8 And now my sons, behold I have somewhat more to desire of you, which desire is, that ye may not do these things that ye may boast, but that ye may do these things to lay up for yourselves a treasure in heaven, yea, which is eternal, and which fadeth not away; yea, that ye may have that precious gift of eternal life, which we have reason to suppose hath been given to our fathers.
Helaman has just reminded his sons, Nephi and Lehi, of the significance of their names. They were named after their ancestors, who obeyed God’s commandment to leave Jerusalem and journey to the promised land. Helaman wants his sons to follow their righteous example, and so he asks them to remember what they have read and what they have heard about their namesakes. He expresses a paternal hope that they will live in such a way that future generations might write and talk about them in the same way.
But then he appends a caution: just because people have spoken well of the original Lehi and Nephi, and just because he hopes that people will recognize the good that his sons will do, it does not follow that their motivation for doing good should be to receive recognition and praise. Instead, he wants them to focus on the intrinsic value of their righteous acts, and on the eternal reward they will receive if they lead lives of righteousness.
Today, I will pay attention not only to my actions but also to my motivations. I will ensure that I not only do what is right, but that I do it for the right reasons. I will seek to maintain an eternal perspective instead of focusing on immediate rewards.