Twice in the Book of Mormon, we are urged not to procrastinate.
When Alma and Amulek teach the people of Ammonihah, Alma ends their joint sermon with a call to action:
Now is the time to repent,
for the day of salvation draweth nigh;…
I wish from the inmost part of my heart,
yea, with great anxiety even unto pain,
that ye would hearken unto my words,
and cast off your sins,
and not procrastinate the day of your repentance.
(Alma 13:21, 27)
And eight years later, when Alma and Amulek taught the Zoramites, Amulek ended their joint sermon with a similar plea:
I beseech of you
that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance
until the end;
for after this day of life,
which is given us to prepare for eternity,
behold, if we do not improve our time
while in this life,
then cometh the night of darkness
wherein there can be no labor performed.
The word cras in Latin means tomorrow or in the future.
Crastinus is an adjective that means pertaining to or belonging to the future.
Procrastinatus is a verb which means to push something to the future, to delay or postpone something.
The Savior recognized the importance of using our time wisely and the dangers of delay. He said:
I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
So, from Alma and Amulek, we learn not to procrastinate repentance. From the Savior, we learn not to procrastinate the work of the Lord.
What are some other things we shouldn’t postpone?
- Following guidance from the Holy Ghost – “Never, never, never postpone a prompting” (Thomas S. Monson, “The Spirit Giveth Life,” Ensign, June, 1997).
- Helping a person in need – “Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee” (Proverbs 3:28).
- Performing an act of service – “Never suppress a generous thought” (Camilla Eyring Kimball, quoted in Bonnie D. Parkin, “Personal Ministry: Sacred and Precious,” BYU Devotional Address, 13 February 2007).
Today, I will avoid procrastinating high priority activities. I will repent quickly, act immediately on promptings from the Spirit, and do good works without unnecessary delay.