Thursday, February 4, 2010

Focus First on Becoming

With all the things that we could possibly do and pursue each day, how are we to know which is best? My simple solution to this question is the motto with which I've entitled this post: Focus First on Becoming.

Focus First on Becoming, to me, means first deciding the answer to these questions: of all the ways of being that I could choose today, which one is the way that I desire? What do I want to become?

As we focus on trying to become more like Christ, the shift of attention towards those things that are within our control is immediate. Check out the following quote by Elder Holland about developing the good qualities that are within our control to develop: 
"There are many qualities you will want to look for in a friend or a serious date--to say nothing of a spouse and eternal companion--but surely among the very first and most basic of those qualities will be those of care and sensitivity toward others, a minimum of self-centeredness that allows compassion and courtesy to be evident. 'That best portion of a good man's life [is] his . . . kindness,' said Mr. William Wordsworth ('Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey' [1798], lines 33–35). There are lots of limitations in all of us that we hope our sweethearts will overlook. I suppose no one is as handsome or as beautiful as he or she wishes, or as brilliant in school or as witty in speech or as wealthy as we would like, but in a world of varied talents and fortunes that we can't always command, I think that makes even more attractive the qualities we can command--such qualities as thoughtfulness, patience, a kind word, and true delight in the accomplishment of another. These cost us nothing, and they can mean everything to the one who receives them."      - Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, How Do I Love Thee?

If we focus first on developing those "qualities we can command," like those proposed in the 2010 ward theme, our actions, desires, thoughts and habits fall in line. The act of focusing first on becoming solves the louder and more demanding question of day-to-day life - what should I do? We must first answer the golden question - what do I want?

I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. 

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