They Shall Not Occupy These Plates – 1 Nephi 6:6

6 Wherefore, I shall give commandment unto my seed, that they shall not occupy these plates with things which are not of worth unto the children of men.
(1 Nephi 6:6)

As the first author in the Book of Mormon, Nephi set the tone for the authors who followed. His instruction to them was that they must prioritize their content and avoid cluttering up the plates with information of lesser value. As an example of the type of decisions they would have to make, he explained that he had deliberately excluded the genealogy of his family, even though that was one of the main reasons he had returned to Jerusalem to obtain the brass plates (1 Nephi 6:1-2, 1 Nephi 3:2-4). This genealogy was already available in other records, and he wanted these plates to be focused on content which would bring his readers to God.

As I think about Nephi’s prioritizing the contents of his record, I’m pondering today my own utilization of another scarce resource: my time. Am I as disciplined as Nephi was? Am I clear on my goals, and am I deliberate in eliminating things from my schedule which do not contribute to those goals effectively? I’m reminded of the counsel given by Elder Ian S. Adern:

Time is never for sale; time is a commodity that cannot, try as you may, be bought at any store for any price. Yet when time is wisely used, its value is immeasurable. On any given day we are all allocated, without cost, the same number of minutes and hours to use, and we soon learn, as the familiar hymn so carefully teaches, “Time flies on wings of lightning; we cannot call it back” (“Improve the Shining Moments,” Hymns, no. 226)…. With the demands made of us, we must learn to prioritize our choices to match our goals or risk being exposed to the winds of procrastination and being blown from one time-wasting activity to another. We are well taught about priorities by the Master Teacher when He declared in His Sermon on the Mount, “Wherefore, seek not the things of this world but seek ye first to build up the kingdom of God, and to establish his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33, footnote a; from Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 6:38)
(“A Time to Prepare,” General Conference, October 2011).

Today, I will be careful not to occupy my time with things of lesser value. I will remember my priorities and will choose not to let the whims of the moment dictate how I spend the precious commodity of my time.

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