgan, you don't want to lose that story, do you?
Morgan Jones 14:15
No, and I had completely forgotten about it.
Randal Wright 14:18
Okay, so I actually cheated a little bit. My cheating was, I recorded it just like that. I recorded all those details, but it wasn't as smooth as that, because I asked Morgan to record it for me. She recorded it for me and sent it to me, and I just changed all the first-person to as if it was me writing. But there is a Morgan Jones recording one that she forgot about, she has no idea where it's at. Morgan, what are you doing?
Morgan Jones 14:45
Yeah Morgan, what are you doing?
Randal Wright 14:47
Are you all in on journal keeping? And if you're not, guess what. You can record an entry in 10 seconds. Then what if you recorded one a day? If you recorded one a day, just like we just did here, at the end of the year you have 365 recorded. At the end of 10 years, you have 3650 recorded. What we're looking for is things that taught you a lesson. The other thing that happens, as soon as I read that, and I file them in a little program called Evernote. All I do is type in your name and everything. There's more, but I typed up the experience from the journal and I got the Tyler experience here immediately. I like to put pictures for them, it allows you to do that, but your picture's in there. I wish I had one with Tyler. I don't, but we have that recorded. But what happens also is, then I put them into subjects. So it is self-esteem or something like that, all of those experiences I've already recorded keep flooding back into my mind. And so as soon as I read that, I thought, "Oh, trek." We were out and it was with our stake. Our stake president was walking behind two girls. In our stake at the time, we had eight very wealthy Austin, Texas wards, and three that were not so wealthy. And two of the girls from the wards that didn't have quite as much money as the others were walking, and one of them said to the other, "You know what I love about trek?" And the other friend said, "What?" She said, "That we're all dressed the same way. We all are dressed like pioneers." And then she said, "And nobody knows who the cool kids are." And as soon as I read Tyler's, that experience pops into my mind and I go, "How many Tylers are out there, just wanting to be a part, one week of the year?" So again, you see what I'm doing here. I'm trying to learn the lessons so that I can be a better person with that. So that's why I like stories. I like stories because they change me. They make me want to be better, but it doesn't help if we don't—I'm kidding here—but it doesn't help if we don't record the "Tyler lessons" and keep them.
Morgan Jones 17:08
He's actually not kidding.
Randal Wright 17:10
No, I'm not. But I had to say that so I didn't feel uncomfortable.
Morgan Jones 17:15
You can't make me feel uncomfortable.
Randal Wright 17:17
Oh, really? Okay, I just hadn't warmed up to you and I'm glad to hear that.
Morgan Jones 17:22
I do want to ask you, though, how many—so first of all, I think people should know that, when you say that you want to learn lessons from them, a lot of times, don't you put the lesson that you've learned underneath the three words?
Randal Wright 17:37
I put the three words first, then I tell the experience, and then what lessons that I learned from it. So some stories may be the same lesson. The trek lesson was very similar to your other lesson, that people may need to be built up. I have them in 185 categories, so that's the subject. So if you want to interview me today, just tell me one of the 185 and, well, how long do you want to go?
Morgan Jones 18:00
So how many do you have recorded now, Randal?
Randal Wright 18:04
I have a lot more in the three-word form, but I have over 5000 recorded.
Morgan Jones 18:10
Unreal. I've known about this for so long that I should be better at doing it, but I'm not. And every time that I talk to you, I'm determined that I'm going to do better. But I do have another question. One thing that I've noticed with stories is, you do have some stories that you hear and you know very clearly what the takeaway is supposed to be. I'll give an example. I was just listening to a talk the other day by Elder Burton. I forget his first name. But he gave a talk where he told a story about his wife and her China. Do you know the story?
Randal Wright 18:49
Morgan Jones 18:49
The one where he says, "If you want something to last forever, you treat it differently." And I am convinced that that is like, the greatest story. I think I've listened to it like three or four times, and I will always remember the takeaway from it. The lesson that I was supposed to learn from it. Other times, I feel like people will take a long time out of a talk or a lesson to tell you the story, and you remember the story, but in the end, you don't really remember the lesson. So what do you think makes it a powerful story in teaching that's able to make sure that the person is internalizing the lesson?
