Good Stuff: President Uchtdorf

A few excerpts from what I suspect will be one of my favorite General Conference talks ever:

“…it is good advice to slow down a little, steady the course, and focus on the essentials when experiencing adverse conditions.”

This is a simple, but critical lesson to learn. It may seem logical when put in terms of trees or turbulence, but it’s surprising how easy it is to ignore this lesson when it comes to applying theses 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. …There comes a point where milestones can become millstones, and ambitions, albatrosses around our neck.”

“The wise understand and apply the lessons of tree rings and air turbulence. They resist the temptation to get caught up in the frantic rush of everyday life. They follow the advice, “There is more to life than increasing its speed,” In short, they focus on things that matter most.”
“It is said that any virtue, when taken to an extreme, can become a vice. …There comes a point where milestones can become millstones, and ambitions, albatrosses around our neck.”

…most of us intuitively understand how important the fundamentals are. It is just that we sometimes get distracted by so many things that seem more enticing. Printed material, wide-ranging media sources, electronic tools and gadgets…can become hurtful diversions or heartless chambers of isolation. Yet amidst the multitude of voices and choices, the humble Man of Galilee stands with hands outstretched. Waiting. …He does not speak with a powerful megaphone but with a still, small voice.

Brothers and sisters, diligently doing the things that matter most will lead us to the Savior of the world. That is why we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ… In the complexity, confusion, and rush of modern living, this is the “more excellent way.”

What are the basics?

Four key relationships: with our God, with our families, with our fellow man, and with ourselves.

First, our relationship with God is most sacred and vital. …We experience greater peace, joy, and fulfillment as we give our best to live according to God’s eternal plan and keep His commandments. We improve our relationship with our Heavenly Father by learning of Him; by communing with Him, repenting of our sins, and actively following Jesus Christ.

Second key relationship with our families. …We build deep and loving family relationships by doing simple things together, like famiy dinner, and family home evening, and just having fun. In family relationships, love is really spelled t-i-m-e.

The third key relationship we have is with our fellow man. 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.

Fourth…relationship 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. …Walk in nature, watch a sunrise, enjoy God’s creations, ponder the truths of the restored gospel, and find out what they mean for you personally. Learn to see yourself as Heavenly Father sees you–as His precious daughter or son with divine potential.

Strength comes not from frantic activity but from being settled on a firm foundation of truth and light. It comes from placing our attention and efforts on the basics of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It comes from paying attention to the things that matter most.

Let us simplify our lives a little. Let us make the changes necessary to refocus our lives on the sublime beauty of the simple, humble path of Christian discipleship–the path that leads always toward a life of meaning, gladness, and peace.

Thanks to my friend Kristine H. who transcribed these quotes at the Conference Center today.

7 thoughts on “Good Stuff: President Uchtdorf

  1. This talk is one of my all-time favorites, right up there with Elder Wirthlin’s “Concern for the One” and “Come What May, and Love It.”

    I really love Pres. Uchtdorf.

  2. And now, each of us must decide what our “take away” is from this inspired counsel. How will we choose from among all our worthy pursuits that which is most essential for this time in our lives. Perhaps most difficult is how will we choose from among all those worthy pursuits that which should be put aside at this time (or at least reduced to a more manageable level). When we are busy beyond reason we are too often distracted by the noise of urgent matters and are unable to hear the quiet pleadings of the more important and needful things.

  3. I haven’t yet watched any conference, and wasn’t sure I was going to. But I do like the heart and depth of this talk. Thanks for posting! You have a great blog!

  4. I had to work today and therefore missed conference. When I talked with Ray, one of the first things he mentioned was Pres Uchtdorf’s talk (and Elder Holland’s). Thanks for sharing so many quotes from his talk. It qualifies for “must-watch ASAP” status!

  5. President Uchtdorf really knows how to reach people’s hearts. I’ve seen his talk twice, because of problems with the receiver. Maybe it’s because I needed the message twice.
    I also enjoyed Elder Holland’s talk twice and I wept both times.
    Do I have to say I love the brethern?

  6. Those were my exact thoughts when I listened to this talk: “This is going to become my favorite conference talk EVER.” Loved it. Thanks for sharing!

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