The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Procrastination

One of the most serious human defects in all ages is procrastination, an unwillingness to accept personal responsibilities now. Men came to earth consciously to obtain their schooling, their training and development, and to perfect themselves, but many have allowed themselves to be diverted and have become merely "hewers of wood and drawers of water," addicts to mental and spiritual indolence and to the pursuit of worldly pleasure. — Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, p.7

If we could feel or were sensitive even in the slightest to the matchless love of our Savior and his willingness to suffer for our individual sins, we would cease procrastination and "clean the slate," and repent of all our transgressions. — Elder David B. Haight, General Conference, April 1988

This catchy couplet fits so many of us. "Procrastination is a silly thing, it only brings me sorrow, but I can change at any time! I think I will--tomorrow!" Shaking off restrictive chains requires action. They cannot be wished away. A declaration will never break chains. It requires commitment, self-discipline, and work. — Elder Marvin J. Ashton (October 1986)

Can we be servants of our Master rather than critics of those who are trying to serve Him? A servant will look for solutions to problems while procrastinators excuse their inactivity by concentrating on the futility of the problem. — Elder Marvin J. Ashton, General Conference, April 1983

Too often, people think that the decisions on celestial marriage can be postponed and taken care of later. Such thoughts are the tools of Satan. He delights in procrastination and uses it much. If he cannot convince people to ignore these important matters, these ordinances in celestial marriage, he will use the strategy of procrastination on the basis that it will achieve his ends eventually. — Pres. Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, p.246

Two centuries ago Edward Young said that procrastination is the thief of time. Actually, procrastination is much more. It is the thief of our self-respect. It nags at us and spoils our fun. It deprives us of the fullest realization of our ambitions and hopes. Knowing this, each of us jars himself back to reality with the sure knowledge that, "This is my day of opportunity. I will not waste it." — Pres. Thomas S. Monson, BYU Speeches, February 8, 1966

One habit that prevents inner peace is procrastination. It clutters our minds with unfinished business and makes us uneasy until we finish a task and get it out of the way. We are at peace in our Church callings when we do the work at the proper time instead of waiting until the last possible moment. This is true of going to the temple often, performing our home teaching and visiting teaching assignments, preparing lessons and talks, and doing other assignments. — Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, General Conference, April 1991

"This is not idle counsel. We read in the book of Helaman, 'Behold, your days of probation are past; ye have procrastinated the day of your salvation until it is everlastingly too late' (Hel. 13:38). Don’t procrastinate serving the Lord in his kingdom. We are busy now, and believe me, it will never get better or easier. The load is always there, for the Lord is training us to lift and carry more and more. To sidestep such service is to miss opportunities in the kingdom that may not come again." — Elaine L. Jack, "Never Take No Cutoffs," Ensign, Aug. 1994, p. 67

"We can be of so much service to others in many 'thou shalt' ways. Of course, the problem is that rendering such service takes time and we are all so busy. Some situations may call for service that somehow seems to be beneath us. Besides, we have other things to do. The 'thou shalts' are so convenient to put off. Who will notice the procrastination anyway? After all, we are not robbing a bank. Or are there forms of withholding which constitute stealing?" — Neal A. Maxwell, "The Pathway of Discipleship," Ensign, Sept. 1998, p. 10

"Many of us today are shackled by the restrictive chains of poor habits. We are bound by inferior self-images created by misconduct and indifference. We are chained by an unwillingness to change for the better. Is it any wonder, in our day as it was in Nephi’s, that God’s pleas are 'awake,' 'listen,' 'procrastinate no longer,' 'believe me,' 'come back,' and 'seek the straight course'?" — Marvin J. Ashton, "Shake Off the Chains with Which Ye Are Bound," Ensign, Nov. 1986, p. 14

"Pierre, one of the central characters in Tolstoy’s War and Peace, torn by spiritual agonies, cries out to God, 'Why is it that I know what is right and I do what is wrong?' Pierre needed a mind-set, a resolve—even a stiffening of his backbone. One clever with words put it this way as he paraphrased the familiar counsel 'Never put off `til tomorrow what you should do today,' by adding, 'Why do we not put off `til tomorrow what we shouldn’t do today!'" — Thomas S. Monson, "The Upward Reach," Ensign, Nov. 1993, p. 49

"Procrastination and indecision can hamper our efforts to prepare for the life after mortality. Elder Joseph Fielding Smith said, 'Procrastination, as it may be applied to Gospel principles, is the thief of eternal life-which is life in the presence of the Father and the Son.' (The Way to Perfection, 10th ed. (1953), 202.) In the Book of Mormon we read Amulek's plea: 'I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end.... For that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.' (Alma 34:33-34.)" - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The Time to Prepare," Ensign, May 1998, p. 16

"As the risen Savior, He is this day and forever the Light of the World. It is He who invites us to come unto Him and serve Him, without delay. His encouragement to you and to me is this: 'I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. (Proverbs 8:17.)