Randal Wright 19:29
Right, that's a great point. And I don't really like stories that don't have a lesson to it, but I've learned to make my own lessons from what they say, because I don't want to walk away with nothing, but I may record their story and think about it for a long time before I come up with a lesson. But I've done it for so long that usually a lesson pops up immediately. I think the thing that helps in The Book of Mormon, by the way, the problem with us not remembering the devotional the other day was, it was just straight doctrine. It was well-prepared, but it was just straight, and it is very hard to hang on to anything. But I think the Book of Mormon is my greatest—and we talked on the phone a few days ago, just briefly—but I just said, the Book of Mormon is the greatest example to me of how to teach. They'll tell a story over and over, there are stories all through the Book of Mormon, and then they will, not always, but usually they'll make their point with different words. I shared Korihor—they tell the story, and then, "And thus, we see that the devil will not support..." and you go, "Wow, that's all the way through." And even if they didn't point it out, you look at the bad guys in the Book of Mormon and say, "How did that work out for you?" Look at every one of them. It did not work out well, and that theme goes through. So I think a powerful way to teach is, don't just tell a story to be telling a story. "There was a prince in a far off land"—I don't like those kind of stories. I like experiences that teach lessons. But don't tell a story just to be telling a story, not to tell one to be funny or anything else. If you don't have something that goes with it, don't tell it, because it's not motivational, it's not powerful then. But I would just say, there's a lesson attached, and usually an invitation to act. And maybe that's where I've failed you, as we've talked about so many, and I didn't put the invitation to act in like I should have.
Morgan Jones 21:18
You have put the invitation to act, I am just a bad student.
Randal Wright 21:23
Okay. All right. We'll try to do better here. But let me just give you an example of an invitation to act. And they may not have said it, so this is where I say, if they don't, you try to change it into something. So when I came out with the three-word thing, I finally came up with it, taught it at Education Week a couple of times, different examples and things. Steven Kapp Perry was doing some kind of thing with KSL, I don't even know what it was for, but he wanted to do an interview like this. So I went to the KSL Studios and he said, "Hey, tell me about this three-word concept." So I explained it really briefly, and he said, "Tell me how it works." And I said, "Well, I could take a key phrase or a person and tell you to think of an experience with that person or that situation, and then it would just be like doing a Google search through your brain, where it goes through. And if you come up with something, then just put it in three-word form." And he said, "Well, how does it work?" I said, "Okay, I'm gonna give you the name of a person, and if you think of an experience, you tell me the experience." I knew who his best friend was in high school, it was Brad Wilcox. So that's who I'm going to use, because I know he's going to have experiences with him. I said, "Okay, I'm gonna give you a name of a person. You tell me experience you had with them." I said, "Brad Wilcox." It was like a Google search. As soon as I said it, he goes, "Oh!" He said it was Bicentennial year, 1976, and Brad came to him. They were going to do a choir for the whole nation. They were gonna pick some kids from each of the states, send them back to D.C., let them perform in the choir, send them to Europe. And Brad said—they were sophomores in high school, I believe—and Brad said, "Steven, let's try out for the choir." And Steven says something to the effect of, "There's no way we could make it, there's so many talented kids in Utah, there's no way we can make it." Here he is telling me the story, and he said that Brad said, "Steven, we've already not made it. Let's see if we can make it." As soon as he said it, I said, "Okay, wait, hold on. Let's not start the interview yet. I pull out my little book. I'm writing it down." I've used that so many times since then. Grandkids—Madison a few years ago, long story, but she didn't have a lot of confidence, and she wanted to try out for something and said, "I'm afraid I won't make it." I said, "Madison, you've already not made it. Let's see if you make it." So some kind of upper choir she tried out for it and made it. And then she tells me that she wrote some expository paper and got second in the whole Austin Metro—which is 2 million people in the metro—she got second out all the kids in the whole area that were in the contest. And then she had up for the talent show and made it doing the Napoleon dance in the talent contest and I go, "Holy cow, where'd she get this confidence all of a sudden?" Then she tries out for student council and gets co-president. Then she told me she was trying out for the dance team. I said, "Madison, you've never taken dance before in your life, not since you were three years old, you know how to dance?" She said, "I know, I just like to try out now." And I picked her up from school that day, and I said, "Did you make it?" She started laughing. She said, "I didn't make it, I don't know how to dance." And she was laughing about it. And I go, "Why don't you write that down?" For all the other kids that I've said, "Hey, you've already not made it, why don't you see if you can make it." Obviously, Brad and Steven made it, went to Washington D.C., went to Europe, as you would expect. But a valuable lesson that I did not want to forget, so I wrote it down immediately. So, what makes a powerful story? I think something that causes us to act, or an invitation to act, is the most powerful. If you can explain the lesson and then give the challenge. And so, for Morgan, you really don't have 10 seconds walking across that parking lot to, in your phone, write down the three-word memory that comes into your mind? Is that what you're saying?
Morgan Jones 25:24
So here's the problem that I've had when I tried to implement this, if I'm being honest, is I'll do the three words, but then I don't ever fill it in. So how do you find the time to fill it in?
