Wise in Time

How do we choose to spend our time, and what do those choices say about our character?

In December 1831, the Lord gave the following promise to a group of church leaders gathered in Kirtland, Ohio:

He who is faithful and wise in time is accounted worthy to inherit the mansions prepared for him of my Father.

Doctrine and Covenants 72:4

In the prior verse, He explained that we must all account for our stewardships, “both in time and in eternity,” which suggests that the phrase “in time” means “during this life.”

Amulek urged the Zoramites not to waste any more of their precious time:

Now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you.

For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.

Alma 34:31-32

Theodore Roosevelt was fond of the saying: “Nine tenths of wisdom is to be wise in time.” He meant that it’s better to prepare early, not to wait for a crisis before taking action. (See Harold Howland, Theodore Roosevelt and His Times: A Chronicle of the Progressive Movement, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1921, page 151).

Elder Ian S. Adern has reminded us that time is a perishable commodity:

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). What time we have we must use wisely.

A Time to Prepare,” General Conference, October 2011

Today, I will strive to be “wise in time.” I will engage in meaningful activities. I will take action early. I will value and be grateful for the time I have been given.

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