The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Success

"A worried society now begins to see that the disintegration of the family brings upon the world the calamities foretold by the prophets. The world's councils and deliberations will succeed only when they define the family as the Lord has revealed it to be. 'Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it' (Ps. 127:1)." — "Exceeding Great And Precious Promises", Pres. Howard W. Hunter, General Conference, October 1994

"When parents themselves have complied with the ordinances of salvation, when they have set the example of a temple marriage, not only is their own marriage more likely to succeed, but their children are far more likely to follow their example." — "Fundamentals Of Enduring Family Relationships", President Ezra Taft Benson , General Conference, October 1982

"When one deals in generalities, he will rarely have a success; but when he deals in specifics, he will rarely have a failure." — "The Priesthood--A Sacred Trust", President Thomas S. Monson , General Conference, April 1994

"We need to come to terms with our desire to reach perfection and with our frustration when our accomplishments or behaviors are less than perfect. I feel that one of the great myths we would do well to dispel is that we've come to earth to perfect ourselves, and nothing short of that will do. If I understand the teachings of the prophets of this dispensation correctly, we will not become perfect in this life, though we can make significant strides toward that goal." — "On Being Worthy" , Elder Marvin J. Ashton , General Conference, April 1989

"In this day of great achievement, there is more reason to believe in God than at any other time in our memories. All our explorations, all our scientific accomplishments, even our sending men to the moon, declare the existence and power of God." — "Honesty, A Principle Of Salvation", Elder Mark E. Petersen , General Conference, October 1971

"After all, what is success, and who are competent to judge? The great masses who lived in the days of Jesus would have said that his life was a stupendous failure, that his life and teachings ended in inglorious defeat. Even his disciples were disappointed in his death; and their efforts to perpetuate his name and teachings were covered with ignominy and contempt. It was centuries before the success of his life became apparent to the world. We can easily comprehend, therefore, how it has taken centuries to accomplish achievements that were set in motion by some obscure or despised personage. The triumph, therefore, of Jesus would have been looked upon by his generation as one of the paradoxes of history." — Joseph F. Smith, "Gospel Doctrine," p. 124

"...Real success is not centered in wealth or position. Should one's prime interest be focused there, the means then become the end. That pattern is generally accompanied by an insatiable desire for more things and more power. True success comes from fulfilling the conditions of the Lord's plan of happiness, beginning, when possible, by being a good mother or father and by forming a solid eternal family. It includes serving honorably and in a trustworthy way. It results in producing something of lasting benefit. In short, when your actions are consistent with the teachings of the Lord, that is success...." — Richard G. Scott, BYU Commencement Address, 10 August 2000

"Jesus gave an apt definition of success, I think, when he spoke of Mary Magdalene, saying, 'She hath done what she could.' (Mark 14:8.) True success is reaching the level of our best in our association with our fellow men." — David O. McKay, "Gospel Ideals," p. 535

"The great criterion of success in the world is that men can make money. But I want to say to you Latter-day Saints that to do this is not true success. As a man grows and increases in the things of this world, if he is not careful, he will lose the Spirit of the Lord, and he will set his heart upon the things of this world. And if he loses the Spirit of the Lord, and fails to be honest with God in the payment of his tithes as strictly and honestly as he would account to a partner if he were engaged in business, that man will lessen his strength, will lessen his power, will lessen the testimony of the Spirit of God within his soul. There is no question of it in my mind." — Heber J. Grant, "Gospel Standards," p. 181

"Success is not like manna that falls every working day alike on the worker and the shiftless, on the resourceful one and the careless one. Success is reserved for those who work at it, those not afraid of the midnight oil." — "Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball," p. 359

"In order to be successful in the eyes of the Lord, we have at least a fourfold duty to perform. First: We must do our duty to our homes and our families. I believe we are doing a fairly good job of that. At least we are getting a lot of favorable publicity. Second: We have a duty as Latter-day Saints to the Church to help spread the gospel, to carry the message, to live the gospel, to keep the commandments, to be an example to the world, to "arise and shine" (D&C 115:5). Third: We have a responsibility to our occupation, our profession, our employment, to provide for our own families. The scriptures tell us that he who will not provide for his own is worse than an infidel (see 1 Timothy 5:8). Fourth: We have a citizenship responsibility. I believe the person who is truly successful, in the eyes of the Lord, must do his duty in all four areas." — Ezra Taft Benson, Salt Lake Utah Emigration Stake Conference, 5 November 1978

"Certainly the most successful lives are those that have the most worthwhile experiences. The religion of Christ itself is not so much a set of ideas as it is a set of activities. The purpose of the Church is to help us translate the principles of the gospel of Christ into constructive, meaningful human experience. And everyone should work toward this end by a daily practice of thinking some uplifting thoughts, listening to some fine music, reading some stimulating literature, doing some good deeds, and having some great experiences every day." - Sterling W. Sill, "Great Experiences," Ensign, June 1971, p. 43