Randal Wright 25:39
Okay, first of all, if it's a current lesson—it's not one from the past, you're not going back to an experience that you had with your brother Spencer when you were 14 and it sticks out, you know that one that's registered in here. If it's a new one, you jot down, in shorthand, a few lines. All of a sudden it goes from 10 seconds to maybe a minute for you to jot down the details. When I did that with Steven Kapp Perry, I didn't write out the whole thing. I wrote down enough of the things so that I had it down, that they made the choir and all of those kinds of things. So I think that's where a lot of people go. They'll write down the three words, it's a new experience that you've learned, it's not yours, you didn't experience it, you've heard it in Church or whatever, then you forget what your three words were. But with the three words, you want to, possibly, if at all possible, where I say, "Steven, Brad, choir," all of a sudden, I've used a person, place or thing that distinguishes it from all other experiences that it could be. So that's what I do. I came up with a little—there's this little 365 memory cues for your memory, and so I thought I was sharing it if anybody's interested in that, and then I thought, "How would you share it?" And I don't know if we can do this or not, but I went into Facebook and just created a little group called Three-Word Journal. And that way, I can put up—there are 365 memory cues, but instead of overwhelming people with everything where it all blends, I'm going to put up like seven a week of, "Here are some things, work on it." And that would give anybody a chance. Now put up some on my mind, if anybody wants to do it, they can put up some of theirs. But it'll be a gold mine if everybody shared their experiences and what they learned from them, you just go, "Oh, this is fantastic." So again, you just go to groups and put "the three-word journal," and it'll go right to it. But I'll post those. It's about four hours old now.
Morgan Jones 27:57
That'd be amazing. We'll put a link to that in our show notes. Another thing, speaking of gold mines, your website is a gold mine for quotes. So I'm going to make sure we put that in our show notes, too.
Randal Wright 28:09
Okay. Very good. Well, and so I just say, "It's kind of weird." And I just go, "Is this coincidence? What in the world?" Because yesterday, one of my former students here at University of Texas lives in the Gilbert area. And he said, "Hey, listen to this." It was a guy who had done a video for some family history thing. He said, "I was at Education Week, and I heard Randal Wright I give this talk on three-word journals, and he does a video and explains how to do it much better than I could." So I put that on the site. It's my only thing on the site right now is that little video, but it's so clever. He's a medical doctor. But then this morning, 10:46, because he didn't tell me, my student Dallas told me it was up. So I looked at it, and then I just messaged him, I said, "Hey, thanks for doing this video, really clever. I love what you did." And he wrote back and says this—I'm not saying this that I gave the talk or whatever, I'm just saying, this is what he said: "I cannot overemphasize how life-changing your one lecture was for me that day. It has not only given me perspective and direction, it has guided me through a very dark period of depression five years ago. I have since written two of my own books for my family using your technique." So he tells me the names of books and stuff and wants to send them to me. I just thought, "Hey, thank you for doing that little video. I love it. I learned something, I learned how to explain that better." So anyway, that's my story. And that's why I like stories.
Morgan Jones 29:47
Yeah, I think that's amazing. And I think one of the coolest things, Randal, is—and it goes back to what you were just saying about that invitation to act—but I think you are a huge advocate for self- discipline and self-improvement, and you invite people to act. Listeners have already seen that this is something that Randal does on a regular basis. I'll give one example that I do remember from that week that we were in Nauvoo, Illinois, which was—
Randal Wright 30:17
That was at the end of the week. So on that Saturday and Sunday, you guys went to Nauvoo for your break.
Morgan Jones 30:24
Yeah. We were there, and we went to sacrament meeting, and it was the anniversary of the martyrdom of Joseph Smith. They invited people to be in a ward choir, like an impromptu ward choir to sing "Praise to the Man" in the Nauvoo Ward that Sunday, and I remember you leaning over to myself and Ellie Hall, and you were like, "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. When else are you going to be able to sing "Praise to the Man" in Nauvoo, Illinois? Get up there." And that made an impression on me. It's funny because something like that, you kind of just think, "Oh, whatever." But I've never regretted doing that, and it's a memory that I've hung on to and something that I've been super grateful for. So I think being someone that encourages people to take opportunities and to act and to be their best self is such a gift that you have. So I'm interested in why you believe it's important for us to help other people reach their full potential.
