I read an interesting article by Deter F. Uchtdorf
“It’s remarkable how much we can learn about life by studying nature. For example, scientists can look at the rings of trees and make educated guesses about climate and growing conditions hundreds and even thousands of years ago. One of the things we learn from studying the growth of trees is that during seasons when conditions are ideal, trees grow at a normal rate. However, during seasons when growing conditions are not ideal, trees slow down their growth and devote their energy to the basic elements necessary for survival.
Simplify Our Lives
This is a simple but critical lesson to learn. It may seem logical when put in terms of trees, but it’s surprising how easy it is to ignore this lesson when it comes to applying these principles in our own daily lives. When stress levels rise, when distress appears, when tragedy strikes, too often we attempt to keep up the same frantic pace or even accelerate, thinking somehow that the more rushed our pace, the better off we will be.
It is said that any virtue when taken to an extreme can become a vice. Overscheduling our days would certainly qualify for this. There comes a point where milestones can become millstones and ambitions, albatrosses around our necks. In short, we should focus on the things that matter most. Leonardo da Vinci is quoted as saying that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Choose the Better Things in Life
We all will face extreme challenges, tragedies and other serious distresses in our lives and what I learn from the tree example is during challenging times simplify our lives and focus on the things that matter most in our lives.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, taught, ‘We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families.’
Heavenly Father’s Wisdom
“When we look at the foundational principles of the plan of happiness, the plan of salvation, we can recognize and appreciate in its plainness and simplicity the elegance and beauty of our Heavenly Father’s wisdom. Then, turning our ways to His ways is the beginning of our wisdom. As we turn to our Heavenly Father and seek His wisdom regarding the things that matter most, we learn over and over again the importance of four key relationships: with our God, with our families, with our fellowman, and with ourselves.
First, our relationship with God is most sacred and vital. We are His spirit children. He is our Father. He desires our happiness. As we seek Him, as we learn of His Son, Jesus Christ, as we open our hearts to the influence of the Holy Spirit, our lives become more stable and secure. We experience greater peace, joy, and fulfillment as we give our best to live according to God’s eternal plan and keep His commandments. To strengthen our relationship with God, we need some meaningful time alone with Him quietly focusing on daily personal prayer and scripture study.
Our second key relationship is with our families. Since ‘no other success can compensate for failure’ here, we must place high priority on our families. We build deep and loving family relationships by doing simple things together, like family dinner and by just having fun together. In family relationships love is really spelled t-i-m-e, time. Taking time for each other is the key for harmony at home. We talk with, rather than about, each other.
The third key relationship we have is with our fellowman. We build this relationship one person at a time—by being sensitive to the needs of others, serving them, and giving of our time and talents.
The fourth key relationship is with ourselves. It may seem odd to think of having a relationship with ourselves, but we do. Some people can’t get along with themselves. They criticize and belittle themselves all day long until they begin to hate themselves. May I suggest that you reduce the rush and take a little extra time to get to know yourself better. Walk in nature, watch a sunrise, enjoy God’s creations. Learn to see yourself as Heavenly Father sees you—as His precious daughter or son with divine potential.”
Some of the article was taken from the remarks of Dieter F. Uchtdorf “Of Things That Matter Most” October, 2010 General Conference.