03874_000_016Adapted from a fireside address delivered at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
Time is a property we inherit from God—along with the power to choose what we will do with it. It is an inheritance so great that we should feel that it is our “capital” to invest just as we would invest a financial inheritance.
As you know, there is more than one way to spend time foolishly. We may sleep it away or play it away. But the real problem comes later after the idleness and the thoughtless seeking for thrills.
For example, when you choose to see or hear that which is degrading, you may at first feel you have used up only time. However, if you persist in your choice, you will find that, in addition to time wasted, you have allowed Satan to draw you toward sin and then into it. And then you will have built up debts far beyond the time spent—debts that will burden and detract from every minute of existence that follows. The only way to relieve that burden is to find the healing balm of the atonement of Jesus Christ through repentance, which takes effort—and time.
Over the years, I’ve come to understand something that happened to me as a teenager. I was in a hurry to get somewhere one day when I felt, not heard, a voice, which I knew then was from God. It was the thought: “Someday, when you know who you really are, you will be sorry that you didn’t use your time better.” It didn’t make much sense to me then because I considered I was using my time well and I thought I knew who I was. Now, years later, I am really beginning to know who I am—and who you are—and why we will be so sorry if we do not invest our time well.
The Lord has given us the gift or inheritance of time. He invites and encourages us to spend it wisely. It’s worth investing wisely, not only because we have a lifetime ahead of us but also because we have eternity to come. I pray that we might all have the desire to wisely invest our inheritance of time.