Randal Wright 31:37
Well, I think my the whole thing was watching what other people did with me. When I first went to BYU married, I was so excited—my wife's a convert—to let her take a Book of Mormon class. We took a Book of Mormon class—and I don't say this in any way negative, the teacher was amazing, he was a great guy—but he wasn't a religion professor. He was sent in from another department and he wasn't a religious teacher at all. So we had a class Book of Mormon that we would pass around the room and people would read, and if anybody had a comment, including the teacher, they would say something about one of the verses. Most of the verses, they didn't have anything to say, so we just passed it around the class, basically. And to myself, it was probably the best class I've ever taken as far as action, because I said, "I'll never take another class like this again." I'm going to ask everybody I see, who's your favorite teacher that you've ever had? What did they teach? And if I had to take that class. One semester, my brother was there working on a Master's degree and I said, "Hey, I want you to come to class with me tomorrow morning," and he said, "I've had all the classes I want." I said, "I think you'll enjoy these. There's three classes right in a row." And so I went to my first one, a sociology class with Reed Bradford. If you go to the BYU library, you'll see Reed Bradford's picture on there as one of the top 10 professors in the first 100 years with BYU. And that was my first class. The next class was Cleon Skousen—and I just looked at his obituary to see how many ended up doing—he wrote 46 books. That's a lot of books. And I remember someone asked him a question. "What time do you get up in the morning?" When he said it, I think we were all shocked. I went from Cleon Skousen's to Stephen R. Covey's class where he was literally teaching us the things that are going to later show up in his book that sold 40 million copies, "Seven Habits," so I had those three in a row. But they all shared one thing in common, and that was they had self-discipline. Every one of them had one thing they shared in common, but don't I want to answer that yet, but it had to do with self-discipline. So I graduated from BYU, those guys inspired me. They made me want to do better. They made me want to have discipline to do hard things. So I went then to my first real job with 3M company in St. Paul, Minnesota, and the sales leader is teaching us some sales things. He said—he said it kind of humorous—but he said, "A person 21 years of age or older will continue to do in the future as they've done in the past unless they've had a spiritual experience or brain surgery." And we laughed, and I couldn't believe it now. But I don't think spiritual experiences do it, they fade. Nobody wants to have brain surgery. So we've got a problem. And that is—let me just see if I can give you a situation and you tell me what you think. So let's just assume that this Sunday, you have a guy come into town. He doesn't live in Salt Lake, and he calls you this Sunday night and says, "Hey, I want to take you to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, number one Steakhouse in Salt Lake. It's downtown, and I want to take you there. Can you meet me there at seven o'clock?" So you go. He doesn't show. Then, 10 o'clock that night. You've gone back home. He calls you up and says, "Hey, let's go Monday night." It's Monday night. Now he doesn't show, and he calls you Monday night at 10 and says, "Hey, I want to be in town until Friday. Do you want to go to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse?" And you say, "Well, I was there tonight." He said, "Yeah, I was too tired to go." But on Tuesday, you go again, and he doesn't show again. He calls you at 10 o'clock that night. "You didn't show." "Yeah, I went out with another friend." Wednesday night, same thing. He doesn't show, another excuse. Thursday night. He doesn't show again, not once does he show. And so my question to you is, what do you think about him? That he's unreliable and not somebody that I want to spend my time around. But I said you really liked him. He's coming in from town.
Morgan Jones 35:43
I mean, I think for me, if somebody consistently doesn't show up for you, then you kind of start to lose some respect for him.
Randal Wright 35:52
Okay, so integrity is a problem. And so my question is, would you do that to anyone?
Morgan Jones 35:59
I hope not. I don't think so.
Randal Wright 36:03
I hope you're telling the truth. I mean, I don't know.
Morgan Jones 36:08
I don't know, Randal, you tell me. Have I always shown up for you?
Randal Wright 36:11
You always have, every time. Here's what I'm worried about. I'm going to try to be funny. I'm not trying to be anything here, Morgan. Here's what I'm worried about with all of us. We wouldn't dare do that to a friend. But we'd do it to ourselves. "I'll tell you what I'm gonna do, I'm gonna get up early in the morning, I'll read scriptures, I'm gonna go running, I'm gonna bake some cookies for the widow next door, I'm gonna call my mom and tell her I love her." And then we don't do one of them. As soon as the alarm goes off, all those go out the window. Why is it that we wouldn't dare do that someone else, but we do it to ourselves? And now all of a sudden, if we're not careful, we won't be a believe a word we say. When you were a kid, if you told a fib to your parents, there are usually consequences. I don't know what your mom and dad did, a lot of people go to timeout or whatever. But what happens when you get a young single adult or an adult? Mom's not disciplining you anymore. It's called self-discipline. You said you were gonna do this, you said you were gonna write down the three words or whatever. And again, not pushing you here, just a gentle reminder. I'm just gonna say, Morgan, what are the consequences for not doing what you said you're going to do? What do you mean? Are you going to go to timeout? There's gonna be a restriction on sweets? What is it? You need something to make yourself believe yourself. I've been in timeout several times. I've been in timeout for sweets, or for a week. And then, one more time it's gonna be a month, and so I go a month. And then you break out the month, it's gonna be a year. Let's just say I've gone a year without it until I get to where I believe myself. There's gotta be something. So President Hinckley said, "One of the great tragedies we witness almost daily is the tragedy of men of high aim and low achievement. Their motives are noble, their proclaimed ambition is praiseworthy. Their capacity to achieve is great. But their discipline this weak. They succumb to influence," and don't do what they said they're going to do. And so, for us, do we do what we say we're going to do? It's a problem, and I always admire those that say, "I'm going to do it," and they do it. So I want to be one of those. And I respect that, I'm still working on it. It's a constant battle. I think that's why the Lord sent us to Earth. But if we wouldn't tell someone else, we would do something, don't tell ourselves. So in other words, to get started, if we need to break a bad habit of fibbing to ourselves, start off little: "I'm going to do one thing tomorrow," and do it. And if you don't, then have a consequence or a reward go either way.
