We are all stewards of the resources God has given to us. One of those resources is time. I’ve been thinking today about how I spend my time and how I can make better use of it. Here are some thoughts which were inspired by the Book of Mormon:
- Don’t try to do more than you can. King Benjamin taught his people that even important activities like caring for the needy should be done “in wisdom and order,” because it’s not wise to “run faster than [we] have strength” (Mosiah 4:27).
- Be careful about your time commitments. Two prophets who served as chief judge—Alma and Nephi—both had the experience of recognizing that they were overextended. In both cases, they chose a successor and stepped down from their civic responsibilities in order to dedicate themselves to the ministry (Alma 4:15-20, Helaman 5:1-4).
- Prioritize. Jacob paraphrased a passage from Isaiah as he gave some advice to his people: “Do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy” (2 Nephi 9:51, Isaiah 55:2). It’s wise to think about the expected future returns on our current investments of time. At the end of a day, a week, or a year, we want to look back with a sense of satisfaction because we have accomplished something meaningful.
- Work hard. After Nephi and his people left his brothers and established their own city, they “lived after the manner of happiness” (2 Nephi 5:27). A key contributor to that happiness was that they were “industrious,” and that they “[labored] with their hands” (2 Nephi 5:17).
- Be responsive to the needs of the people around you. At the end of the first day of the Savior’s visit to the American continent, He told the people that He needed to leave. He had another assignment. He told them how to prepare for His return the following day. Then, “he cast his eye round about again on the multitude, and beheld that they were in tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would as him to tarry a little longer with them.” As a result, He decided not to leave yet.
Today, I will strive to spend my time wisely. I will pace myself and avoid overcommitting. I will prioritize high-value activities. I will be responsive to the needs of the people around me, even if it means adjusting my schedule.