The One Business of Life

By Elder Sterling W. Sill

of the First Quorum of the Seventy

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    If there is one thing of which I am completely certain in my own mind, it is that the one business of life is to succeed. It would be completely unreasonable for God to create us in his own image, give us his own personal form, endow us with these potentially magnificent minds, these miraculous personalities, and these fantastic physical powers, and then expect us to waste our lives in failure. And yet I am sure of this, that the greatest waste in the world is that you and I live so far below the level of our possibilities.

    The president of the Church has indicated that everybody in the Church ought to be a missionary. But to this date a large part of the adult men of the Church are themselves only prospective elders. Some of those who go on missions increase their religious activity for two years and then come back and revert to their former weaknesses.

    The Lord has said that he wanted his message carried to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, and yet some of us who are appointed to that calling haven’t yet gotten the message over the fence to our neighbor or down to the end of the street on which we live. Home teachers are sent out to teach the gospel to members, yet we frequently limit our talk with them to the weather or politics so that their lives remain in obscurity and darkness. It is impossible to give a spiritual message without having a spiritual messenger. The message has little force if the life of the messenger is filled with sloth, immorality, weakness, sin, and failure. We should insist on success in all of the departments of our lives.

    The Lord has given us the greatest success formula that has ever been given in the world when he said, “There is a law irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—

    “And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated” (D&C 130:20–21). The Lord wants each one of us to be a success. All we need to do is to find out the law governing that success and then go forward from there. And I would like to point out a great truth: that the most exciting experience is to have a high rating in that important enterprise in which God himself spends his entire time, the salvation of mankind.