Morgan Jones 37:28
So here's the thing, Randal. There are some things that you've taught me that I have not done well at. And then there are other things that I actually have done, and I can attest to the fact that they've changed my life, and I just want to share one example of this, and I want to get your thoughts on this for our listeners. So a few years ago, I was feeling really overwhelmed, and it was because I felt like there just were not enough hours in the day. So I would get up, I'd go to work, and then I'd come home, and I'd need to exercise, but then there were also a lot of other things that I felt like I needed to do, and if you go exercise, then you have to shower and get ready. And I was like, there just are not enough hours in the day. And then I heard you speak, Randal, and you talked about getting up early and going to bed early and the difference that could make in your life. So I thought, "You know what? If I get up early and I go exercise first thing in the morning, and I shower and I get ready for the day, then I'm free to do whatever I need to do at night." That made a huge difference in my life. And I've gone through ups and downs with it. I have had a few setbacks, but I every time that I get in a good habit of doing that—and I've been doing it like the last week or so again—I just am always so grateful that you have taught that principle. So for you, Randal, what have you learned about the importance of going to bed early and getting up early? Because I know this is something that you're super passionate about.
Randal Wright 40:23
Yeah. Well, we talked about—the first thing I'm super passionate about is the lessons. We've talked about three things. Number two is doing what we say. Because, as President Hinckley said, we all have great ambition, we all have great desires, but if you can't follow through, what difference does it make if you didn't accomplish any of them? But on that last one, and again, we're going to talk about a subject I feel very strongly about. This is President Nelson: "In the coming days"—we're familiar with this, this is his first talk as the prophet—"In the coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting and constant influence of the Holy Ghost."
So I love this story, and I know Morgan's familiar with and some of you are. But President Lee was called to be a member of the quorum of the Twelve, he's a stake president in Salt Lake. Then later his friend, fellow stake president Marion G. Romney, goes to conference and he was called to be a general authority, but nobody's talked to him beforehand. He just gets called while he's sitting there. I'm sure his wife said, "Why didn't you tell me, Marion?" And he goes, "Why didn't somebody tell me?" So he's pretty nervous about it, he's the assistant to the Twelve at the time, so he goes to his friend Harold B. Lee and says, "I need some help. I'm really worried about this. I want to do a good job." And so President Lee tells him that, if you want to have help, you're going to need revelation.
So I'd like to just maybe read something that was said there. President Lee said, "If you want to be successful as a general authority, you will need to be inspired. You'll need to receive revelation. I will give you one piece of advice."
So I asked an Institute class this last week, I asked, "What is it that you would tell us to do to get revelation?" All the expected answers came up: prayer, scripture reading, temple, service, obedience, sacred music, we go through the whole lists. That's not what President Lee said. And you go, "What did he say?" It's very interesting, you've never heard it before. And I know Morgan knows what it is. But if you've never heard this before you go, "I never thought of that. I'd never guess that you would say that whole time." He said, "I'll give you one piece of advice." Again, this is a revelation, President Nelson has just said if we don't have this, we're gonna fall spiritually in this day. President Lee said, "If you want to be a successful general authority, you'll need to be inspired. You will need to receive revelation. I'll give you one piece of advice. Go to bed early and get up early. If you do, your body and your mind will be rested in the quiet hours."
And so the new research—I've done a lot of research on this, but the new research says the first three hours of the day are your prime time for learning, for creativity, for ideas. So what happens, we get up at the last possible minute, and we go to work, and you just explained it perfectly. You get up when it's time to leave. You don't have time to exercise, you don't have time to read your scriptures well, and then you set yourself up for failure, because there's gonna be so many conflicts at night. But I don't know about you, but I haven't been to many wedding receptions, parties, social events, concerts, at 5:30 in the morning. It just doesn't happen. So we're setting ourselves up. Prophets throughout time have done this. In Genesis, Abraham got up early in the morning and stood before the Lord. It's consistent. Moses rose early in the morning and went into the Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. It's very consistent.
Joseph Smith in the morning, he doesn't say early, he doesn't say the time, but it's a morning time. But you say, "Well, what did Christ do?" Interesting. Mark 1:35? You go, "You don't know Christ's schedule." Yeah, I do. For that day. I don't know if it's a consistent thing, but I know what He did that day. And I have a feeling this is what his schedule was. "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed." Mark 1:35. But listen close to this scripture, it is my favorite scripture. Everything we talked about is in this scripture. Doctrine and Covenants 88:124. "Cease to be idle." Get up and get on it. "Cease to be idle." This is the Lord speaking. This is not President Lee anymore. Now this is direct from the Lord. "Cease to be unclean." "No unclean thing can enter the kingdom of heaven." This is a big claim.
Well, next one is "Cease to find fault with one another." Of course, love your neighbor, the great commandments. So here it is: "Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another," and then the next thing: "cease to sleep longer than is needful." The research says you're going to wake up foggy, you'll get almost nothing done if you get too much sleep. Try it sometime.
