It Mattereth Not – Ether 15:34

34 Now the last words which are written by Ether are these: Whether the Lord will that I be translated, or that I suffer the will of the Lord in the flesh, it mattereth not, if it so be that I am saved in the kingdom of God. Amen.
(Ether 15:34)

This morning, I ate a healthy breakfast: a bowl of oatmeal. As a result, I was satisfied until lunch and was not tempted to eat a mid-morning snack.

When I arrived at work, I reviewed my team’s goals for the rest of the year. As a result, I became absorbed in the activities that will help us achieve those goals, and I was not distracted by less important activities.

In the passage above, Moroni quotes the final words of Ether, a prophet who had lived hundreds of years earlier, and who, like Moroni, had witnessed the destruction of his people. Ether’s final message to his readers was an affirmation of his priorities. He loved God and wanted to return to His presence. Because that was his focus, he was less concerned—much less concerned—with what might happen to him before that time. He didn’t know whether God would translate him, making him immortal. He didn’t know how long he would continue to live as a solitary man or what kinds of difficulties he might face during that time. But as he testified in the passage above, none of that mattered, as long as he could be “saved in the kingdom of God.”

On one occasion, Elder David A. Bednar visited the home of Elder Robert D. Hales, who was recovering from an illness. He asked Elder Hales, who was nearly 20 years older than him, the following question: “What lessons have you learned as you have grown older and been constrained by decreased physical capacity?” Elder Hales responded: “When you cannot do what you have always done, then you only do what matters most” (“‘Chosen to Bear Testimony of My Name’,” General Conference, October 2015).

Today, I will follow the example of Ether and Elder Hales. I will focus my attention on my highest priorities and let go of less important worries. I will remember that, when I am focused on what matters most, lesser concerns will simply fade away and will not be distractions to me.

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