I wrote some months ago about the most important question I had ever heard: If nothing changed in the next five years, would you be happy?
I’ve thought about that a lot since then, and I’ve started to add a second question to it: What do you want?
The assumption is that most, if not all, of you answered no to the first question. That should, hopefully, provide some impetus for change and improvement. But without a target to aim for, I think the first question is largely hollow and shallow. We may not be happy if nothing changed, but not knowing what we want to become ensures that it will be so.
I listened to Elder Scott’s talk from last April General Conference this morning, and he bore a wonderful testimony of the temple, specifically as it relates to death and the sealing ordinance. During his talk, he talked about the deaths of his second and third children within six weeks of each other and how that experience provided the motivation for him and his wife to live a life that would keep them worthy of the sealing power that binds those children to them.
As I think of my own life and the myriad temptations I face, I find a great strength in my wife and children. Simply imaging what it would be like to lose them….
So what do I want?
When I reached the end of Elder Scott’s talk, I felt a burning desire to be in the temple, to be with my family forever. Such a goal is truly the epitome of our existence and the whole purpose of our Father’s plan for us and the reason for His Son’s great sacrifice. Anything less simply can’t pass the test of time or testimony.
Maybe a third question now: So what do I do?
Our bishop sat down with the ward council on Tuesday and talked about his goals for the next five years. He mentioned that the Savior could literally come any time and that he wanted to leave his stewardship of the ward with a body of saints ready to present to Him. Assuming that he would be bishop for around five years led to a five-year plan for preparation.
Much like I have done, I imagine the bishop asked himself if he would be happy if nothing changed in five years, followed by asking what he did want in five years, and then asking what he would do and forming a plan.
His choice? Three words: Come unto Christ.
One final change to the question: If nothing changed in the next five years, would the Savior by happy with what you have done, who you’ve become. To pull from scripture, would the Savior see Himself when He looked upon you? Would you recognize Him because you have become like Him?
Sigh… I’m not perfect by any means, and I sometimes find such a concept overwhelming. But as my former bishop was fond of saying, this life is more about progression than perfection. Direction matters more than speed or position. As long as we are moving in the right direction, no matter who slowly, we’ll be fine.
That’s what I want.