You remember the Saturdays and Sundays where you slept in, and you get nothing done, you don't feel like doing anything, you're groggy. Well, it's interesting. A couple of words. He goes on to say, "Retire to thy bed early," and we say, "Why?" "That you may not be weary. Arise early," Why? "That your bodies and minds may be invigorated." And you go, "I know what those things mean, really. Let's read it with the dictionary definitions of it. "Cease to be idle," all those things, now let's get to this: "cease to sleep longer than is needful, retire to thy bed early that you may not be [exhausted]." In strength, endurace, vigor, or freshness. That's why you go to bed early. "Arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be [filled with a new sense of energy and excitement]." And you go, "Oh, my word." Can you imagine if we were not exhausted in strength, endurance, vigor, freshness, and that we were filled with a new sense of energy and excitement, what we could do?
Elder Lance Wickman came to our stake a few years ago and told about a traumatic experience that happened on 9/11 when he was in Northern Virginia at the Pentagon that he witnessed. But afterward, I had a chance to talk to him for a minute. He said that morning of 9/11, he got up early and went out jogging, and he came back. People gathered around the TV screen, then he went in the cab, but he tells the story, and then afterward, I said, "Do you mind if I ask you a question?" And he said, "No, that's fine." And I said, "Can I ask you what time you get up?" And he said, "Yeah, I get up at 4:45." And I'll never forget the next thing. I said, "How many of the brethren of the Twelve and the First Presidency do you think do similar things?" He leaned in close to me and he said, "They all do." And he leaned back and started talking to some other people. I go, "That's their secret." That's our leadership. 96, 88, and 87 years old. And you go, "What are they doing differently?" This is one thing they're doing differently than the Church. I can promise you that not many people are following this, but this is the commandment of the Lord.
We did some research at BYU, not official through the university, but through several classes. A couple of hundred kids. They're doing the exact opposite of what this teaches. The exact opposite. Morgan, you're a basketball player. Did you ever go to the free-throw line?
Morgan Jones 47:59
Randal Wright 48:00
What was your goal when you're at the free-throw line?
Morgan Jones 48:03
Well, I mean, my goal was to make both shots.
Randal Wright 48:06
Okay, so that's your goal. Did you ever miss one of the shots?
Morgan Jones 48:09
Randal Wright 48:10
Did you quit the team?
Morgan Jones 48:12
Randal Wright 48:13
Then why do you, when you get off track with your going to bed early and get up early, do you "quit the team," so to speak, because you missed one time?
Morgan Jones 48:23
I don't know.
Randal Wright 48:24
I don't either. But you need to think about it, right? Don't throw in the towel because there's an exception. There's going to be exceptions, especially at night. Now, North Carolina, did you have a chance to go to seminary?
Morgan Jones 48:39
Randal Wright 48:39
Was it early morning?
Morgan Jones 48:41
Randal Wright 48:42
Okay, what time did it start?
Morgan Jones 48:44
My freshman year it started at 6 a.m. I think every year after that, it started at like 6:45.
Randal Wright 48:50
Okay, let's go to your freshman year. And let's just say you have some homework one night, and you have to stay up until 12. What time does seminary start the next day?
Morgan Jones 48:58
It still started at 6.
Randal Wright 48:59
Ah, it wasn't based on how much sleep you got the night before. Then why are our schedules based on everything changing? So my challenge to you is—and you love challenges, I know—my challenge is that you set a schedule of—let me ask you first, how much sleep do you need?
Morgan Jones 49:22
I'd say usually around eight hours is what I usually try to get.
Randal Wright 49:28
Is that what you need? Have you ever tested it out?
Morgan Jones 49:32
Randal Wright 49:33
Elder Joe J. Christensen, who told the story about President Romney and President Lee, said nowhere in the scriptures it says, "Thou shall get eight hours of sleep." So I don't know, what you need is to find out what you need, or you'll never find out. If it's a roller coaster until you get on a schedule and say, "You know what? I'm fine at eight hours." You say, "Well I want to try seven hours and 45 minutes," So you move it back 15 minutes, and say "Hey, I'm still okay, and I just added 15 minutes a day for the rest of my life, whoa."
And it may be seven and a half. The research says the most healthy people get seven. It's kinda strange because the eight is just a general blanket. You go, "Are you talking about for instance, are you talking about for 90-year-olds, talking about for sick people, are you talking about for pregnant women?" "Yep, eight hours. Well, maybe." And you may. My wife feels like she needs it. I don't need that much, but she says she does, which is fine. So if you need eight hours, that would mean if you go to bed at—what's early going to bed for you?
Morgan Jones 50:32
Probably between 9:30 and 10.
Randal Wright 50:35
Okay, let's just say 10. Then all you got to do is put your eight hours on to it, so you need to get up at 6.
Morgan Jones 50:40
Randal Wright 50:41
So if you were to go 9:30, then you get up at 5:30. I mean, we don't want to leave you here with nothing to do, so I'm gonna give you a challenge right now. You said 10, let's just leave it at 10. So for the next 14 days, will you go to bed at 10 and get up at 6 for the next 14 days?
