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June 16, 2020 - The pendulum swings

Sometimes we need a personal crisis to reinforce in our minds what we really value and cherish. The scriptures are filled with examples of people facing crises before learning how to better serve God and others. Perhaps if you, too, search your hearts and courageously assess the priorities in your life, you may discover, as I did, that you need a better balance among your priorities.
All of us must come to an honest, open self-examination, an awareness within as to who and what we want to be.

Elder M. Russell Ballard, "Keeping Life’s Demands in Balance", General Conference, April 1987

So, how are we supposed to balance our lives appropriately? Elder Ballard recommends some steps that we all should take.

  1. Think about your life and set your priorities. Jesus set aside alone time often. Nowadays, we call this meditation.

  2. Set short term goals that are reachable. Pray for guidance, direction and ability to attain them.

  3. Protect yourself financially. Follow a budget. Don't get into debt. Live within your means. Most importantly, pay tithing.

  4. Stay close to your spouse, children, friends, relatives. Strengthen relationships. Communicate verbally and non verbally.

  5. Study the scriptures! Don't just read but study. Bruce R. McConkie used to spend hours and hours dissecting one verse.

  6. Exercise, rest and relax.

  7. Teach each other the gospel. Teach by words, actions, and example.

  8. PRAY! As a family and individually.

Balance is hard to find. When I was younger, just starting out on my own, I focused on career, supporting my young family, and I neglected other priorities by not giving them sufficient effort and time.

But as I get older, the balance bar starts leveling out. Is that because my own mortality is getting closer? Or is that because I am getting wiser?

Probably both! Although "wise" is subjective.

Even being so spiritual that other areas of life are neglected, is not good. Although that's preferable to the pendulum swinging the other way...neglecting spirituality altogether.

Bottom line that I'm learning is to focus more on others and not yourself but take care of yourself so you are around to focus on others.

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