"That is as true of a day as it is of a life. A morning prayer and an early search in the scriptures to know what we should do for the Lord can set the course of a day. We can know which task, of all those we might choose, matters most to God and therefore to us. I have learned such a prayer is always answered if we ask and ponder with childlike submission, ready to act without delay to perform even the most humble service.

"On many days, doing what matters most will not be easy. It is not supposed to be. God's purpose in creation was to let us prove ourselves. The plan was explained to us in the spirit world before we were born. We were valiant enough there to qualify for the opportunity to choose against temptation here to prepare for eternal life, the greatest of all the gifts of God. We rejoiced to know the test would be one of faithful obedience even when it would not be easy: 'And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them.' (Abraham 3:25.)" - Henry B. Eyring, "This Day," General Conference, April 2007

"Many of us want the simple way—the process that will not require serious work and sacrifice. Well, I once thought I found it. Driving in the back of a verdant valley above the city of Honolulu, I looked up, and there it was—Easy Street! As I was dreaming of the life-changing benefits of my discovery, I took out my camera to record the blissful moment. As I looked through the viewfinder, however, my focus literally and figuratively became clear. A large yellow sign returned me to reality—Easy Street was a dead end!

"Procrastination may seem the easy way, as it momentarily removes the effort required to accomplish something of value. Ironically, in time, procrastination produces a heavy burden laced with guilt and a hollow lack of satisfaction. Temporal and, even more importantly, spiritual goals will not be achieved by procrastination.

"Now is the time to exercise our faith. Now is the time to commit to righteousness. Now is the time to do whatever is required to resolve our undesired circumstances. Now is the time to reconcile with God through the merciful process of change afforded us by the Redeemer of mankind." - Donald L. Hallstrom, "Do It Now," General Conference, 6 October 2007

"'Watch ye,' Paul said. Be wise. There are a lot of roads to travel on, many places to go, countless things to see. Companions of all kinds are available. So watch your step, examine carefully the alternatives. There are only so many books you can read, so many places you can go, so many tasks you can prepare to work at and actually give your time to; you can only have so many real friends; you have one character to form, one life to live, one Master who can be served at a time. So, said Paul, 'Watch you.' Be wise. Keep reading, keep thinking, keep asking, keep interested. Try out your own ideas, weigh them and weigh those of others, thoughtfully, prayerfully, honestly. Let truth have its chance in the marketplace." - Marion D. Hanks, May 28, 1964, "BYU Speeches of the Year," 1964, p.7

"My brothers and sisters, in these trying times when life's ship seems to be rocking dangerously, and threatens to break from its mooring, may we continue to hold on with faith in a God of mercy and justice. But we cannot just wait for him to rescue us. We must do something toward working out our own salvation. May we so organize our lives and our efforts that we make a glorious partnership with him, and in double strength go forward in our attack upon not only our problems but his..." - Gustive O. Larson, "Conference Report," October 1939, Second Day—Morning Meeting, p.54 - 55

"Time is free. Nevertheless, it is one of the most precious possessions that we have and that we will ever own; yet many of us have a tendency to waste it or to misuse it to some degree. When you ask people what they are doing, often they will say, 'Oh, I'm just sitting here killing time.' A tragic thing to say, to admit, since time never ceases to pass and when it is given for such divine purposes." - Elray L. Christiansen, March 14, 1962, "BYU Speeches of the Year," 1962, p.3

“You know the steps! Don’t delay. Forget the past–except to use it to build a better life. Begin now to be worthy of the eternal blessings God has promised the faithful and the true.” - Robert L. Backman, “Chastity:The Source of True Manhood,” Ensign (CR), November 1989, p. 38

Be not disillusioned by doctrine of the adversary that there will likely be a magic point in eternity when all of a sudden selfish and improper actions are automatically eliminated from our being. Holy writ has confirmed time and time again that such is not the case, and prophets through the ages have assured us that now is the time to repent, right here in this mortal sphere. It will never be easier than now; and returning to Brother Talmage's thought, he who procrastinates the day or hopes for an alternate method that might require less courage waits in vain, and in the meantime, the possibilities grow dimmer. He is playing the game as Satan would have him play it, and exaltation in the presence of God grows more remote with each passing day. - Robert L. Simpson, “Courts of Love,” Ensign (CR), July 1972, p.48

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