Morgan Jones 51:05
Randal Wright 51:06
Okay. Well, some of your audience is probably thinking, "Haha, I guess, would you like some company doing it?"
Morgan Jones 51:16
Randal Wright 51:17
Yeah, all of your listeners, wouldn't that be fun if all of you did the same thing? And what we're going to try to do is put the Lord to a test. We'll just try it. And what if you only need seven and a half? Wouldn't that be unbelievably good? 30 more minutes a day. Every two days you get another hour in your life added on, to read your scriptures, to write in your journal, to exercise, to do all those things we know we should be doing anyway. This is from President Nelson, he said that the kids got up at 6:30—this is an article in the June Ensign of 1984, when he got called—but the kids and the family read scriptures at 6:30. But then he says, "I get up before anybody else. That gives me time for personal scripture reading, private prayer, half an hour playing the hymns."
I'm pretty sure he reads the scriptures at least as much as he does the hymns. You start going backwards and you say, "Okay, he's putting himself around five o'clock right here, at least, minimum." And then Chris Pendleton writing for the Deseret News, you might know him, but President Oaks gave a talk at Southern Virginia University, which you're familiar with. "Elder Oaks then briefly described his morning routine: rising around 4:30 a.m., but never after 5 a.m., Elder Oaks begins his day walking a few miles, praying, studying the scriptures, praying again, asking that he might be guided by the Holy Ghost."
So that's to the First Presidency. We know their schedules. They're getting up very early. They're going to bed early. And the Lord tells us all to. So if Morgan did it, and all your listeners did it, can you imagine the things that would get done in the Church if all of you do that?
Kevin Rollins, who was the CEO of Dell computer a few years ago, and here in Austin, came and spoke, and somebody asked him a question: "What time do you get up in the morning?" He said, "I'm usually up at 4:45 a.m." And you could hear those college students. "Woah, I don't go to bed until that time," and all these moans and groans, and what they were really saying was that the CEO of a $34 billion company at the time, was kind of goofy didn't know what he was doing. "What are you doing?" Isn't that what they're saying? "Oh, he's crazy," as if they knew. And so here is Kevin Rollins. But then one of the students says, "Can I ask you why you get up so early?" I'll never forget what he said. He said, "I'm just so excited about life, I can't sleep any longer than that."
Then I thought about that definition of "invigorate," where it actually uses that: "energy, excitement for life." And I guess he just bore his testimony of what the Lord told him to do. So I hope that everyone will take the challenge. And since we have our own little—nobody's on it but me and my wife—we have our own little Facebook page here that we could kind of report to each other how we're doing. Again, "the three-word journal," you can go into groups, type that in, it'll go right to it. And what if everybody accounted for themselves on how they're doing? And any kind of positive experiences it's okay to say, "Hey, I'm dead tired because I decided to get up early and I went to bed late." Well, seminary sometimes starts at six o'clock, whether you go to bed late or not.
Morgan Jones 54:47
Well, and I think that's the thing. So when I hear you ask me to commit to that, it's like, okay, I can commit to the getting up early part. It's the going to bed early part that's going to be more of a challenge for me. Because sometimes things are weird in my life. But I do remember us having a conversation when we first talked about this years ago when I tried this for the first time, and you just said, "If you go to bed too late one night, just keep that promise to yourself and get up." And that has made a big difference for me because there are some nights where I'm not getting in bed by 10 o'clock, but I'm like, "You know what? I'm just still gonna get up." And I'm always glad that I did.
Randal Wright 55:29
Yeah, let me just say this. We know that there's gonna be conflicts at night. There's no question about that. I could go through a ton of things—I'm in seminary, I'm on the High Council, I own my own business, know all the things taught at BYU, going to school full-time, teaching full-time, was a bishop at the time, but we know there's gonna be conflict at night, and that's why I brought up the free throw thing. Don't throw in the towel on both ends of it just because you missed. I mean, mothers fail with kids all the time and go to sleep. So when I have to go to bed late when there is conflict in your home, I've learned over time that you can control some of the conflicts by planning, knowing that you're going to bed at 10 o'clock, for example, and you set alarms, "You better get this done, it's getting close to 10 o'clock." And so there's a little app called Streaks that you can put on your phone. That's so fun to just push that button. "Yeah, I did it again. I did it, look, I went 10 days in a row." It's really a fun thing. But there's going to be conflict sometimes. So I always like to go to bed saying, "Tomorrow is Christmas." Because when we were kids, we didn't care what time we went to bed. We said, "Tomorrow's Christmas." But don't break two commitments at once by missing the morning just because you had a conflict in the night. Conflicts will come up at night for sure, but you don't throw in the towel. You don't quit because you missed the free throw. You try to keep getting better. And the next night, I guarantee you, you'll want to go to bed at 10 the next night if you stayed up till midnight the night before. It will cure you fairly quickly. So anyway, again, I would love to see what you're doing. It helps me. People ask me for advice on this. Some of you saw an article I wrote for the Ensign magazine on this subject. But it's hard to get all the feedback. I'd love to see your feedback on how it's going for you. Any challenges, then I can jump in and help. I mean, we touched a tiny bit of the research. You should see some of the research on this. It's fascinating to see the researchers back up the Lord on this.
