"Let me suggest that you set about now to make up your minds what you want to be and that you be determined to be it no matter what. You are prepared to meet all opposition, all ridicule and all temptation. And let us realize that as you rationalize and begin to try to explain what you have done and have excused yourself for what you are going to do or are doing, or have done, you are bringing your ideals down, down, down to your actions. But when you are prepared to repent and say, 'I am prepared and determined to do the things that I have decided to do—serve the Lord, keep his commandments, be the kind of person I think my sons and daughters are entitled to as parents, choose to do the thing the way I would like my son or daughter to do it'—then you are raising your actions up to your ideals. As you do that, the Lord will bless you. You will find joy and happiness in this life and in the life to come." — Nathan Eldon Tanner, "Choose You this Day Whom Ye Will Serve," "BYU Speeches of the Year," 1963 p. 10
"The law of free agency, or 'whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap,' indicates in effect that we may know the end of our lives from the beginning, and that to a considerable extent we can control the processes of life which bring us happiness and success, or sorrow and failure. This law was given to Adam in the Garden of Eden. Moses gave the law of God to the children of Israel and promised them blessings for obeying and a penalty for disobedience. The Prophet Joshua proclaimed, 'Choose you this day whom ye will serve.' (Josh. 24:15) The Savior told his disciples, 'For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.' (Matt. 6:21) No man can serve two masters." — Franklin D. Richards, "Choose the Right," "BYU Speeches of the Year," 1964
"This, my brethren and sisters, is our divine right—to choose. This is our divine obligation—to choose the right." — Gordon B. Hinckley, "Caesar, Circus, or Christ?" "BYU Speeches of the Year," 1965 p. 8
"Joshua reminds us of the importance of making decisions promptly: 'Choose you this day whom ye will serve;... but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.' (Joshua 24:15) Not tomorrow, not when we get ready, not when it is convenient—but 'this day,' straightway, choose whom you will serve. He who invites us to follow will always be out in front of us with His Spirit and influence setting the pace. He has charted and marked the course, opened the gates, and shown the way. He has invited us to come unto Him, and the best time to enjoy His companionship is straightway. We can best get on the course and stay on the course by doing as Jesus did—make a total commitment to do the will of His Father." — Marvin J. Ashton, "Be of Good Cheer," [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1987], p. 56
"Some people intend to make a decision and then never get around to it. They intend to paint the barn, to fix the fence, to haul away that old machinery or remove that old shed, but the time of decision just never arrives. Some of us face a similar situation in our personal lives. We intend to pay a full tithing, to begin keeping the Word of Wisdom, to make our initial home teaching visits early in the month. However, without actual decision followed by implementation, the weeks and months go by and nothing is accomplished. We could drift into eternity on these kinds of good intentions. Thus lack of decision becomes our decision not to do those good things for which we had the best of intentions. The Lord apparently sensed this weakness in his children, for he said: 'Wherefore, if ye believe me, ye will labor while it is called today.' (D&C 64:25) Get the facts—then decide promptly. As an excuse for postponing decisions, do not rely on the old clichés some people use, such as 'I want to sleep on it.' We don't make decisions in our sleep. However, don't jump to conclusions or make snap judgments. Get the facts, be sure of the basic principles, and weigh the consequences. Then decide!" — Ezra Taft Benson, "God, Family, Country: Our Three Great Loyalties," [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974], p. 148
That picture hanging in the front foyer of my grandparents’ home had a powerful influence on me. I lived in the small prairie town of Raymond, where my grandparents lived. I could walk to their home, so I visited often. I remember frequently standing quietly alone in the foyer, reverently looking at that picture of the First Presidency. I remember thinking about why my grandparents thought it was so important to honor the First Presidency and have that picture prominently displayed in their home. All who entered would see it. Perhaps most importantly, for their children and grandchildren it was a constant reminder of what was deeply important in the hearts and lives of Grandma and Grandpa.
Years later I concluded that displaying the picture of the First Presidency was equivalent to Joshua’s beautiful expression: “Choose you this day whom ye will serve; … as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). – William R. Walker, “Three Presiding High Priests,” Ensign (CR) May 2008
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