"Greatness is measured by men in many ways. It is generally equated with size, cost, quantity, and position. God, however, has a better way, 'for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are [His] ways higher than [man's] ways.' (Isa. 55:9.) In God's eyes, greatness is equated with light, truth, goodness, and service. (See D&C 93:36; Matt. 23:11.)" - Carlos E. Asay, "One Small Step for a Man; One Giant Leap for Mankind," Ensign, May 1990, p. 62

“It is necessary to prepare and to plan so that we don’t fritter away our lives. Without a goal, there can be no real success. One of the best definitions of success I have ever heard goes something like this: Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. Someone has said the trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never crossing the goal line.” - Thomas S. Monson, “In Search of Treasure,” Ensign (CR), May 2003, p. 19

“I have learned much from the scriptures about success. It is wonderful to read about the journey of Lehi and his family to the promised land. Of Lehi’s older sons, Nephi and Sam, through their faithfulness to the Lord, charted their course for true success. For them, being successful meant being faithful in following the Lord’s commandments. Through their example the lives of millions of people have been blessed to this date. And because of their obedience, many people have followed the path of truth and righteousness, striving to be worthy of the Spirit of the Lord in their lives.” - Claudio R. M. Costa, “Priceless Principles for Success,” Ensign (CR), November 1994, p. 27

Our success in the journey of life requires careful planning and execution, wise use of our resources, and constant reliance on and dedication to eternal principles. - Elaine L. Jack, “Never Take No Cutoffs,” BYU Devotional, 16 November 1993

True greatness is never a result of a chance occurrence or a one-time effort or achievement. It requires the development of character. It requires a multitude of correct decisions for the everyday choices between good and evil that Elder Boyd K. Packer spoke about when he said, “Over the years these little choices will be bundled together and show clearly what we value.” (Ensign, Nov. 1980, p. 21.) Those choices will also show clearly what we are. - Howard W. Hunter, "True Greatness," Ensign (CR) May 1982

The gospel of Jesus Christ is the formula for success. Every principle of the gospel, when lived, has a positive influence over your choice of an occupation and on what you will achieve. The counsel to labor in the Church has great value. Living the gospel will give you a perspective and an inspiration that will see you successful however ordinary your work may be or however ordinary your life may seem to others. - Boyd K. Packer, "The Gospel-The Foundation for Our Career," Ensign (CR), May 1982, p.84

The battle for our souls is no less important that the battle fought by David. The enemy is no less formidable, the help of Almighty God no farther away. What will our action be? Like David of old, “our cause is just.” We have been placed upon earth not to fail or fall victim to temptation’s snare, but rather to succeed. Our giant, our Goliath, must be conquered. - Thomas S. Monson, "Meeting Your Goliath," New Era, June 2008

The Lord doesn’t seem to measure success in terms of attainment of position or power or wealth. A prophet in the Book of Mormon (where, by the way, the most succinct and unvarnished truths can be found) said, “But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things. Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” (2 Ne. 2:24–25.) If man is that he might have joy, then success to the Lord must include the attainment of real joy. On the basis of this definition, then, no one is really successful who is not happy. - Hartman Rector, Jr., "Success—A Journey or a Destination?" Ensign (CR) May 1973

May I leave with you today a simple yet far-reaching formula to guide you in the choices of life:

Fill your minds with truth.

Fill your hearts with love.

Fill your lives with service.

By doing so, may we one day hear the plaudit from our Lord and Savior, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” - Thomas S. Monson, “Choose You This Day,” Ensign (CR) November 2004

We fail only if we fail to take another faithful step forward. We will not, we cannot, fail if we are faithfully yoked to the Savior—He who has never failed and will never fail us! - Randall K. Bennett, “Your Next Step,” Ensign (CR) November 2015

In this day of debauchery and crime when a man or woman or a boy or a girl can sink to greater depths than ever before, we can be grateful that even in the midst of these opposing forces, it is possible through following the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for each of us to learn and to progress and to reach the greatest heights in less time than ever before. - Elray L. Christiansen, "Conference Report," October 1964, Afternoon Meeting, p.130

In a short editorial written by President Joseph F. Smith in 1905, he made this most profound statement about what true greatness really is:
“Those things which we call extraordinary, remarkable, or unusual may make history, but they do not make real life.
“After all, to do well those things which God ordained to be the common lot of all mankind, is the truest greatness. To be a successful father or a successful mother is greater than to be a successful general or a successful statesman.” (Juvenile Instructor, 15 Dec. 1905, p. 752.) - Howard W. Hunter, “True Greatness,” Ensign (CR), May 1982, p.19

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