Morgan Jones 57:32
Randal Wright 57:32
And so if you post something, and I read it, and I say, "Ooh, they need to see this article. I'll put the article on there so that you can track that." And I think, let's just say the three things we talked about: the self-discipline, the learning lessons from life: this is what drives it all. This is what gives you the motivation because guess what. The last thing you do at night is make a decision on going to bed and it's every bit as much self-discipline to go to bed as it is to get up. The first thing you do every morning, your first decision of the day is whether you're going to get up. And that's the Stephen R. Covey, "Mind Over Mattress." When you lay there, don't put a snooze on. Put it across the room. Just get up, go wash your face with cold water, go get a drink. Every morning, let's face it, there's a warmup time. It takes about 15 minutes to wake up. It doesn't matter what time you get up. And so if it's early, don't say, "I'm tired." Obviously you're tired, you're just coming out of the fog. You don't get in your car in Utah on a cold morning and turn the heater on full-blast and it hasn't warmed up yet. You've got to warm up a little. I always go on a little gratitude. First thing I say in the morning is, "I'm alive." Soon as I wake up, the alarm goes off, I go, "I'm alive." And I go over to turn the alarm off and I go, "I can hear, I can see that flashing, I can feel my feet on there." A little gratitude. Well enough of that, I challenge you to do it and if you would report in "the three-word journal" on Facebook, it would be fantastic to see each other, how the progress and to try to do some personal coaching kind of thing with executives and things. But it's nice to see how they're doing, and then you know what to share.
Morgan Jones 59:15
Yeah. Well, my high school basketball coach always said, "Morgan, you're a solid 50% free throw shooter." So that is what I can commit to you, Randal. And I'll get on the "three-word journal" page and share how it's going for me.
Randal Wright 59:30
Okay, what about a commitment on the morning side of it.
Morgan Jones 59:34
I can definitely commit to that.
Randal Wright 59:36
Okay, hundred percent and then best you can possibly do. Set yourself alarms. You're shooting for that 10 o'clock time to get in bed.
Morgan Jones 59:45
You got it.
Randal Wright 59:46
Morgan Jones 59:47
I'm on it. Randall, as we wrap up, I could talk to you all day long. You know that. But my last question for you, and this goes back to what I just said. What does it mean to you to be all in the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Randal Wright 1:00:02
I think for me, it's to quit saying I'm the exception. If we're talking about going to bed, I'm a night person, as if the Lord made a mistake. There are animals that come out at night, and those animals will come out in the day, and we happen to fit in the day category. So, all in, I'm not an exception. And I have one rule in life that I try to follow. It's almost always a challenge, but have one rule: whatever the Prophet says is the rule.
Morgan Jones 1:00:37
Randal Wright 1:00:39
And if you get married, which you will one day, you and your husband make that commitment: we've got one rule, whatever the Prophet says is the rule. There's no arguing, "Well, my parents did—" It doesn't really matter what our parents did, it's what the Lord says through His prophets. And it's getting to be pretty scary times, so I think it's time for all of us to learn lessons from others, I think it's time to have self-discipline. And if self-discipline means getting up the first thing in the morning, that's the first battle of the day, if you can win that battle, you're going to win lots more. If you can train yourself to go to bed at night, even though there's going to be visitors from out of town, there's going to be exceptions. You're not gonna be rude. You're just gonna suck it up and say, "It's Christmas tomorrow. Sure am glad it's Christmas."
Morgan Jones 1:01:21
I love it. Randal, thank you so much. It's always such a treat to learn from you. I appreciate you taking the time, and we will all join that Facebook group.
Randal Wright 1:01:31
Okay, thank you. You guys have a good day.
Morgan Jones 1:01:35
We are so grateful to Randal Wright for joining us on today's episode. You should know that at the time I'm recording this extra, I'm two for two on going to bed early and getting up early. But to be fair, it's only been 24 hours, so we can do this together. Be sure to connect with Randal on Facebook through the group, "The Three-Word Journal," and let him know how you're coming with these things.
We'll have a link to that group in our show notes. If you'd like to learn more from Randal, you can find a handful of his books on desertbook.com, including two of my favorites, "The Book of Mormon Miracle," and "Achieving Your Life Mission." You can also learn more and find Randal's incredible collection of quotes, divided by topic, by visiting achieveyourlifemission.com.
All right, this should be plenty to keep you busy until next week. Thanks to Derek Campbell of Mix at 6 Studios for his help with this episode, and thank you for listening.